Grand Kru County Senator, Albert T. Chie, accused of siphoning funds from the National Oil Company of Liberia or NOCAL, while serving as an official there has replaced his bond days after Government lawyers threatens to re-arrest him and five others for filing insufficient bond at the Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice.
Chie withdrew his contested original bond and replaced same in the amount of US$125,000 this time with the Omega Insurance Company as surety on Thursday.
Senator Chie and several co-indictees who were board members and senior officials of the NOCAL, along with a 52nd Legislative member Alomiza Innos-Bar and Legislative staff Mr. J. Nanborlor Sengbeh, Sr. are indicted for “willfully defrauding the government of US$120,400 between May 2006 and May 2007.”
The rest of the NOCAL officials indicted by the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf administration include former NOCAL Board Chairman Clemencea Urey Sr; former NOCAL President Dr. Fodee Kromah; former Education Minister D. Evelyn Kandakai; Cllr. Stephen B. Dumbar, Jr.; Peter B. Jallah Jr; former comptroller Fulton Reeves; and former Senior Accountant Timothy G. Wiaplah.
Filling the new bond of US$125,000 on Thursday, March 5, 2015 with the Omega Insurance Company as surety, Mr. Chie pleaded with the court, through his counsels, to permit him to withdraw his original bond in which the Sky International Insurance Corporations stood as surety.
His first bond with Sky International Insurance Corporation came under immense resistance from prosecutors, with the argument that it was insufficient and grossly inadequate, as the state lawyers claimed that the corporation’s bank balance in the month of January 2013 was LD$3, 019320.57 and expressed fear that it did not also indicate the corporation’s financial standing as at February 25, 2015.
“Wherefore, and in view of the foregoing, Movant prays for his Motion to be granted and he be permitted to have his original Criminal Appearance Bond withdrawn and replaced with a new Criminal Appearance Bond,” Senator Chie’s counsels pleaded with the court.
The state lawyers had also filed instruments with the Court “C” on March 2, 2015 to challenge co-defendant Nanborlor Sengbeh’s bail bond in which the Family Dollar Universal Insurance Service Incorporated stands as surety.
The prosecutors are claiming that there was no statement of account attached as evidence of the capacity of the Family Dollar Universal Insurance Service’s ability to underwrite its obligation under the said bail bond.
“… And assuming for the sake of argument that the reinsurance was applicable, the maximum amount of the reinsurance is ‘US$525,000 or equivalent any one risk/contractor’ which also [is] insufficient,” the state lawyers insisted.
The counsels informed the court in challenge to defendant Sengbeh’s surety that the Family Dollar Universal Service had filed numerous bail bonds to secure the release of many party defendants amounting to US$1,387,560.00 plus L$2,684,300.00, which cases are still pending before other courts here.
In a related development, former Education Minister Dr. D. Evelyn S. Kandakai and defeated Grand Cape Mount County Senatorial candidate Dr. Fodee Kromah have jointly filed a motion to justify their bond in which the Sky International Insurance Corporation, denying all counts contained in the prosecutors’ resistance to their bond.
The two defendants argued that the prosecutors had three days after receipt of defendants’ notice of filling their bond to challenge the sufficiency of the bond.
“That Plaintiff/Respondents herein served its written notice of exceptions on Movants on Monday, March 2, 2015, five (5) days after the filling and service of said Criminal Appearance Bonds in violation of Section 63.5 (1) of the Civil Procedure Law,” the defendants argued.
By Winston W. Parley