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Court quashes travel ban

-Musa Bility, John B.S. Davis, other set free

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The Monrovia City Court at the Temple of Justice has quashed and dismissed a writ of Ne ExeatRepublica earlier issued against former government and business officials Musa Bility, John B.S. Davis and GloraiMenjor, which had intended restraining them from traveling out of Liberia.
Handing the ruling Wednesday, 19 February, Magistrate Jomah Jallah said there is no matter pending before the court to sustain the writ of Ne Exeat Republica.
Ne Exeat Republica is a Latin phrase for a court order banning a suspect from leaving the jurisdiction of the court or the state.

Mr. Bility, former Board Chair of the Liberia Airport Authority (LAA), Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) president John B.S. Davis and Madam Gloria Menjor were among several against whom prosecutors here have asked the court to issue the writ of ne exeatrepublica.

Along with former LAA Managing Director Ellen Corkrum, Mr. Bility, the Monrovia Diaspora Consulting, LLC, through MomarDieng, a U.S. citizen; the First International Bank (FIB, now GN Bank); and the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) were indicted in 2013 on charges of economic sabotage, criminal facilitation, conspiracy to defraud the government, and making unauthorized transfers of funds from government accounts.

But through prosecution’s request filed on 3 December 2019 to NolleProsequoi, the Criminal Court ‘C’ at the Temple of Justice dropped all charges against Ms. Corkrum on Monday, 9 December 2019 by the presiding Judge at the time, Judge Nancy F. Sammy.

The First International Bank was indicted for allegedly conspiring with co-defendants of Corkrum, Melvin Johnson & Associates, to make an unauthorized transfer of funds in the amount of US$56,750 from the account of the Liberia Airport Authority when Corkrum was the Managing Director.

During the ruling Wednesday, 19 February, Magistrate Jallah recalled that on 6 February 2020, prosecutors through the Liberia Anti – Corruption Commission petitioned the court for the issuance of the writ of Ne ExeatRepublica to be issued against Bility, Davis and Menjor.
He notes that the prosecutors requested that the defendants be prevented from leaving the bailiwick of Liberia due to investigation into allegation of economic sabotage, criminal conspiracy, theft of property and misapplication of entrusted property.

Magistrate Jallah continues that the writ as requested was issued on 13 February against the defendants, who subsequently filed their resistances through separate lawyers with contention that there is no matter pending before the court of which they (defendants) are a party.
Further, the accused informed the court that there is no ongoing investigation being conducted by the LACC involving Bility, Davis and Menjor.

In agreement with the defendants’ argument, Magistrate Jallah rules that there must be a matter pending before the court before the writ of Ne ExeatRepublica is issued, further noting that an investigation being conducted by a law enforcement institution is not a sufficient ground for Ne ExeatRepublica.

He adds that consistent with the opinion of the Supreme Court of Liberia, it is the mind of the Court that before a Writ of Ne ExeatRepublica is issued on defendant, there must be a pending matter before court.

Magistrate Jallah therefore quashed and dismissed the writ of Ne ExeatRepublica and orders the clerk to prepare the necessary precepts and forward them to the necessary institutions, informing them that the court’s decision restoring the rights of the defendants.By Winston W. Parley

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