Gov’t Must Now Settle Its $10.7M Debt Owed Lebanese Businessman

Frustrated employees of Prestige and Alliance Motors, including its CEO, Mr. George Haddad

As the Liberian Government is expected to receive $20.7M from the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as part of the seventh and eighth final review of the country’s economic performance under the program supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement, there is a  need for the government to now settle its financial obligation with the Chief Executive Officer of Prestige and Alliance Motor Corporation, George Haddad.

Last year the Chief Judge of the Commercial Court, Eva Mappy Morgan ruled in favor of Prestige and Alliance Motors, denying state lawyers’ appeal asking the court not to get involved into a US$10.7million vehicle debt case filed in that court, the Judge however stood her ground by ordering the payment to the businessman.

The ruling by Judge Mappy followed years of litigation, involving the government and Prestige and Alliance Motors, one of the leading dealers in vehicles and spare parts in the country, and owned by Lebanese businessman Mr. George Haddad.

In her ruling, Chief Judge Eva Mappy Morgan said the act that established the Commercial Court in 2010 gives it jurisdiction to handle all commercial matters without intimidation and denied state lawyers’ argument on whether it has jurisdiction to handle the case, and therefore asked that the payment be made to the businessman without delay.

But to the amazement of Liberians and other foreign residents including investors in Liberia, up to date the amount in question  ($10.7 M principal debt excluding interest),  after years of delayed allegedly by the government, said amount   is yet to be paid to the Alliance Motor Corporation.

However, sources closed to this news outlet has disclosed that the case, Action of Debt: “Prestige Motors Corporation and Alliance Motors Corporation two of the members of the Haddad Group of Companies represented by George Haddad (Plaintiff) Versus Government of the Republic of Liberia represented by the Ministries of Finance and Justice by and thru their respective Ministries, Deputy Ministers, Assistant Ministers, and Comptrollers (Defendant)”  have been severed a noticed of assignment for November 21, 2017 at 10:00 for trial.

As both appear before the Chief Judge, Eva Mappy next week, some Liberians who were interviewed by the GNN, called on the Liberian Government to see reason in the settlement of the amount to the Company in the face of the $20.7M being released by the IMF. It is about time that this government settles its financial obligation with Mr. Haddad and his Company.

The case emanated in 2014, when lawyers representing Prestige and Alliance Motors filed an Action of Debt lawsuit against the government claiming US$10.7million for vehicles and spare parts they supplied government since 2003 up to March 2008, and are yet to receive the payment.

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About Cholo Brooks 5285 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists.