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GeneralLiberia news

Prosecutor accused of abusing power

By Lincoln G. Peters

A young Liberian Mr. Theo Joseph, Jr., has threatened a lawsuit against Montserrado County Attorney Cllr. Alhaji Swahilo Sesay for alleged harassment, unethical conduct, detestation, intimation, and gross abuse of power.

Addressing a press conference on Monday, 19 February 2024 in Monrovia, Mr. Joseph alleged that Cllr. Sesay instructed the state security assigned to him to subject him to an agreement that has no legal standing.

Joseph explained that he was cited for a conference based on a writ on summons from Cllr. Sesay.

According to Joseph, the writ was due to a complaint filed by his landlady of the Morris Kaliva Estate in Paynesville.

During the conference, Joseph alleged that he was told to sign a document indicating that he had agreed to his landlady’s property.

But he said he had a qualm signing that document because it did not have a letterhead. He also argued that it did not capture anything about her restoring his electricity and water supply that was cut off.

“However, I refused to sign and because of that, I was unlawfully detained, and placed under arrest in the County Swahilo Sesay’s office under his instruction,” Joseph alleged.

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Under the alleged instruction of Cllr. Sesay, Joseph claimed that he was prevented from leaving if he did not sign a document that would commit him to leave the property.

He termed the alleged action as an abuse of power, intimidation, harassment, assault gross misconduct, and abuse of his fundamental rights.

Joseph vowed to take legal action against the County Attorney to account for his action, adding that he is doing so to mitigate future occurrences.

“I could make a call with few friends, and they talk to him and we go home, but the issue is I want this to stop,” said Joseph. 

When contacted, Cllr. Sesay decided not to speak on the record. However, he denied the allegation and described Mr. Theo Joseph as a very rude individual who thinks he can misbehave because he is from the United States.

“It’s true that he came to my office. I told him to sign a document committing to us as to when he will leave the lady’s premises. He did so and said on February 28,” Cllr. Sesay explained. 

“But before he could do that, it was not an easy fight. I at no point in time instructed the security assigned [to] me to detain, arrest, and abuse him. I have the power to detain, arrest, and prosecute but in this case, I did not do so,” he noted.

On 11 August 2023, the Supreme Court of Liberia suspended Cllr. Sesay from the practice of law directly and indirectly within the bailiwick of Liberia for the period of one month with immediate effect.

The high court cited his complacency exhibited in the face of the lawless conduct of his clients, which led to the interference and obstruction of the enforcement of the Supreme Court’s mandate. The court noted that such action would not have gone unpunished.

Associate Justice Yarmie Quiqui Gbeisay said coupled with prior warning to him for unethical behavior, “Cllr. Sesay is hereby suspended from the practice of law for the period of one month with immediate effect.”

The decision of the high court was based on a property case in 2019 in which Sesay represented Iman Isamal Sesay and a lady to be identified and other persons occupying a property in the City of Paynesville.

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