The US$3.3 million claims and counterclaims between the Monrovia Oil Trading Company (MOTC) and Amos Brosius, the General Manager of Ducor Petroleum, on Tuesday, August 10, took a dramatic turn with the Brosius' legal team requested the Commercial Court to order the bank’s management to produce the financial transaction of the controversial Ducor Petroleum account that was housed at the bank.
The request came when MOTC’s lawyer, Counselor Abraham Sillah, challenged the truthfulness of Brosius' legal team’s contention that the US$3.3 million was illegally withdrawn from the company’s account contrary to the 2013 agreement.
Brosius legal team argued that the agreement between the parties, MOTC and Brosius, was that the account be frozen and controlled by the court, pending the determination of the petition for an accounting lawsuit filed by MOTC against the Management of the Ducor Petroleum.
Immediately after the arguments, the three judge panel reserved their ruling as to whether they would order the bank to produce the financial transaction records of the company.
In his contention, Cllr Sillah said there were monies placed in the account of Ducor Petroleum at LBDI, but the accusation that US$3.3 million was withdrawn from the account was a mere imagination and far from the truth.
“Let them show documents that US$3.3 million was illegally withdrawn from the Ducor Petroleum’s account,” Sillah challenged Brosius’ lawyers’ contention. According to Sillah, the US$3.3 million was just a projection, “because from 2005 up to and including 2013, it is impossible for the company to have raised that money.”
Further, Cllr. Sillah argued that there was no agreement between the parties, MOTC and Brosius, to place a stay order on the Ducor Petroleum’s account at the LBDI, of which Brosius’ legal team has accused Commercial Chief Judge Judge Eva Mappy Morgan, under whose care the account was entrusted and the stay order, thus allowing the MOTC to have access to the account.
Cllr. Sillah also argued that the court should not entertain the contention that MOTC illegally withdrew money from Ducor Petroleum's account in complete disregard to the July 15, 2013 agreement.
“The case is not about money; it is about the ownership of Ducor Petroleum, because the issue of US$3.3 million is currently before the Supreme Court,” the MOTC’s lawyer said.
“You don’t have any jurisdiction over the case because it is with the Supreme Court on appeal.”
Brosius’ legal team had argued earlier that they would not go into the merit and demerit of the case if the issue of the US$3.3 million is not addressed and the money is returned to Ducor Petroleum's account at LBDI.
Arguing against Sillah’s contention that there was no agreement between the parties to have the Ducor Petroleum’s account frozen, a communication dated July 22, 2013, under the signature of Cllr. Negbalee Warner, the lead Lawyer of the MOTC, partly reads, “For and on behalf of our clients, we write to inform your Honor that the stay order contained in the July 15, 2013 letter is adversely affecting the ongoing operations of Ducor Petroleum as a going concern because the subject account at LBDI is the principal account of Ducor established by all shareholders and is therefore, not a subject of any dispute.”
Warner’s letter further reads, “Our clients therefore conduct significant financial transactions in the LBDI Ducor Petroleum account to manage the day to day operations of the corporation. Unfortunately, the imposition and continuation of the stay order cannot permit any of the transactions required to continue the operation of Ducor because it effectively prevents depositing checks and withdrawing money deposited into the account prior to the July 15, 2013, letter/deposit which is not the subject of any dispute.”
In support of their argument that there is an agreement between MOTC and Brosius to freeze the Ducor Petroleum's account, the Brosius legal team presented a communication dated July 15, 2013 under the signature of Judge Morgan and addressed to the President of the LBDI.
In that letter, Judge Morgan instructed that, “Consistent with the agreement of the parties, MOTC and Brosius, at a pretrial conference held in the case MOTC vs. Amos Brosius, the Commercial Court is herewith depositing these seven checks which have been endorsed by the parties and held in the Ducor Petroleum’s account housed at the LBDI.”
It continues, “In view of the above, any and all transactions pertaining to the above reference account for withdrawal, deposit, checks etc., must be accompanied by a letter signed by the Chief Judge of the Commercial Court, Judge Eva Mappy Morgan, authorizing the said transaction.”