ECOWAS Court to Decide on Nigerian Money
The Justice Ministry in Monrovia has disclosed that final ruling in the money laundering case involving a Nigerian Valentine Ayika and the Government of Liberia will be handed down on June 8, 2012 at 10 am at the Community Court of Justice of ECOWAS in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Cllr. Christiana Tah, Liberia's Justice Minister
In 2009, Mr. Ayika entered Liberia with US$500,000 plastered all over his body at the RIA, but was arrested by Liberian security and the government confiscated the money.
Former Liberian Justice Minister Philip Banks said the government used the money for national security purposes, but Mr. Ayika is demanding that the money be returned thus prompting the legal battle, which intensified after he was elected to the Nigerian Parliament.
A Justice Ministry release issued under the signature of Mrs. Maude M. Somah, Director of Press and Public Affairs, says the case was assigned for hearing on April 25, 2012 with the Government of Liberia legal team headed by Solicitor General Cllr. Micah Wilkins Wright representing the country, while Mr. Ayika, currently a member of the Nigerian Parliament, was represented by his lawyer.
At the call of the case on April 25, 2012 Mr. Ayika’s lawyer reportedly waived the production of support of claims, and pleaded with the court to rely on the pleadings previously filed and submitted to the court.
Other lawyers on the Liberian government legal team to Abuja include Cllr. Emmanuel B. James and Cllr. Rosemarie B. James, who were accompanied by three officers of the Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA), Mr. Robertson J. Worlo, Alfred M. Korleh, Mr. Ballah Jusu Kamara, and Mrs. Susana T. Blackie, Commander of the Roberts International Airport Police in Margibi County.
The release says with the testimonies of these four witnesses government rested oral evidence in addition to documents earlier attached to the pleadings submitted to the court.
The court then ordered both parties to prepare and submit to the chief registrar of the court their respective final addresses, in the form of legal briefs, not later than May 23 2012 to enable judges deliver final ruling on June 8.