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GeneralLiberia news

Boakai and UP officials risk arrest

–As court demands a US$20,000 rent payment

By Lincoln G. Peters 

The Civil Law Court in Monrovia has ordered opposition leader Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai and his Unity Party (UP) officials to pay their party office’s rent of US$20,000, or be arrested.

Judge Kennedy Peabody has set a deadline of 3 July 2023 for the UP to make the payment in favor of Worjoloh McClain Enterprise Inc.

On 16 August 2022, the court ordered the Unity Party to pay half of the US$20,000 on or before 31 October 2022. 

The remaining 50% was to be paid on or before 15 December 2022. 

Judge Peabody said failure to comply with the court’s ruling, the Sheriff will be ordered to arrest the living bodies of Unity Party Standard Bearer Amb. Boakai, along with his officials.

The arrest would cover the party’s Chairman, Co-Chair, Secretary General, Legal Counsel, and Chair of the Steering Committee.

On 23 February 2021, McClain filed a summary proceeding against the Unity Party Chairman and all those in authority to recover possession of the real property.

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On 23 November 2021, the court held the Unity Party liable and ordered the Sheriff to evict the former ruling party.

Additionally, the Unity Party was ordered to pay arrears of US$180,000 and an additional US$20,000 for wrongfully withholding the property. 

The McClains were then placed in possession of the property, and the key was turned over to them.

The McClain Enterprise then requested a Writ of Execution for the payment of US$20,000.

However, on 14 June 2022, the Unity Party filed a response for a payment stipulation. Judge Nancy Finda Sammy heard the petition and ordered the Unity Party to pay 25% of the amount within a week as of 16 August 2022.

But the Unity Party failed to comply with the mandate.

Judge Sammy made a second ruling on 19 October 2022 mandating the UP to pay half of the total arrears owed to McClain on or before 31 October 2022.

The remaining amount was to be paid on or before 15 December 2022, or else a writ of execution would have been issued.

Once again, the Unity Party failed to honor the court’s mandate. As a result, McClain filed a Bill of Information on 3 May 2023, informing the court about the Unity Party’s refusal to comply. 

19 On May 2023, a ruling was made stating that all UP officials would be held in contempt if the party failed to pay.

However, on 8 June the Unity Party applied a payment stipulation, informing the court that it had paid US$50,000, which represented 25% of the total amount, contrary to the judge’s mandate. They requested to pay the balance in four equal installments.

The court noted that since its 23 November 2022, judgment and the filing of the Bill of Information, there had been no evidence of the UP making efforts to pay the required 50% by 31 October 2022. 

The court concluded that it would be left with no alternative but to enforce the 23 November 2021 judgment.

In his ruling, Judge Peabody emphasized that the court had previously ordered the Unity Party to pay the full judgment by 10 June 10 or the party would be held in contempt. 

He said the ruling of 16 May 2023 is still in effect due to the UP’s repeated failure to meet its stipulations. 

The court has denied the UP’s requested stipulation.

“The Respondent Unity Party is hereby given up to and including the 3rd of July 2023, the same day being Monday, to satisfy the full judgment amount,” the court ruled. 

“Failure to comply with this ruling, the sheriff of the court is ordered to arrest the living bodies of the standard bearer of the Unity Party, the chairman of the Unity Party, and the Secretary General of the Unity Party…,” he said further.

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