Liberia: Magistrate Cooper to Face Probe for Jailing Nephew Over Family Property

Just days after Albert C. Moore was released from the Monrovia Central Prison by his uncle James Budu Cooper, Stipendiary Magistrate of the Gardnerville Magisterial Court, over an allegation that he (Moore) has refused to allow Magistrate Cooper to take over their family's house, the victim, Moore, has now filed a complaint before Judge Ceaineh Clinton Johnson of Criminal Court 'B' at the Temple of Justice.

Moore was allegedly jailed based on an order by Magistrate Cooper, his uncle, immediately after he (Moore) could not secure a criminal appearance bond as was requested by Magistrate Cooper.

Moore, according to a resolution allegedly signed between Magistrate Cooper and him, was released after he had written a statement consenting to leave the family's house where he had lived for over 30 days to give way for Cooper and his family to have possession of the property.

The alleged resolution, copy of which is in the possession of the Daily Observer, states: "That the defendant has agreed to voluntarily leave the disputed property (house) on Sunday, October 11, 2020, and also agreed to provide those receipts for the US$320 given him as a refund to those occupants in the aforesaid premise."

The resolution also said, "That the two bags of cement Magistrate Cooper claims that I (Moore) allegedly spoiled will be bought or paid for on Saturday, October 10, 2020, through this court."

Albert C. Moore, whose uncle, Magistrate Cooper, had him jailed over family property matter

It concludes "That the failure to honor this instrument, this court shall have no other alternative but to have its judgment enforced in accordance."

Cooper had earlier charged his nephew, Moore, with multiple offenses that include theft by deception and criminal mischief over an accusation that he, Moore, had received money from him (Cooper) as a means of paying back the rent that some of the tenants had paid to Moore to allow him to move in the family's six-bedroom house with his family.

Unfortunately, Moore in his complaint claims that he had paid the money to the tenants, but Cooper had contested that Moore did not pay back the money to the tenants; instead, Cooper had used the money for his personal benefit.

In his complaint, dated October 9, 2020, Moore claims that on October 6 he was arrested and charged by Magistrate Cooper and was later sent to the Monrovia Central Prison on the same day.

According to the complaint, the writ of arrest was issued to him the same day upon the order of his uncle, Magistrate Cooper, and was subsequently taken to the Monrovia Central Prison.

The writ of arrest, copy of which is also with the Daily Observer, has the caption: "In the office of the Gardnersville Magisterial Court, Township of Gardnersville, Montserrado County, before His Honor Cllr. James Budu Cooper, Stipendiary Magistrate."

The complaint continues, "I was charged with theft of property by deception and criminal mischief which was false and misleading."

"Magistrate Cooper," the document said, "Told the court that he gave me US$320.00 to reimburse tenants that were living in our family house to allow them to move out of the house."

The complaint also said, "After the discussion with him, I later called a meeting with them (tenants) and told them the discussion we had and they all agreed and accepted to move."

It also said, "On August 5, 2020, I received the amount of US$300.00 to pay each tenant, the amount of US$100.00 as part payment of US$120.00 owed them (tenants)."

Moore's complaint further claims that after "I received the money from Magistrate Cooper to pay those tenants, I did [pay] them each the amount of US$100.00 and the balance of US$20.00 to be paid later and an official receipt was issued."

Author

Abednego Davis

Anthony Kokoi is a young Liberian sports writer who has an ever-growing passion for the development of the game of football (soccer) and other sports. For the past few years, he has been passionately engaged in reporting the developments of the game in the country. He is an associate member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL). He is a promoter of young talents. He also writes match reports and makes an analysis of Liberian Football.

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