Liberia: Senate Secretary Singbeh's Lead Lawyer to Face 'Forgery Probe'

The reported accusations of the acceptance of a forged motion "for Change of Place of Trial" by the 8th Judicial Circuit Court in Nimba County, together with the war of words between Solicitor General Seymah Syrennious Cephus and Ellen Corkrum are issues of grave concern to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

The motion was said to have been filed before Judge Roland Dahn by Counselor Joseph P. Gibson on behalf of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), asking the court to find another county to hear the case, though Gibson, according to the ministry, is not an employee or lawyer to the ministry.

Cllr. Gibson claimed that his action was due to a complaint of unethical conduct filed against Judge Dahn, by Hans Armstrong, a British national who said Judge Dahn communicated with Senate Secretary Nanborlor Singbeh, whom he (Armstrong) brought to the court for criminal proceedings.

The ministry has also claimed that it is not aware of Gibson's motion, but it is considering to launch an investigation into the matter.

The motion filed on August 23, 2021, a copy of which is in the possession of the Daily Observer, had the signature of Cllr. Gibson alone.

The title of Gibson's motion reads, "Republic of Liberia thru the Ministry of Justice, Movant, versus Hans Armstrong of the City of Monrovia, Liberia, Respondent."

It was intended to prevent the theft of property and forgery Indictment that the MoJ in February 2020 filed against Hans Armstrong based upon a complaint by Senate Secretary Nanborlor Singbeh in the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court in Nimba County.

Gibson is one of the lawyers of the Wright and Associates Law Firm that has been representing the legal interest of Senate Secretary Nanborlor Singbeh, under whose influence the Liberia Anti-corruption Commission (LACC) US$5 million criminal charges dated May 2020 against Singbeh was recently dismissed by Criminal Court 'C'.

The dismissal of the LACC's Indictment against Singbeh, according to Judge Ousmane Feika, was due to the August 2020 Indictment against Armstrong that is pending undecided before the Nimba County Court, which Judge Feika said he could not proceed with the Singbeh's case, while there is an undecided case against Armstrong himself.

The LACC's Indictment against Singbeh was based on a complaint by Armstrong, who is the Attorney-in-Fact of two Czech Republic investors, Martin and Pavel Miloschewsky.

The Miloschewsky brothers claimed that they transferred cash and mining equipment valued US$5 million to Singbeh for the establishment of a Czech Republic owned company MHM Eko Liberia, which Singbeh allegedly misapplied.

Armstrong's role is to represent the Czech brothers in their private capacity and to file the lawsuit on their behalf as though they were present in the country.

It was the Indictment that Judge Feika dismissed due to the Singbeh's case against Armstrong that is still pending before the Nimba County Court undecided.

Interestingly, Gibson's motion was discovered when the sheriff of the 8th Judicial Circuit Court in Nimba County served the document on Armstrong's legal team, the Gongloe and Associates law firm.

Immediately after the motion was obtained by the Daily Observer, on Thursday, September 16, the reporter and several other judicial reporters decided to place a call to some of the prosecutors of the ministry, Judge Dahn and Gibson himself to authenticate the fact about the document.

Cllr. Wesseh Alphonsus Wesseh, the Assistant Minister for Litigation at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), said his ministry was studying the matter and will come out with appropriate action.

Cllr. Wesseh said he was shocked to see the motion bearing the signature of Cllr. Gibson, who is not a lawyer for the ministry but acting and signing documents on its behalf.

"We never gave him any authorization to file a paper in the case. The matter is over because we have failed to proceed with the case after the two terms of court as provided for by the law," Wesseh noted.

Nimba County Attorney John Miah, the lead prosecutor in the county, also said he has no knowledge about the motion.

"I have not seen the motion and I am not aware of its existence," Attorney Miah said.

For Judge Roland Dahn, the Resident Judge of the 8th Judicial Circuit Court, he responded that he was not the right person to answer the question about the motion.

"I don't know about it; you can go to the office of the individual who filed it," Judge Dahn responded to Daily Observer's inquiry.

Cllr.Gibson, when contacted, also said he was not ready to speak on the matter because it was still in the court.

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