11 August 2017

Liberia: Presidential Candidate Ordered Arrested

One of the twenty presidential candidates in October's polls is facing legal dragnet as he is being ordered arrested by the City Court of Monrovia, this paper gathered from court document obtained.

Dr. Jeremiah Z. Whapoe, standard-bearer of the Vision for Liberia Transformation Party (VOLT) is charged with "theft of property by deception" according to a writ of arrest of August 2, 2017 under the signature of clerk/assistant clerk of court Pewee M. Zayzay.

Captain Julius B. Swen, Magistrate Police or his deputy has been commanded by the Court to execute the arrest of the living body of Dr. Whapoe, to be identified.

"You are hereby commanded to arrest the living body of Jeremiah Z. Whapoe to be identified defendant and forthwith bring him before the Monrovia City Court, Temple of Justice Building, Montserrado County to answer the charge of theft of property (by deception)," it is noted in the writ.

The decision to order the presidential candidate arrested emanates from a complaint filed against him by one Abraham F. Yarmai, Sr. It is noted in the writ that since May 12, 2017, the defendant (Dr. Whapoe), then with the intent to deceive the private prosecutor, by trick and deception received from Complainant 90 bags of seed rice valued at US$1,800.00, which he has failed and refused to pay him his just earned money.

"The alleged act of the defendant being unlawful, wicked, illegal and intentional is in violation of Section 15.51 of the New Panel Law of Liberia," the writ stated.

Initially, Complainant Yarmai channeled his complaint through Mr. Augustine Fayiah, Assistant Minister for Litigation at the Ministry of Justice on July 17, 2017 based on a commitment note he (Whapoe) signed on the 12th of May 2017 to pay his debt in the amount of US$1,800.00 to cover the cost of 90 bags of seed rice.

Mr. Yarmai told the court that the seed rice was his source of income, and added "this has posed serious economic crisis in his family." According to the commitment note signed by Dr. Whapoe, Mr. Yarmai was instructed to provide 90 bags of seed rice to his party structure in Gbarpolu County to be used as support to farmer groups in the three districts during this farming season as a supportive business partner of VOLT.

"I the undersigned Dr. Jeremiah Z. Whapoe on behalf of the Vision for Liberia Transformation Party (VOLT) at Saye Town, 3rd Street in Sinkor, Monrovia, have instructed Abraham F. Yarmai, Sr. as a supportive business partner of VOLT, to provide 90 bags of seed rice to the party structure of Gbarpolu County to be used as support to farmer groups in the three districts of the county during this farming season," he said in the commitment note. Dr. Whapoe noted in the commitment note was legal instrument done in the presence of all parties including his party executives with their genuine consent to the transaction.

As indicated in the commitment note, he promised to settle the payment of the seed rice in the tone of US$1,800.00 within three weeks upon the signing date of the instrument (IOU note).

"Anyone guilty of violation of the "I Owed You" (IOU) commitment shall be subject to legal action according to the laws of the Republic of Liberia regarding misapplication and failure to live up to the agreement," he committed.

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