Liberia: Justice Minister Laments Cllr. Syrennius Cephus' Insubordination

Monrovia — Without denying that he had placed and received several calls to a main suspect in a major money laundering case, Solicitor General Syrennius Cephus, has accused the Minister of Justice and other officials within the Ministry of passing on call logs to FrontPageAfrica.

"This is a conspiracy, and we strongly suspect that it is being perpetrated against Judge Jallah and Cllr. Cephus from inside the Ministry of Justice apparently to derail ongoing the trial of ANC political leader, Alexander B. Cummings... " wrote one Titus Jenkins Kiahun but shared by Cllr. Cephus in a WhatsApp chatroom of which the Justice Minister is a member.

The writer went on to state, "And because no institution or agency in Liberia can apply for, seek or obtain a call log(s) except the Ministry of Justice vis-à-vis the police under the instruction of the Minister of Justice or a prosecuting attorney acting under his control and this can only be done through the courts. Therefore, Dodoo could not have had any access to a purported call log without the aid of some in the Ministry of Justice, or from a police officer or a prosecuting attorney."

The Solicitor General then, among other things, went on accusing Minister Dean of trying to shield the political leader of the Alternative National Congress Alexander Cummings when the writ of arrest was issued on him on January 3, 2022.

He further stated that it was him (Cephus) who pursued the money laundering case, sought and writ of arrest and a ne exeat republic on the instruction of the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill and the Minister of Finance, Samuel D. Tweah.

Parallel Ministry of Justice

Reacting to the allegations by Cllr. Cephus, Justice Minister Dean told FrontPageAfrica that Cllr. Cephus has been 'running his own Justice Ministry'.

"In the description of the functions of the S.G., the Statute uses the words, 'subject to the direction and control' of the Minister of Justice. Unfortunately, the Solicitor General does not work under my supervision. He does not report to me; he runs a parallel Ministry of Justice," Cllr. Dean said.

The Justice Minister said, as Attorney General, his first function is to procure evidence for, and conduct, prosecute or defend all suits and proceedings in the courts in which the Republic of Liberia or any officer of the Republic is a party or may be intended.

Minister Dean, however, lamented that Cllr. Cephus "is falsely parading himself as the Chief Prosecutor".

Cephus Yet to Deny Call Log

Meanwhile, while Cllr. Cephus is yet to outrightly deny or confirm placing and receiving calls from Patrick Hermann and others who have been indicted for their alleged involvement in the establishment of a shell company and money laundering as seen in the call logs.

FrontPageAfrica was able to count 23 outgoing and incoming calls to and from the Solicitor General's number with Co-Defendant Diega Patrick Hermann Wahi between December 17, 2021 to January 5, 2022.

When contacted for comments, Solicitor General Cephus told FrontPageAfrica that as a lawyer of his stature, he could not provide a response as why the calls placed and received to Patrick until FPA shared with him documents in its possession.

However, the Magistrate of the Monrovia City Court, Judge Jomah Jallah, whose cell number appears over a hundred times on Co-Defendant Patrick's call log has complained FrontPageAfrica to the Press Union of Liberia and labelled the story as lacking any iota of truth and has called on the Press Union to compel FrontPageAfrica to produce the evidence.

FrontPageAfrica's investigation further established that Patrick Hermann is believed to be the leader of the black money market in Liberia and has a strong contact with key actors in the judiciary including the Solicitor General, thereby, using these contacts to help shield money launderers and helping them get cleared through the court system.

FrontPageAfrica gathered that Cllr. Cephus on many occasions tried to block the indictment by putting up bottlenecks during the investigation, thereby, prompting some of the investigators to ask him to recuse himself.

Patrick Hermann was indicted along Korlane Investment Liberia Limited Liability Company through its president and corporate agents, Evgeny Nikisuik and others to be identified.

"That Co-Defendant Korlane Investment Limited Liability Company has perpetrated fraud by instituting scant and dubious deals by using Visa and Master cards, and processing miscoded gambling and or illegal gambling transactions in which accumulated hundreds of thousands of United States Dollars transferred to Guarantee Trust Bank (Liberia) Limited through dubious transactions," the indictment indicated.

Korlane Investments Liberia Limited Liability Company was recently designated a as a high-risk money Laundering shell company set up for what appears to be the sole purpose to laundering the proceeds of crimes generated through fraud, a predicated offense for Money Laundering.

According to the indictment, On October 12, 2021, the company filed an Articles of Incorporation with the Liberia Business Registry to engage in providing ICT Consultancy, project management and supervision, project monitoring and evaluation, digital solution for revenue collection, among others.

In October 2021 when Korlane Investment Liberia Limited Liability Company was established up to December 12, 2021, a little over US$500,000.00 was transferred directly from Master and Visa Card holders' members from Ecuador and Slovakia directly into the local account of Korlane Investment Liberia Limited Liability Company.

"In order to effectuate this dubious transactional activities, between the period of September 1, 2021 to December 17, 2021 or thereabout, the Co-Defendants used the business records of Korlane Investment Limited Liberia Liability Company and opened a current account with GT Bank Liberia Limited on account number 0123686/002/0001/000 through which it milked hundreds of thousands of United States Dollars by using miscoded gambling and or illegal gambling transaction, by manipulating Visa and Master cards transactions wiring the huge sum of money," the indictment stated.

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