LIBERIA: Coronavirus Claims At Senate Stalls Singbeh’s Arrest in U.S.$5 Million Case

Nanborlor Singbeh, Secretary of the Senate

The arrest of Senate Secretary Nanborlor Singbeh turned dramatic on Tuesday, June 18 when he (Singbeh) informed his families that he is under self-quarantine and therefore cannot turn himself over to the court as demanded by Criminal Court ‘C’ Judge, Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay. For his excuse of being self-quarantined, court officers who had gone to arrest him could not carry on the arrest.

Further to the communication to Judge Gbeisay, the officers claimed that by early Tuesday morning, they went to the home of Singbeh to arrest him as they were directed by Judge Gbeisay.

They also alleged that upon arrival at the house, they began to knock on the gate to ascertain whether Singbeh was there, but later, a lady claiming to be a wife of Singbeh heard the sound on the gate and came outside, questioning them about their purpose there.

It was when they claimed that the lady informed them that she is the wife of Singbeh and that Singbeh had told them (family members) that he has quarantined himself because of the news that the Assistant Senate Secretary, Genevieve Massaquoi is being pronounced positive of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

When the Daily Observer on Wednesday, June 17 via mobile phone contacted top officials of the COVID-19 Incident Management System, they claimed that they did not have knowledge about anyone to include Singbeh under quarantine.

Dr. Francis N. Kateh, Chief Medical Officer of Liberia said, “I heard about coronavirus outbreak at the Senate, but I do not have any knowledge as to who is quarantined there.” He added, “Go and talk to Dr. Masoka Fallah, Director-General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL).”

Also, when Dr. Fallah was contacted, he referred our reporter to Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, Minister of Health.

Again, when Dr. Jallah was contacted, she said, “Go to the Senate and they will tell you what is happening there. Anyway, I will try to get information from the Senate before I speak on the matter.”

Meanwhile, the Senate on Wednesday, June 17, shut down for two weeks after one of its top officials, Assistant Senate Secretary Janneve Massaquoi was reported having tested positive of the coronavirus.

Singbeh, together with Afriland First Bank, Ecobank-Liberia and several individuals was indicted on June 2, 2020, by the Grand Jury of Montserrado County stationed at another court, the Criminal Court ‘A,’ of duping two Czech Republic brothers, Pavel and Martin Miloschewsky, who had transferred US$5,062,419.10 in both cash and equipment to the country through Singbeh for the establishment of MHM Eko-Liberia, a rock crushing company.

The Miloschewskys claimed to have transferred US$2,495,103 through Ecobank-Liberia, and US$102,000 to Afriland First Bank, but the company was never established and the equipment was also sold by Singbeh and his co-defendants.

Their indictment grew from an investigative report conducted by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) through the Attorney-In-Fact of two Czech Republic brothers, Pavel and Martin Miloschewsky, Hans Armstrong, a British national.

Meanwhile, co-defendant A. Sherman Longan was on Thursday, June 18 arrested by officers of the court, but, he was later released by Judge Gbeisay after securing his criminal appearance bond.

Other defendants yet to be arrested include George W. Wisner, former Executive Director/ Acting Chairman of the National Investment Commission (NIC); Othello Z.B. Karr, Incentive Officer at the NIC; Ousman Fofana, General Manager of Standard Logistics; Barry F. Tequah; Gloria Cain; Sylvester Siapiah; Patrick Saah Siaphe; and Mulbah Kennedy.

Others also include; Karel Socher, Peter Pesek, Ales Sranmek; all of whom are Czech nationals.

However, co-defendant Wisner posted on his Facebook page that “I have held very cordial discussion with the Solicitor General, Cllr. Saymah Syrenius Cephus, who apologized for the indictment against me and the inconvenience it has done to my reputation.”

“He also expressed his innocence about the scheme. I have been assured that a withdrawal will be done publicly and the appropriate clarifications will be made,” Wisner said.

When Wisner was contacted about the authenticity of his Facebook post, he responded: “Yes, I wrote the post.”

But a communication dated June 12, 2020, and addressed to Criminal Court ‘C’ and signed by Cllr. Nyenati Tuan, Acting Minister of Justice and Attorney General said: “We present our compliments and write to inform you that by directives of Cllr. Frank Musa Dean, Jr., Minister/Attorney General of Liberia, that he (Cllr. Dean), Counselors Saymah Syrenius Cephus, Solicitor General of Liberia, and Edwin K. Martins, Montserrado County Attorney are recused from the above mention case: Republic of Liberia (Plaintiff); Crimes Economic Sabotage, Theft of Property, Criminal Conspiracy and Criminal Facilitation Vs. J. Nanborloh F. Singbeh. (Defendants), which is now pending before the Honorable Court, their recusal is predicated upon the fact that these individuals represented the private prosecutors in private practice.”

It concludes, “Please note that representation of the case for the Government of Liberia will be made by Cllr. Wesseh A. Wesseh, Assistant Minister for Litigation, Ministry of Justice (MoJ), and Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe, a retained lawyer of the private prosecutor who was given a letter patent by the Ministry of Justice for the trial of the case and other prosecuting Attorneys of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).”

This communication, therefore, sets the impression that both Minister Dean and Solicitor General Cephus may have no dealing with the case and that Wisner’s hope of being out of the indictment is yet a dream.

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