(Monrovia, Liberia, 5 January, 2022) The attention of the office of the Solicitor-General of the Republic of Liberia has been drawn to a Thursday, January 6, 2022 edition of the New Republic Newspaper, under the banner headline: “Who’s Protecting Money-Launderer” in which the author of the story, a certain Alphonso Toweh, said to be the publisher of the paper, directly accuses Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus of protecting one Patrick Herman Wani Diega said to be the suspect.
Mr. Toweh and his New Republic Newspaper further allege that although Cllr. Cephus claimed not to have known suspect Diega, yet, he( Cllr. Cephus) has however indicated that suspect Diega had sued the bank, thus insinuating that Cllr. Cephus knows the suspect.
Further, Toweh and his New Republic Newspaper also allege that they were informed by an LNP source that when suspect Diega was invited for investigation on three occasions and thereabouts, Cllr. Cephus said the man was sick.
A release issued by the office of the Solicitor-General today described the publication as absolutely fanciful and utterly reprehensible but noted that it was not surprising to see Toweh and his New Republic Newspaper ply their trades in lies and misinformation at the expense of their unsuspecting victims.
The release said because the publication is crafted on the foundation of lies and blackmail, it lacks coherence in terms of content and context, and this is demonstrated by the barrage of contradictions and half-truths contained in the story.
The release clarifies that when a petition or an action is filed by a practicing lawyer and the information or the court’s precept is brought to the attention of a lawyer, the mere acknowledgement of the existence of a pending court’s action does not mean the would-be adversary lawyer or a lawyer who has been informed about the matter knows the party-litigant on whose behalf the action, petition or complaint is filed.
The release described as shameful but not surprising that Toweh and his New Republic Newspaper do not know that a mere receipt of a court precept or an information regarding a pending action does not mean that one knows the actual party-litigant in person.
The release observed that Toweh and his New Republic Newspaper are so confused and do not know how to polish their lies to the extent that they allegedly quoted Cllr. Cephus as saying he(Cephus) does not know the suspect in one account and then in the same story they have published that Cllr. Cephus has been giving excuses for the suspect not to attend criminal investigation.
The release admits that Cllr. Cephus did talk to Mr. Toweh on the mobile phone that he does not know the suspect but that he was informed that the suspect had filed a petition for a writ of prohibition at the Supreme Court of Liberia through Cllr. James Kumeh which was brought to his attention, but that the Justice presiding Chambers, His Honor Yusif D. Kaba had not been too well in body and so the hearing had been postponed for more than once.
The release said since the hearing was held and the Justice was not inclined to issue any writ, the office was awaiting information from the relevant state authority, mainly the Fincian ail Intelligence Unit to file the appropriate application for the freezing of the suspect’s account as in keeping with law.
However, the release described as disgraceful that Mr. Toweh in his blind attempt to justify what seems a smear campaign designed to tarnish the reputation of Cllr. Cephus for pecuniary purposes or mischief, has put a spin on the many times the case was assigned and re-assigned and later deferred by Justice Kaba to mean excuses given by Cllr. Cephus on behalf of suspect Diega.
The release said if Cllr. Cephus claimed as journalist Toweh has written that he (Cephus) does not know the suspect, how can he then put in countless excuses for and on behalf of the same suspect that he does not know?
The release further clarifies that Cllr. Cephus does not know suspect Diega or any other group associated with money-laundering, and challenged both Toweh and his New Republic Newspaper to produce the evidence regarding the alleged excuses that Cllr. Cephus has given on behalf of the suspect.
“While our office is open to all journalists and we will encourage frank and open exchanges with journalists, it is however disheartening to note some of our fellow compatriots have become ‘dollar disciples’ and can do anything to unduly hurt others. Let it is go forth, we have nothing absolutely to hide; we were taken aback that Toweh and his New Republic Newspaper are on a smear campaign against those who will not submit to their games of blackmail under any given condition”, the release added.
The release concluded that the publication is a pale reflection of mere gossips and lies and noted that Cllr. Cephus will never compromise the prosecution of money-laundering cases, let alone protecting a money-launderer.
Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus
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