The Criminal Court “C” in Monrovia has subpoenaed another former House Speaker, this time Mr. Emmanuel Nuquaye to appear and testify in the ongoing trial of former Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) officials indicted for alleged theft and economic sabotage of billions of Liberian Dollars.
In the writ of subpoena issued Monday, 13 July, Mr. Nuquaye, a 2017 vice presidential candidate on the ticket of the former ruling Unity Party (UP), is ordered to testify as to whether the House of Representatives ever passed a resolution regarding the printing of LD$10 billion in 2017 to replace the legacy banknotes in circulation.
“You are hereby commanded to subpoena Hon. Emmanuel J. Nuquaye to appear before the first judicial circuit, Criminal Assizes “C” for Montserrado County … on Tuesday, the 14th of July A.D. 2020, at the precise hour of 9: AM,” the writ of subpoena reads in part.
Mr. Nuquaye’s subpoena comes nearly a week after his predecessor, former House Speaker Atty. J. Alex Tyler, Senate Secretary Nanborlor F. Singbeh and several other officials were subpoenaed last week to testify in the case on prosecution’s request.
On the stand last Thursday, 9 July, Senate Secretary and prosecution’s first subpoena witness Mr. Nanborlor F. Singbeh was asked whether there was joint resolution passed by both houses in respect of the replacement of the Liberian Dollars legacy notes, and he replied: “To my knowledge, there was no Resolution …”
He said all resolutions when signed by members of the Senate, obtaining the number required by the Constitution, he signs as Secretary of the Senate.
Earlier last week, Tyler was also subpoenaed following the testimony by second State witness Amos T. Goba, Analyst in the Department of Analysis, Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU, who had alleged that investigators interviewed and took statements from former House Speaker Tyler and others.
According to him, the investigation established that L$13,004,750,000.00 was printed and shipped, while the bank claimed that only L$10,359,750,000.00 was printed and shipped, giving a variance of L$2,645,000,000.00.
He stated that the investigation found communications from the Houses of Representatives and Senate and from former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf addressed to former CBL Executive Governor Milton A. Weeks.
Further, witness Goba explained that the investigation found a Board Resolution signed by the Board of Governors; a contract; shipping document relating to the shipment to include packing list, bill of living and airway bill.
Former CBL Executive Governor Milton A. Weeks and David Fahart, Elsie Dossen Bardio and Kollie Tamba are standing trial for multiple charges including theft and economic sabotage of billions of Liberian dollars printed and shipped to Liberia, following a series of mass protests that prompted local and international investigation into claims that the money went missing.
The fifth defendant Melisa A. Emeh is said to be out of the bailiwick of Liberia and has not been brought to court, therefore the court has granted prosecution’s request to grant her a separate trial so as to enable the four other defendants that are available to get speedy trial.
All the defendants on trial have pleaded not guilty for charges of theft of property; economic sabotage; fraud on the internal revenue of Liberia; misuse of public money, property or record; theft or illegal disbursement of public money; criminal conspiracy and criminal facilitation.
This third indictment in the case did not include former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf’s son Charles E. Sirleaf who served as Deputy CBL Governor for Operations when the financial scandal emerged at the bank, because he was nolleprosequi with prejudice in May this year.
Besides Mr. Sirleaf, the prosecution here also entered a nolleprosequi (dropped charges) in favor of defendants Richard H. Walker, Dorbor M. Hagba and Joseph Dennis.
The government here indicted the officials in 2019 for their alleged roles in the misapplication of billions of Liberian Dollars printed and shipped to Liberia to replace old local currency after a series of mass protests led local and international institutions to investigate a claim that the money had gone missing.
The indictment alleges that the defendants conspired to willfully conceal the actual amount in circulation for the purpose of committing theft, depriving the Government of Liberia of its resources.
By Winston W. Parley -Edited By Othello B. Garblah