22 July 2014

Liberia: Five Million Lawsuit Entangles Min. Konneh

The Ministry of Justice has ordered Liberia's Finance Minister Amara Konneh to appear in court along with all original documents relating to the ongoing trial of a lawsuit filed against the Ministry of Finance.

Minister Konneh is expected to appear today, July 23.

The decision to order defendant Konneh to appear in open court was reached minutes after lawyer representing former Audit Director for Large Taxpayer Division, plaintiff Eric Nagbe, made a submission to which presiding Judge Emery Payeof the trial court (Civil Law Court) granted said submission.

Mr. Nagbe's lawyer, Atty. Arthur Johnson, informed the court and the jurors that original documents which include clearance from the Liberia Anti-corruption Commission (LACC) to Minister Konneh informing him that Mr. Nagbe was cleared of any bribery allegation brought against him by Minister Konneh, another clearance issued by the investigators of the Ministry of Finance's Internal Affairs Investigation Unit to Minister Konneh that Mr. Nagbe is not guilty of the allegation of bribery, among other documents.

Serving as Audit Director for Large Taxpayer Division at the Ministry of Finance in 2009, Mr. Nagbe was accused by Minister Konneh of receiving bribe in the tone of US$30,000 from some businesses Mr. Nagbe and two of his colleagues audited, but Mr. Nagbe has since denied said allegation.

At the call of the case yesterday, July 22, 2014, Mr. Nagbe took the witness stand and informed the court and the jurors that during his service as Director of Audit for the Large Taxpayer Division, he and his staff generated US$18million for the Liberian Government.

He also testified that he was able to prevent operative loses in the tone of US$24 million for the Ministry of Finance, adding that at the end of the day, Minister Konneh kicked him out through an accusation of receiving US$30,000 bribe.

Minister Konneh has been dragged to the Civil Law Court at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia by his former financial expert Mr. Eric Nagbe claiming that the country's Finance Minister has damaged his (Nagbe's) professional career by accusing him of receiving bribe in the tone of US$30,000 among other charges levied against the Minister by Mr. Nagbe.

The former employee of the Finance Ministry is demanding in his lawsuit filed against the Minister US$5million for damages he sustained as a result of the allegation. The hearing of the trial continues today, July 23, 2014 at the hour of 10 am as presiding Judge Emery Paye urged both lawyers in the case to be on time as July 22, 2014 minutes will serve as notice of assignment.

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