Liberian Businessman Amos Brosius has complained to Chief Justice Francis Kokpor about the action of the Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) led by Associate Justice Yussif Kaba to reject his appeal to subpoena the management of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment to produce the transactional documents pertaining to the financial operations of Ducor Petroleum Inc.
Brosius’ complaint comes as Justice Kaba investigates the judges of the Commercial Court for unilaterally issuing authorization that led to US$3 million being withdrawn from the account of Docor Petroleum at LBDI.
A communication dated August 17, 2020, complaining against the Judicial Inquiry Commission’s (JIC) action to reject an appeal from Amos P.K. Brosius to subpoena (request) the management of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) to produce the transactional documents pertaining to the financial operations of Ducor Petroleum Inc, where it was alleged that the Commercial Court unilaterally authorized the withdrawal of over US$3 million, has surfaced at the offices of Chief Justice Francis Kokpor.
The money is said to have been withdrawn when the court allegedly issued an order that allowed the bank to pay the money to the other party as contained in Brosius’ letter.
Justice Kaba’s commission is currently investigating the alleged missing US$3 million out of the LBDI, in which Brosius had complained about the justice of rejecting his major evidence in the case.
The Judicial Inquiry Commission is an auxiliary group established within the Judiciary with the exclusive power and authority to receive and investigate complaints against judges of courts of record and non-record in the Republic of Liberia for violation of any provision of the Judicial Canons.
The question that remains now is: “Will Chief Justice Korkpor uphold the decision of the JIC that is being chaired by another Associate Justice, Yussif Kaba?” The Brosius’ letter, copy of which is in possession of the Daily Observer, said that he and the judge of the Commercial Court had requested that the bank statement along with supporting documents evidencing how the account got de-frozen and the sources of funds deposited in that account and the uses would establish whether or not the court is to be blamed for the depletion of the monies entrusted to its custody, stressing, “The JIC declined to subpoena the said bank statement.”
The letter further reads, “I believe that to subpoena the bank statement along with all transaction documents pertaining to the Ducor Petroleum Inc, account #0221215153401, housed at LBDI from June 17, 2013, will adequately aid the Commission in arriving at an informed decision in order to make the appropriate recommendations to your Honor’s office.”
In conclusion, the letter said: “ I request that you kindly review the decision of the JIC and the commission to see reason to order the JIC to subpoena the management of LBDI, requesting it to produce statement of account and supporting documents for Ducor Petroleum Inc, account #0221215153401, housed at LBDI, which the Commercial Court and I have both requested the JIC to order the bank’s management to produce through a subpoena.”
The ownership dispute that led to the court action resulted when a Belgium national, Charles Carron, accused his then general manager, Amos Brosius, of allegedly stealing money realized from sales of petroleum products of the Monrovia Oil Trading Company to establish the Ducor Petroleum Inc, making him, Carron, the rightful owner of the Ducor Petroleum Inc.
It is the accusation that Brosius rejected, thus leaving Carron to seek the court’s action that caused the Commercial Court at the Temple of Justice to place the order on the financial transactions of the Ducor Petroleum Inc. at the LBDI. In the court order, dated July 15, 2013, which the Commercial Court requested the bank to receive and deposit into account number 0221215153401, belonging to Ducor Petroleum Inc. and also ordered that any and all transactions pertaining to the the account, especially deposits, withdrawals and checks, be stayed except deposits and withdrawals approved by the court and accompanied by a letter signed by the court; Brousia is claiming that without his knowledge the court instructed Carron to have access to the account, which subsequently led to the withdrawal of the money out of the disputed Ducor Petroleum Inc account.
The document prompting the withdrawal and investigation, dated July 22, 2013, is said to have been written by Carron and endorsed by the court. The letter said, “The stay order contained in the July 15, 2013 letter is adversely affecting ongoing operations of the Ducor Petroleum Inc. and it is a growing concern because the subject account at the LBDI is the principal account of the Ducor Petroleum Inc, established by all shareholders and is therefore not a subject of any dispute.”
The letter further claims that since the suspension of Brosius as General Manager and the appointment of the new management team headed by Carron, the subject bank account has therefore been used by the new management team to continue the business and normal operation of Ducor Petroleum openly and transparently, including funding the supply of petroleum products to customers and receiving checks in payment of products supplied on an ongoing basis.
“Unfortunately, the imposition and continuation of the stay order cannot permit any of the transactions required to continue the operation of the Ducor Petroleum Inc, because it effectively prevents deposit checks and withdrawal of money deposited into my Ducor Petroleum Account, prior to the July 15, 2013 letter, which is not the subject of dispute,” said Charles Carron in his letter.
“Therefore, we request that the court kindly modify the July 15, 2013 communication and give due consideration to this request in order to return the operation of the account at least to its status quo immediately prior to the July 15, 2013 letter.” This is the communication that is currently being investigated to establish who wrote and how did the bank release the money and under whose authorization.
Source: Daily Observer