Despite recent action by the Liberian Government to drop all charges leveled against Ellen Corkrum in Economic Sabotage Case, Liberia’s Solicitor General, Cllr. Saymah Syrennius Cephus has broken silent on the issue requesting that all those linked to the Economic Sabotage case during the regime of former Liberian leader, Ellen Johnson be called in by the Liberia Anti-corruption Commission for proper investigation.
Ms. Corkrum was indicted by the Grand Jury of Montserrado County in 2013 for Economic Sabotage, Theft of Property, Criminal Conspiracy and Misapplication of Entrusted of Property.
The charges were dropped against her on Monday, December 9, by Judge Nancy F. Sammy of Criminal Court ‘C’ based on prosecution’s request through a motion to Nolle Prosequoi the case.
In a communication from the Solicitor General Cllr. Syrennius Cephus to the head of the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission, Cllr. Ndubuisi Nwabudike, dated February 3, 2020, obtained by FrontPageAfrica Monday, the SG wrote:
$200K Sole Source Extradition Bid Questioned
“We present our compliments and have the honor to forward herewith the attached case file involving Madam Ellen Corkrum, Musa Bility and members of the Board of Directors of RIA and a number of commercial banks which were investigated, others dropped and some were subsequently indicted for “Economic Sabotage, Theft of Property, Criminal conspiracy, and Misapplication of entrusted funds.”
A careful review of the records of the case shows, that the previous government entered a Nolle Prosequoi in favor of a number of defendants involved in this matter prior to our ascendancy, and we in recent times, did the same due to the absence of Madam Corkrum and to avoid being seen as pursuing a “selective prosecution.”
Further, we also noticed that a sole source recommendation was made by our predecessor Cllr. Betty Lamin Blamo to hire a US-based firm, Fox Rothschild to which US$200,00(Two Hundred Thousand Dollars that was allegedly paid to Fox Rothschild to have Madam Corkrum brought back to Liberia.
Finally, the investigation should take into consideration the legal basis for the former Solicitor General Betty Lamin-Blamo recommending a sole source bid or selection of Fox Rothschild recommending a sole source bid or selection of Fox Rotschild, what became of the extradition proceedings, if any among them.”
In May 2019, the ECOWAS Court of justice ruled dismissing Ms. Corkrum’s suit filed against the Government of Liberia on September 22, 2016.
The ECOWAS court ruled that the acts complained of by Ms. Corkrum against the Government of Liberia did not amount to the violation of her human rights. The Court ruled that if Ms. Cocrkum wanted to ensure that her case was tried, she should return to Liberia and submit herself to the court’s jurisdiction because the Government of Liberia cannot not try her in abstentia.
Ms. Corkrum had requested the court to declare that her human rights had been violated by the issuance of an indictment against her, which is claims, was baseless and unfounded, and that the Government had failed to have her tried. She also requested the court to enjoin the Government of Liberia from arresting her and that she be allowed to freely travel in and out of Liberia.
At the time, the Liberian government, represented by Solicitor General and the former Solicitor General Cllrs. J. Daku Mulbah and Betty Lamin-Blamo respectively, argued that case should be dismissed because it fails to state or demonstrate an act or conduct on the part of the Government that is indicative of a characteristic violation of a fundamental human right of the plaintiff. The Government argued that the failure of the Government of Liberia to proceed with the case and grant speedy trial to Ms. was because had not presented herself to be tried.
Ms. Ellen Corkrum was the former Managing Director of the Liberia Airport Authority. Ms. Corkrum, whilst serving as Managing Director (MD) of the Liberia Airport Authority (LAA), on her own and in conspiracy with others.
The Government alleges that she illegally procured the transfer of US$US$269,000.00 of public funds to a fictitious company, Diaspora Consulting, LLC (Diaspora), and to its CEO, Mr. Momar Dieng, her friend from the Kennedy School, Harvard University, for work that he and his company did not perform.
Ms. Corkrum also authorized the illegal transfer of US$56,750 of LAA funds to her romantic partner Melvin Johnson, and his firm Melvin Johnson and Associates (a law firm in the State of Georgia, United States of America) allegedly for services rendered in connection with the security system at Roberts International Airport (RIA), which services were neither perform by Johnson or his firm.
The transfer was carried out by First International Bank (“FIB”) through its then-Head of Operations Mr. Jeremi Tegli) and another officer (Mr. Justin Ogugua), at Ms. Corkrum’s behest, despite the fact that the application for transfer did not contain the requisite authorizing signatures.
Ms. Corkrum obtained authority from the LAA Board to purchase certain computer equipment for the Board. She obtained access to US$19,480 in LAA funds. However, she delivered to the LAA no more than $8,500 worth of equipment. The balance – at least US$10,980 – remains unaccounted for.
On July 30, 2013, a Special Grand Jury sitting in Montserrado County, Liberia, brought down an indictment against Ms. Corkrum and other co-conspirators, for the crimes of economic sabotage, theft of property, criminal conspiracy, and misapplication of entrusted property. A writ of arrest was issued and served on all of the other Defendants thereby bringing them under the jurisdiction of the court, except for Ms. Corkrum, Mr. Momor Dieng, and Mr. Melvin Johnson who were all outside of the bailiwick of Liberia at the time the writ was issued up to and including today.