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Court orders family to keep terms of lease agreement

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Civil Law Court “B” Judge Scheaplor R. Dunbar orders heirs and administrators of the late Alhaji Mohammed Fofana’s property to keep the terms of a 1998 amendment to a lease agreement and put the property in the full possession of petitioner Foleboli K. Komara.

In his ruling dated 4 June, Judge Dunbar says the 1998 amendment was validly executed by Mr. Komara and the late Alhaji Mohammed Fofana on July 15, 1998, adding that it is enforceable and binding on the hairs and administrators of the deceased.

But lawyers representing the administrators of the late Mr. Fofana’s property have taken an exception to the Judge’s ruling and announced an appeal to the Supreme Court of Liberia in its October Term.

According to the court document, the property in question is located around the Fish Market community in Sinkor, suburb of Monrovia.

In a petition for declaratory judgement filed by Mr. Komara’s counsels, they complained to the Court that on 15 July 1998, he and the late Fofana executed an amendment to a 1997 Main Lease Agreement in which they extended the agreement by an additional 10 years.

The main lease expired in June 2017, according to the complainant.
However he says upon the expiration of the main lease agreement in 2017, the administrators of the late Fofana entered the property and took possession of it on grounds that there was no amendment to the lease agreement.

According to Court document, the respondents (administrators) argued in their returns that the amendment cited by Mr. Komara was fraudulent because the late Fofana died on 10 July 1998, opposed to Mr. Komara’s claim of executing an amendment with the deceased on 15 July 1998.
To prove their allegations, the administrators of the property proffered a death certificate from the Catholic Hospital dated July 10, 1998.

But at the conclusion of the production of their evidence, the Court says the complainant produced a rebuttal witness in person of one Mr. David G. Harris.

According to the Court, witness Harris testified that based on the complainant’s request, he conducted a research on a school established by the late Fofana, named A.M. Fofana Islamic and English High School.

Judge Dunbar continues that Mr. Harris testified that he found from the school’s Facebook page that the late Fofana died on 31 July 1998 at the hour of 2:45AM at the age of 70.

The Judge notes that it did not admit the copy of [the Facebook information] into evidence because it had not been pleaded. However, the Judge indicates that the court took judicial notice of it.

Additionally, the Court reveals that it also checked the Facebook page to satisfy its curiosity, and it confirmed that the late Fofana died on 31 July 1998 and not on 10 July 1998 as contended by the respondents.

Based on the information received from the school’s Facebook page, the Judge ruled that he is satisfied that the late Fofana did execute the amendment on 15 July 1998.

He therefore orders the administrators of the property to put the petitioner in full possession of the property in keeping with the terms of the 1998 amendment, and that the cost of the proceedings is ruled against the administrators. By Winston W. Parley

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