By Agnes M. Tarr
The General Service Agency of Liberia has adopted a fleet management policy of the Government of Liberia. This policy which is in response to curbing the misuse and abuse of government vehicles seeks to provide guidance to government institutions on the procurement, registration, use, maintenance and management of vehicles,
According to a statement from the office of the Director of General of GSA Hon. Pearine Davis Parkinson which was issued at the Ministry of Information regular Thursday press briefing, on October 5, 2012 was adopted by the Cabinet.
In the statement, the Director General noted that the fundamental objective of said policy is to provide a strategic framework for reducing capital, and maintenance and running cost of Government’s fleet and mobile equipment while ensuring mobility and operational efficiency to government employees.
The General Service Agency is the GOL institution charged with the responsibility to develop, implement, review and propose modification to the fleet management policy.
He said other objective of the policy is to create a structure and allocate responsibilities for the effective monitoring and implementation of various aspects of the policy for the benefit of the Government of Liberia.
Director Parkinson pointed out that the policy will benefit the private sector, specifically, financial institutions, insurance companies, new and used car dealership, rental car companies and private individuals.
“The private sector will benefit through the financial institution expansion and revenue generation” the statement concluded.
Ecobank Gets Justice
-As 5 Thieves Sentenced For Stealing Over US$300,000
By George J. Borteh
The long legal battle between lawyers representing Liberia’s largest banking institution (Ecobank), and five of its former employees of said bank (Ecobank-Liberia) came to an end at the Circuit Court level on November7, 2012 following the handing down of final judgment by presiding Judge Peter W. Gbeneweleh.
The five former employees who have been sentenced were Glen Washington, Othello Smith, Stanley Johnson, Mandale Kaiser and David Yenego and were on trial for stealing US$378,676.26 from their employer (Ecobank-Liberia) in 2011 while on active duties.
The five men, according to court documents in the possession of this paper, in the employ of Ecobank-Liberia in 2011 remitted said amount (US$378,676.26 to the private account of Ruth Sawmadal in the months of July, June and November in 2011.
Confirming and affirming the guilty verdict of the already disbanded 15-man empanelled jury, presiding Judge Peter W. Gbeneweleh said the act (Stealing) of the young Liberian bankers was also confirmed by witnesses produced by the bank’s lawyers.
Judge Gbeneweleh in his final judgment said one of the five witnesses testified that defendant Glen Washington transferred over US$300,000.00 into the account of his (Glen) childhood friend (Ruth Sawmadal).
Though lawyers representing the former employees of Ecobank-Liberia protested in their final argument and with evidence produced during the trial, the Criminal Court-C Judge said that in his legal mind the five defendants were guilty of the crimes and ruled by sentencing each defendant for three years imprisonment.
Judge Gbeneweleh then ruled that the five defendants make the restitution of the amount of over US$48,000.00 to the private prosecutor (Ecobank-Liberia), and at the same time ordered defendants to pay amount of US$300.00 each to the Government of Liberia’s revenue as fine.
The Criminal Court-C Judge also ordered the immediate detention of two of the five already sentenced defendants to five months imprisonment for what Judge Gbeneweleh considered as ‘jurors tempering’.
Judge Gbeneweleh said defendants Othello Smith and Stanley Johnson before the commencement of the just ended trial were in constant cell phone contact with three individuals who later formed part of the 15-man empanelled jury.
Meanwhile, lawyers who represented the five former Ecobank-Liberia employees took an exception to the final judgment handed down by Judge Peter W. Gbeneweleh and also took an appeal to the Supreme Court of Liberia for redress.
Lawyers who represented the interest of Ecobank-Liberia were Cllr. Darku Mulbah, Cllr. T. C. Gould, Atty. Lois Nimely Nyanpan and Atty. Jerry Garlawolo while the five defendants were represented by Cllr. K. Johnson, former Justice Minister during the regime of former President Charles G. Taylor and Atty. Arthur Johnson one of Liberia’s youngest lawyers.
The Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia is expected to hear cases or review cases that have been forwarded to it by the lower courts, especially at the level of the Circuit Courts during its March Term of Court A.D. 2013.