The Author of ‘Corruption 101 – The Liberia Style’ Mr. Len Lindstrom, a Canadian National has vowed to stay in Liberia until his damages are paid in full by the Liberian Government after the Supreme Court of Liberia last Friday handed down its opinion in the case involving the Liberty Gold and Diamond Mining Company and the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy in his favor.
Speaking on a local Talk-Show in Monrovia Tuesday, Mr. Lindstrom described the action melted against him over the last five years has being put to rest, saying we have won and now we will push forward our damages and loses sustained as a result of this bad behaviors of the art of this Government.
The Supreme Court which is the final arbiter of justice in the country, ruled that the verdict of the trial judge be upheld dismissing the government’s assertions that the civil law court does not have jurisdiction over the matter.
“That the ruling of the trial judge granting the appellees’ motion for summary judgment and declaring therein that the appellees have been denied their right of due process of law accorded by the constitution of Liberia, the termination of their mining licenses in the absence of such due process rendered the termination illegal, null and void, and of no legal effect is hereby affirmed,” stated the court.
The court ruled that the mining and mineral regulation make it mandatory that the ministry, in terminating any mineral and mineral license, state in the letter of termination the right of the licensee to appeal from the ruling, something it said the co-appellant Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy did not state in its letter of termination to the appellees and hence deprived the appellee of the required notice under the law.
The court stated Friday during the handing down of its opinion into the matter after nearly four years of the case, that the act by the ministry of Lands, mines and energy terminating the mineral exploration agreement and the licenses held by the appellees (Liberty Gold and Diamond) being in direct violation of the arbitration provisions of the license agreement between both parties.
The court said by this action the co-appellant ministry waived its right to arbitration; hence, the appellees’ petition for the declaratory judgment, in seeking judicial redress against the ministry, was not admissible.
“That the other co-appellant, being in privity with the co-appellant ministry, the agreement which they entered into between them and they said ministry, acting for and on behalf of the government of Liberia, are rendered null and void and of no legal effect: and such third parties are to cease all activities being carried out under said agreements,” said the court.
Reading on behalf of the full bench, in the presence of Chief Justice Francis Korpkor, and other associate justices, Associate Justice Phillip Banks reading the court’s opinion ordered the clerk of this court to send a mandate to the trial court commanding the judge presiding therein to resume jurisdiction over the case and to give effect to the Supreme Court’s judgment.
Said the Court: “Having heard the oral legal arguments advanced by the parties, analyzed the fact and circumstances presented by them, and reviewed the written contentions, factual and legal, contained in the briefs submitted by both parties; and being satisfied and convinced, upon the full examination of the records certified to this court, the evidence shown therein, and the applicable and controlling laws, that the trial judge committed no error in granting the appellees’ motion for summary judgment and declaring the action of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy as illegal, same being consistent with the right of due process accorded by the constitution of Liberia and in harmony with the statutory and decisional laws of this jurisdiction.”
Speaking to reporters following the verdict, the elated head of the company who recently published a book on corruption detailing malpractices that went on at the ministry that led to the cancellation of his company’s contract, Mr. Lindstrom said he dreamed of a day like this when justice would finally prevail.