Madam Bindu Fatumata Dukuly, 70, whose case was recently dismissed by the Supreme Court after her lawyers did not file her appeal documents in time, is still knocking on the doors of the court, this time, with Chief Justice Francis Korkpor and the Grievance and Ethics Committee, at the Temple of Justice.
Madam Dukuly’s appeal was for the High Court to review the February 25, 2013, ruling of Judge Yussif Kaba of the Civil Law Court.
.Judge Kaba denied her request for “Cancellation of Lease Agreement for Fraud,” which she brought against two Indian businessmen, Paul Raspal, general manager of Sethi Brothers and Upjit Singh Sachdeva known as “Jeety.”
It was that appeal at the Supreme Court on April 17 that dismissed the appeal on the grounds that her legal team, Jones and Associates filed her papers seven days after the expiration of the 60 day period stipulated by law.
Dismissing her appeal, the Justices in their unanimous judgment declared that “having failed to perfect the appeal within 60 days as required by law, and the reason advanced by the respondent (Madam Dukuly) for its failure to perfect the appeal not being tenable in law, deprived this court of jurisdiction over the case.”
The High Court action came immediately after the Indian businessmen’s lawyers took advantage of the delay on the part of Madam Dukuly’s lawyers and requested the court to dismiss her appeal.
“I want justice,” Madam Dukuly, a daughter of a former lawyer and a diplomat, Momulu Dukuly, told journalist last Tuesday at the Temple of Justice.
She went to the Temple of Justice to submit documents containing her complaint letter she had earlier sent to the office of Chief Justice Francis Korkpor against the law firm’s handling of her case, for which she claimed she had paid them over US$18,000.
“My compliant is against the injustice that was done to me by the law firm. I hired and paid them for the case to get back my property in the Mamba Point community in Monrovia, at the lower or the high level,” she further claimed.
Explaining her ordeal, Madam Dukuly contended that Judge Kaba knew she had produced enough evidence to prove her case against the two Indian nationals, yet he threw it out.
She said she believed that if her lawyers had filed her documents on time the Justices would have reviewed her case and they would have overruled Judge Kaba’s decision.
According to her, prior to Judge Kaba’s judgment her lead lawyer, Cllr. Marcus Jones, was disbarred by the Supreme Court, leaving her case in the hands of two Attorneys-at Law who are not qualified to practice before the Supreme Court.
“When the ruling came down those junior lawyers took an exception to it and announced an appeal before the High Court,” she further explained.
She said when the lawyers announced her appeal they informed her that the entire process would cost her US$700, which she paid immediately.
After Jones’ suspension, she added, and knowing that the two attorneys were not qualified to appear before the Supreme Court, she decided to hire another senior lawyer, Cllr. Alexander Zoe.
She said, after paying the money she left the country for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where she has been living and seeking medical attention.
“My medical time was coming near so I was compelled to leave the country to meet my doctor and to come back immediately,” Madam Dukuly stated.
She said, “I was shocked when I was told by people in Liberia that the Supreme Court had dismissed my case because my lawyers filed the appeal document seven days after the 60 days had elapsed.”