Samukai Nailed? -Will He Ever Reach The Promised Land?

Quasi-determination inspired by authoritative purpose to ensure that what it (authority of the day) wants to see and happen must take the lead no matter whether or not it is right or wrong to climb and stand stiffly and tall in people’s throats just so its (authority’s) will and way must be done and prevail perpetually.

However, the current political crucifixion of Lofa County’s Senator-elect Brownie Samukai, which started first as an impasse with the authority; and in the process of decolonizing the authority’s vested determination to keep Samukai out if he continues to fail to fall in line with what the authority expects of him as stated by a renowned Representative Francis Nyumalin in an interview with the KOOL FM Radio Station  lately in Monrovia, that either he (Samukai) switches his political allegiance to the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), or will  remain in the wilderness and face the wrath of the controversial spending of the pension money of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), a proposition Samukai rejected flatly, adding that he will remain with his party-Unity Party.

Representative Nyumalin also noted that President George Weah during his nationwide tour to the County (Lofa) told the Lofa Caucus that Samukai is his brother and that they have both worked with the United Nations and have nothing against him, adding that Lofa will get its seat, but did not say Samukai will get his seat he overwhelmingly won.

Despite the government shooting itself in the leg by horning the payment of over US$400,000 as was explained by Samukai that the money was used on the military to enhance some operation, and that he was instructed by his boss, former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf whose administration the money was used while Samukai was Defense, and having been informed (the present government) by the then outgoing administration, and that it would be incorporated in the national budget for payment knowing that one key component of government is continuity, it became a done deal.

Now out of political frustration, having raised half of the amount in question as requested by the court and paid by friends and supporters of the embattled Senator-elect, and still Samukai has not taken his seat having won with the margin of over 20,000; unfavorable threats are simmering from the Samukai’s camp including breaking away from the Republic of Liberia, as was done by Maryland County although reasons are different. But Samukai who in a Voice of America’s (VOA) interview rejected the break-away posture of his supporters, if he did not take his seat which has lasted for almost nine months, but while he could understand the frustration of his people, yet cautioned then not to venture on that path; while a member of his (Samukai’s)  legal team, Augustine Toe in an interview with KOOL on October 7, 2021 though refused to comment on the ramification  of the case because it is before the court, but registered his assurance that his client will win the case.

Moreover, while pundits are saying that the case is being politically motivated and while the Supreme Court is silent to subpoena Ellen who is still alive and in the country to confirm or deny that she instructed the Defense Minister as then Commander-In-Chief; Lofa County’s embattled Senator-elect Samukai is not only in a difficult zone, but is being allegedly nailed and may not reach the ‘promised land’ by sudden flight.

It can be recalled from the analysis of testimonies on both sides, it is crystal clear that the defendants did not deny the withdrawal and use of the AFL funds but instead set up two justification. (a) That they acted in line with the Constitution and relevant laws, (b) that they acted on the orders of the ex and current President of Liberia.

The defendant also prayed the court to subpoena President George M. Weah to testify to the effect that he, President George Weah, is aware of the use of the money and made a commitment to pay the money and that he had pay a portion thereof.

The application was resisted and denied by the court on the grounds that it is impractical to have a sitting president and head of State subpoenaed and that if the defendants strongly desire the President’s testimony, they had the option to subpoena some of the President’s agents such as the Minister of State, Minister of Finance, Central Bank Governor, all of whom should have a certain knowledge of the funds or the withdrawals.

The defendants caused the court to subpoena the deputy minister for fiscal affairs who testify that the government paid USD460,000 to the AFL funds because the AFL wives have set a roadblock in demand of the money and through the advice of the National Security Council, the government was warned to make some payment.

Moreover, this court has said that the AFL pension account is a private money own by the AFL personnel and that the Minister of Defense was correct in making himself and his deputy and comptroller as signatories to the funds, in that the AFL is under the umbrella of the Ministry of Defense who administer the affairs of the AFL.

As such, the Minister of Defense is by law a fiduciary of the AFL. However, the court is of the considered opinion that the Minister breached and abused his fiduciary duty to the AFL men and women when he elected to misused their funds for purposes order than intended.

-Writes GDJ

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