6 December 2012

Liberia: Pastor Absconds With Chairs

Prosecutors have found that after indicting him for allegedly misapplying US$1m intended to construct the ABC International Children Aid Liberia Project, defendant Reverend Matthew T. Sakeuh has removed 114 chairs from the ABC Children Aid premises under the guise of "borrowing" them to the African Dream Academy.

But Criminal Court "C" Judge Peter W. Gbenewleh has ruled that the removal of the 114 chairs by defendant Sakeuh form ABC Children Aid Premises to an unknown destination is not supported by law, but an "attempt [by the defendant to dispose of some of the assets prior to the conclusion of the trial.

"This court says that it is legally wrong to lent 114 chairs to African Grand Academy after the indictment had been drawn and served on the defendant, charging him with misapplication of entrusted property and theft," said Judge Gbenewleh.

The judge, however, ruled that the assets of ABC Children Aid Liberia remain intact or be removed from the premises until the outcome of the criminal trial.

Judge Gbenewleh ordered the clerk of court to write the Paynesville Magisterial Court to turn over the seized assets to the sheriff at Court "C" at Temple of Justice in Monrovia for custody pending judgment.

He further directed the clerk to order the court's sheriff to proceed to the premises of the ABC Children Aid Liberia for the sole purpose of taking inventory of the assets and submit a report to the circuit court within a week. Judge Gbenewleh ordered that all parties be notified of the date and time of the inventory.

The judge's ruling came yesterday after state lawyers complained that while the trial was ongoing at the Temple of Justice, defendant Sakeuh proceeded to the disputed premises and allegedly collected desks, bunk beds and other furniture used to run the institution.

Upon receipt of the information, prosecutors secured a search warrant from the Paynesville Magisterial Court for the retrieval of the items reported to be donated by the ABC Children Aid International.

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