The Monrovia Magisterial Court has rejected lawyers’ request to return an impounded vehicle belonging to opposition Montserrado County Representative YekehKolubah, saying it finds no law to allow it turn over to the adverse party, an instrument that a party relied on as evidence in a criminal proceeding.
Police impounded Mr. Kolubah’s vehicle while dispersing a mass protest staged by the Council of Patriots (COP) on 6 January this year, alleging that they found several weapons including a 9-Millimeter black pistol in two of the vehicles belonging to the lawmaker who restlessly criticizes President George Manneh Weah.
Though Kolubah says he has officially resigned from the COP, the lawmaker still battles accusations that the State levied against him when he played active roles in the pressure group’s organization and leading of mass protests against the regime of President Weah to demand reforms.
In a separate case filed by the government following two mass protests, Kolubah was acquitted of a kidnapping charge on 6 May this year due to prosecutors’ failure to link him to his off – duty bodyguards’ action of kidnapping and beating one Emmanuel Freeman for stealing one Mohammed S. Kaba’s phone.
Solicitor General SyreniusCephas said prosecution could not appeal against the ruling on kidnapping charge after a full trial, but it already had an appeal before the Supreme Court against the judge’s initial decision dropping multiple charges of aggravated assault, criminal attempt to commit murder, criminal solicitation and criminal facilitation against Rep. Kolubah.
In aforementioned case, the Criminal Court “A” did not agree with the prosecution that Kolubah’s bodyguards acted on his instruction to kidnap and brutalize Emmanuel Freeman for refusing a T – Shirt printed to protest against President Weah’s regime on June 7, 2019.
However, COP’s second mass protest staged 6 January this year has brought up another case of alleged weapon discovery in Kolubah’s vehicle for which Alexander Sampson, Emmanuel Johnson and Willie D. Flomo were charged with riot, failure to disperse, recklessly endangering another person, disorderly conduct and possession and sale of physical object for lethal use.
In a motion filed before the Monrovia City Court, one of the defendants, Alexander Sampson informed the court that he is an Attorney – In – Fact of Mr. YekehKolubah who is the owner of the vehicle impounded at the Liberia National Police.
Defendant Sampson claimed that the vehicle in question was illegally seized by the government, saying he sees no reasons why it cannot be returned to the owner since it allegedly had nothing to do with the case before the court. In response to Sampson’s motion, the prosecution pleaded with the court to dismiss the motion because the vehicle which the defendant wants the court to return is the evidence that the prosecution relied on to produce during the course of the trial.
Ruling on the issues contained in the motion and prosecution’s resistance, Monrovia City Court Stipendiary Magistrate JomahJallah rejected the defendant’s request, saying the court has found no law to allow it to turn over an instrument of which a party relied on as evidence.
He denied the motion and ordered the trial of the case to proceed, saying the motion is not supported by practice and law here.
By Winston W. Parley