Indicted Montserrado County District #4 representative candidate Cecelia Siawan Teah who faces prosecution for misapplying US$72,500, has informed Criminal Court “C” that she is changing her counsel Atty. Joseph S. Doe for his lack of interest in her case and demand for US$5,000 down payment for legal representation.
Teah stands trial for theft of property and misapplication of entrusted property. “I have decided to change Attorney Joseph S. Doe of the Foundation Law Services, Inc. because he is not legally expressing interest in my case and further, he is demanding Five Thousand United States Dollars (US$5,000.00) down payment for legal representation in the below captioned case,” she wrote the Court on Tuesday, 19 September.
She is alleged to have committed theft of property which is a felony of the second degree, between November 2016 and March 2017 while serving as fiduciary or trustee for Gbola Oladele.
In a communication addressed to presiding Judge Yussif D. Kaba, indicted candidate Teah requests for time to look for a new lawyer. Her counsels had earlier requested the Court on 11 September to defer the case to enable them get familiar with the matter, and further indicated that she is a candidate for Montserrado County [representative election] and is canvassing in the county.
According to the indictment drawn this year, defendant Teah allegedly encouraged Gbola Oladele and was appointed representative of a group called Basilia Resource Group with authorization to an account for the group at the United Bank for Africa (UBA).
Following her alleged appointment, the indictment claims that various amounts of money were transferred into the account, to include US$32,000 and US$46,000, totaling US$78,000.
While serving in the capacity as representative of the Basilia Resource Group Corporation, the indictment claims defendant Teah “stole, took, and carried away US$44,000.00” from the company’s account.
According to the indictment, besides the amounts earlier stated, Sunday A. Popoola also delivered to defendant Teah US$25,000 and US$3,500 to purchase materials. But it alleges that without the will and consent of Oladele, defendant Teah misapplied the funds entrusted into her care. “That, the total amount of cash misapplied by the defendant Mrs. Cecelia Siawan Teah is US$72,500.00, thereby depriving private prosecutor Gbola Oladele of the use of his properties while Mrs. Cecelia Siawan Teah was serving in the capacity as fiduciary,” the indictment alleges.
Earlier after the Court had noted defendant Teah’s announcement on 11 September that she is a candidate in the pending election and needed time for participation, prosecution contended that the excuse by the defense was no legal basis for the granting of continuance in a case.
For the trial of the case, prosecution says it has witnesses from Nigeria and the USA, thus informing the Court that it would be frustrating if it grants the defense’s request for continuance.
The State however asked the Court to reassign the case within the shortest possible time to enable the new counsels to study their client’s case. The case has been assigned for Wednesday, 20 September at 2:30pm.