What seems to be a perplexity situation which has engulfed the ongoing Global Witness bribery scandal involving top officials of the Liberian Government and some prominent individuals both in Liberia and outside the country is creation serious concerns, with the Presidential Task Force which is clothed with responsibility to bring to justice those linked is becoming a nightmare.
The Death of Cllr. T. C. Gould
Less than three weeks following the death and burial of the lead lawyer of the Special Presidential Taskforce, Cllr. T.C. Gould, which has been given the full authority to prosecute those linked to the Stable Mining bribery scandal including one of Liberia’s most respected lawyers, Cllr. Varney G. Sherman, a frustrated situation merged with the transfer of a Judge presiding over this case.
The Transferred Of Judge Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay
The Supreme Court early this month, May 3, 2017 transferred Judge Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay to the 13th Judicial Circuit Court in Kakata, Margibi County.
The transfer of the Criminal Court ‘C’ Judge, who is handling the Global Witness bribery case against scores of present and past public officials, is expected to create a serious setback to the speedy resolution of the matter.
Judge Gbeisay has been re-assigned to Margibi County and subsequently replaced with Judge Yussif Kaba, currently mending the Civil Law Court in Monrovia.
Gbeisay has been presiding over Criminal Court ‘C’ for the last two terms of court, a total of 104 days, before his transfer to Margibi County.
Under the law, judges are to be rotated (transferred) after serving a term of court, which lasts for 42 days, and an extended period of 10 days for them to prepare reports on their activities, which takes the total to 52 days.
Before his transfer, prosecutors in the Global Witness case complained to Justice in Chamber, Associate Justice Philip A.Z. Banks, just a day before Gbeisay was expected to send some of them to prison if Heine Van Niekerk, their key witness from South Africa, failed to appear before the court to testify.
The Collapse Of Cllr. Varney Sherman
As the case is being processed at the Temple of Justice on Capitol Hill by the Special Presidential Taskforce headed by Cllr. Jonathan Fonati Koffa and other team of lawyers, another confusing story came up with the collapse of one of the lead accusers, Cllr. Varney Sherman in the trial, a situation that baffled many to wondered why.
Cllr. Sherman who is also Grand Cape Mount County Senator recently at the jam-packed rotunda of the Capitol collapsed in the presence of lawmakers and hundreds of supporters who had gathered to pledge allegiance to candidature of Vice President Joseph Boakai.
However, according to the National Chairman of the Unity Party (UP), Wilmot Paye, the learned legaln practitioners condition is stable, noted further that doctors have advised that people should not see him at the moment.”
Recently Cllr. Varney Sherman requested criminal Court “C” to travel for 10 days abroad on medical leave a request which was granted by the Court.
Sherman and seven other former and current officials of government including former House Speaker Alex Tyler are on trial for economic sabotage, criminal conspiracy, facilitation and solicitation.
Their indictment in May and November 2016 respectively grew out of the Global Witness Report of May 2016 which accused the officials of allegedly receiving bribes from a British company Sable Mining to change the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (Act) in favor of Sable Mining to win the Wologisi concession in Lofa County.
The indicted Grand Cape Mount Senator Varney Sherman alongside former House Speaker Alex Tyler former Deputy Land Mines & Energy Minister ECB Jones, businessman Christopher Onanuga were all indicted by the state on May 24, 2016 of bribery, criminal conspiracy, facilitation, solicitation and economic sabotage.
In July 2016, the Sherman and Sherman law firm filed a motion to the Criminal Court “C” asking the court to dismiss the multiple criminal charges against the Senator, the businessman and the former Deputy Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy, citing time limitation as a cardinal legal basis.
Cllr. Sherman as chairman of the Unity Party fell out with his standard bearer President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf after he accused her of single handily running the operations of the government without any consultation from the Party that made her President.