5 February 2019

Liberia: VP Taylor Faces U.s.$1.2Million Lawsuit

-As Court Orders Her To Appear

Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor has been summoned by the sixth judicial circuit civil law court, Montserrado County.

Judge Yussif Kaba issuance of the writ of summon against Vice President Taylor is based upon a US$1.2 million lawsuit filed with the Civil Law Court by some suspended officials of the Liberia Marketing Association LMA) against Madam Taylor.

The Court writ of summon further mandates Madam Taylor to file her answer to the complaints lawsuit on or before February 15, 2019; failure to appear, a judgment by default will be rendered against her.

The suspended LMA executives in their lawsuit pleaded with the court to grant and award damages to defendant (Taylor) in the amount of US$1,000,000.00 in general damages to be decided by the trial jury, and US$45,905.00.60 in special damages, and US$250,000.00 in punitive damages for the wrongful action defendant Taylor amounting to the total of US$1.2 million.

Accordingly, complainants Alice Yeebahn, Abraham Barchue, Larwou Hiama, want the court grant unto the plaintiffs all other and further reliefs as in this case will be deemed just and legal as justice demands and the cost of these proceedings ruled against the defendant.

The petitioners in their complain explained that since the elections of madam Alice Yeebahn and other officers of the LMA, and the appointment of various committees working within the structure of the Association throughout the country, the LMA board has not received any complaint/s against the leadership and its corps of officers for maladministration, mismanagement of organization funds, abuse of power of the organization to warrant the forceful removal of the president by armed men at this time under the directive of Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor.

"The defendant without taking into account the due process of law executed the action against the president and other executives of the LMA merely to humiliate the person of madam Yeebahn which is contrary to law as practiced in this jurisdiction and hence, this action of damages for wrong will lie against the defendant the executive action and decision of defendants, and this court is asked to further declare the action/conduct of defendants illegal, void, usurping and contrary to the laws of the Republic."

The complainants contended that their suspension by Madam Howard-Taylor was totally illegal and unlawful, wrongful and in violation of the petitioners' due process rights as contained in chapter III, Article 20 of the Liberian constitution and the constitution and by-laws of the LMA.

They further claimed that the vice president's action has seriously and continued to seriously injure and affect the official functions of the plaintiffs (suspended LMA Executives) and has personally affected the plaintiffs as individuals in their daily routine of life thereby causing emotional distress, pain and sufferings among other things.

This entire legal battle started when Madam Taylor suspended the President and other executives of the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA) and appointed a new leadership to act while she conducts an audit of the suspended leadership who was accused of corruption and other malpractices at the Association.

Following the suspension, madam Taylor failed to conduct the audit as claimed; the matter was then taken to the Civil Law Court to review the vice president's decision since they believe that Madam Taylor's action was illegal, un-statutory, and unconstitutional, and wrongful.

When the matter was argued, the judge ruled against vice President Howard-Taylor revising her decision by ordering the suspended LMA officials to resumed their official duties at the Association.

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