A Virtual Sword of Damocles Hovering Above the Nation’s Judiciary

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Where is the evidence was the question posed to the Court in the ongoing criminal trial of former Board members of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL). Why would these former members of the CBL Board be on trial when it is open knowledge that it is former President Sirleaf who should rightly be on trial?

It was she who ordered the printing of the banknotes when the Legislature had not given its official approval to the printing of the banknotes.

At the time, some legislators had raised objections to the printing of the notes and questioned the rationale for printing the notes when the tenure of President Sirleaf had only a few months left to its expiration.

Investigators told this newspaper that they are convinced that because President Sirleaf was fully aware that she would have encountered resistance to her decision, she went around official legislative approval by getting both the Secretary of the Senate and the Chief Clerk of House of Representatives to append their signatures to a document which was passed off as approval from the legislature.

They also maintain that President Sirleaf must have, without doubt, been aware that it is the Speaker who heads the legislature and any official action taken by that body must bear the signature of the Speaker. Nevertheless CBL executive officials, which included a son of the President, went ahead to print the notes absent any written authorization, neither from the President nor the Speaker of the House, which she shrewdly avoided by acquiring the signatures of two (2) non elected officials.

Also it is an open secret that President Sirleaf had introduced the newly printed banknotes into circulation mainly in denominations of five hundred Liberian dollar (L$500) banknotes. And this was in 2017 not long before the elections. Further to that the Legacy banknotes, which should have been withdrawn from circulation and destroyed, were instead returned to the CBL vaults.

The banknotes were returned on the flimsy excuse that rainy weather had prevented the burning exercise on that day. There is no evidence that the notes were ever returned to the field for burning on non-rainy days. Clearly this must have been deliberate, or else how can the CBL explain why the notes were never destroyed subsequently but were instead reintroduced into circulation and they remain in circulation up to present?

When the news did finally break of the missing banknotes, it was then that frantic efforts began to dismiss any notion of money having gone missing. All along officials knew that money did go missing. CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlu told journalists that he had personally seen pick-up loads loaded with cash being driven away from the CBL’s vaults at the defunct National Housing and Savings Bank.

And when public pressure began to mount, the GoL quickly commissioned a Presidential Investigating Team (PIT) to probe into the affair. It also invited Kroll to help investigate.

Both teams, especially the PIT concluded that there were lapses, some of which bordered on criminality while the Kroll was less forthcoming in naming the culprits. The CBL under the leadership of Nathaniel Patray stoutly refused to grant investigators access to the CBL’s vaults to do a physical count of the cash held there.

All along, it appears that there has been a consistent pattern of denials about what actually happened to the money. In the face of overwhelming public pressure, the GoL now under the leadership of George Weah pressed criminal charges against a number of officials, key amongst them, CBL Deputy governor and son of former President Sirleaf.

In a strange twist of events, charges against the son of the President were dropped with prejudice to the Government of Liberia, meaning in legal terms that going forward no criminal charges can ever be brought again against her son, Charles Sirleaf.

With both her son and herself safely out of the picture, the trial has proceeded with former members of the CBL Board who had no direct role in the day-to-day operations of the CBL, now facing the heat.

But this should be a lesson to all public officials who, by acts of commission or omission, could find themselves in similar dire straits. For example, why did not members of the CBL Board on record express opposition to the shady arrangements to print an excess of banknotes without legislative approval?

It appears that they instead simply looked the other way probably for fear of inviting the wrath of a President known to possess a very vindictive streak.

Their failure to stand up when they should have, has now left them on the ground groping for answers.

But again, as humans, they may have been justifiably afraid to blow the whistle considering the mysterious death of Innis which was attributed to a hit and run accident, the CBL driver who also mysteriously got killed allegedly in an accident, the female employees who fled into exile into the U.S. or, well before then, Harry Greaves.

As this newspaper has stated before in its June 10, 2020 editorial, headlined, “A Trial of Scapegoats”, that from all appearances, this ongoing trial is but a gross miscarriage of justice which could further impugn the already tattered image of the Liberian judiciary.

This is because there is a rapidly growing public perception that justice will not run its full course simply because those who should actually be on trial are not. It is a sham and a downright disgrace in the making. It is a virtual Sword of Damocles hovering above the nation’s judiciary.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Did the CBL Board and its executive officials not know that “the signatures of two (2) non elected officials” ARE NOT the signatures legally, and constitutionally, required for the constitutional authorization for the CBL printing money? Were these CBL Board of governors and its CBL´S executive officials physically blind or mentally ill? NO they were not!

    For if they were, they could not have unilaterally made their so called unprecedented “resolution” to print unauthorized money. The very fact that they themselves CBL Board of governors and its CBL´S executive officials unilaterally and unprecedentedly decided to make such a “RESOLUTION” made them the principals in the first degree of this criminal act!

  2. Look, Daily Observer, if you do not even have fear of Ellen THE GREAT, fairness is expected of you towards her. Considering the rights, powers, and independence, of the the CBL and its CBL Board of governors and its CBL´S executive official Ellen the great CANNOT even be seen as an accessory before or after the fact, nor an innocent agent; not to talk about been a principal in the first or second degree!

    Accordingly, you are been unfair and indeed gravely wrong to want others to believe that CBL Board of governors and its CBL´S executive official are INNOCENT AGENTS, when the very CBL Board of governors and its CBL´S executive official have since confessed unilaterally preparing a RESOLUTION authorizing their being actually and constructively present during the commission of the crime.

    That is, by virtue of their independent rights and powers, and their self-made RESOLUTION to print unauthorized money, they were actually present and personally and collectively participated in the commission of the crime of printing unauthorized money.

    Hence, it is misleading and deceptive for anyone to want people to believe these officials and their independent CBL were INNOCENT AGENTS!

    Not even those two so called non elected officials are innocent agents, since as their accomplices in the crime (CBL Board of governors and its CBL´S executive official), they non elected officials went ULTA VIRES (acted beyond their rights powers, and duties)!

    They so called non elected officials are principals in the Second Degree. since they knowingly , purposely, and recklessly, acted beyond their duties to facilitate the commission of a crime!

    Again, apportioning blame on Ellen the great, is as wrong as imputing blame on the Legislature, taking into account the rights, powers, and independence, of the CBL Board of governors and its CBL´S executive officials!

  3. “Domocles sword´s”: a sense of impending doom, or “not judging people until you’ve walked in their shoes” are the two fundamental interpretations of “this sword.”

    So, we don ´t see how can such interpretation be attributed to the Judiciary! If for “anything” the interpretation of the Domocles sword (not judge people until you’ve walked in their shoes”) should be attributable to those who wrote this editorial.

    For this editor besides been impartial and or prejudicial, is simply opining on a subject matter (criminal law and its processes) he or she knows nothing about!

    And what proves this lapse on the part of the editor is made manifest in this statement of his:”This is because there is a rapidly growing public perception that justice will not run its full course simply because those who should actually be on trial are not”; WHEN THOSE WHO ARE BEEN PROSECUTED ARE THE VERY CULPRITS WHOM SHOULD BE PROSECUTED, AS FAR AS CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND criminal law and its processes ARE CONCERNED! We have articulate this supra in our original comments!

  4. “Investigators told this newspaper that they are convinced that because President Sirleaf was fully aware that she would have encountered resistance to her decision, she went around official legislative approval by getting both the Secretary of the Senate and the Chief Clerk of House of Representatives to append their signatures to a document which was passed off as approval from the legislature.”

    “Investigators told this newspaper that they are convinced that” bla bla bla…
    BLATANT TABLOID AND CHEAP STREET GOSSIP DRIVEN BY PERSONAL VENDETTA FROM JOHN H.T.STEWART JR. AGAINST ELLEN THE GREAT BECAUSE SHE NEVER OFFERED HIM A GOVERNMENT JOB! “Investigators told this paper.” Ghost investigators who could not include such “EL THEY SAY” in any official report????

    “Nevertheless CBL executive officials, which included a son of the President, went ahead to print the notes absent any written authorization, neither from the President nor the Speaker of the House, which she shrewdly avoided by acquiring the signatures of two (2) non elected officials.”

    CBL EXECUTIVE OFFICIALS METAMORPHOSED INTO PRESIDENT SIRLEAF?

    After stating that; “CBL executive officials went ahead to print the notes absent any written authorization from the President nor the Speaker of the House”, John H.T.Stewart concludes the statement by “SHE SHREWDLY AVOIDED BY ACQUIRING THE SIGNATURES OF THE TWO (2) NON-ELECTED OFFICIALS.” From “CBL executives went ahead” to she (Ellen) shrewdly ?

    WHAT A ROTTEN AND SMELLY EDITORIAL!!!! ABSOLUTELY NON-CREDIBLE CHEAP GOSSIP AND MALICIOUS DEFAMATION AGAINST THE POOR WOMAN!

  5. Finally, read infra this editorś (John H.T.Stewart´s) reason or basis for claiming that the members of the CBL Board are innocent angels and that the poor woman should be the one on trial!

    “Why did not members of the CBL Board on record express opposition to the shady arrangements to print an excess of banknotes without legislative approval?” Editor John H.T.Stewart Jr.

    “They may have been justifiably afraid to blow the whistle considering the mysterious death of Innis which was attributed to a hit and run accident, the CBL driver who also mysteriously got killed allegedly in an accident.” Editor John H.T.Stewart Jr.

    BUT MIND YOU, THE TRUTH OR FACT IS THAT COMMISSION OF THE CRIME BY THESE CBL OFFICIALS OCCURRED AS FAR FAR FAR BACK AS 2016, 2017, 2018 WHILE MATTHEW INNIS´DEATH OCCURRED WAY WAY WAY IN EARLY 2019 OR AT LEAST IN MARCH 2019.

    Look, John, you cannot wake one up who is pretending to be sleeping!

    What you have written here is absolutely a personal vendetta against the poor woman; while you are bent on the intent of lying to the public that these CBL Executive Board members are innocent angels; when the whole world knows that these rascals are THIEVES!!! RES IPSA LOQUITOR – THE FACT SPEAKS FOR ITSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    These crooks must have given you a very great “KATO” which you could not refuse!!!

  6. Finally, read infra the editorś basis or reason of his opinion that it is Ellen who should be on trial, and that these CBL officials or Board Members are innocent angels:

    “Why did not members of the CBL Board on record express opposition to the shady arrangements to print an excess of banknotes without legislative approval?” Editor John H.T.Stewart Jr.

    “They may have been justifiably afraid to blow the whistle considering the mysterious death of Innis which was attributed to a hit and run accident, the CBL driver who also mysteriously got killed allegedly in an accident,” Editor John H.T.Stewart Jr.

    But mind you, these rascals committed their crimes as far far far back as 2016, 2017, 2018, while Matthew Innis´ death occurred way way way in early 2019 or March 2019!

    Look, John, you can wake someone up who is pretending to be sleeping!

    These thieves must have given you a KATO you could not refuse!

  7. Read below the editorś intent to mislead people away from the truth:

    “Why did not members of the CBL Board on record express opposition to the shady arrangements to print an excess of banknotes without legislative approval?” Editor Stewart

    “They may have been justifiably afraid to blow the whistle considering the mysterious death of Innis which was attributed to a hit and run accident, the CBL driver who also mysteriously got killed allegedly in an accident, ”

    MIND YOU, THE COMMISSION OF THE CRIME OCCURRED AS FAR FAR FAR BACK AS 2016, 2017, 2018, WHILE Matthew innis death occurred way way way in early 2019.

    He certainly was give A KATO he could not refuse.

    • True Nationalist, indeed you have the bias so-called editorial written by an agent planted on the editorial board of this paper. It is unfortunate that this paper has sunk so low, even more than a tabloid! This paper is now dead, all we need to do is to bury it. To produce an editorial of this nature with one personal feelings and hate for an individual is more than yellow journalism, you mentioned that John Stewart is there, then I understand why: compensation for the TRC work. Work that was half done by inept people that the international community became embarrassed with and became mute about its findings. But you have adequately dealt with it. Thanks.

  8. Gbada Flomo, do not allow yourself to be a subject of that MASSIVE DECEPTION about there been an “Editorial Board” at the Daily Observer. Anything about “editorial board” at the Daily Observer or FrontPageAfrica is only in name and or on paper! AND NEVER IN POLICY, PRACTICE, MODUS VIVENDI, OR MODUS OPERANDI! .

    The purpose of this deception IS TO MASK THE GIVEN EDITOR´S PERSONAL VENDETTA AGAINST HIS TARGET in their news outlets´ tabloid and yellow journalism. And this is the proof here from Editor John H.T.Stewartś personal vendetta against the poor woman while he John is bent on the intent of misleading people away from the truth that David Farhat, Kollie Tamba, and the rest of their fellow board members are the principals in the first and second degrees in this case.

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