Commerce Ministry to Pay $USD280k -As Rental fee For Former Ashmun Street Office

By Melvin Jackson  

MONROVIA: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry IS to pay the amount OF US$280,000 for rent owed to the Intestate Estate of the Late George Dennis. The amount is to be paid to the administrator of the property belonging to the Late George Dennis in compliance with the ruling of Debt Court Judge James Jones.  Reports said the Ministry had failed to pay the sum despite ruling by the Debt Court.

Located on Ashmun Street, the Property was formerly hosting the Ministry prior to its relocation to the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town.

A ruling by Judge James Jones of the Debt Court on July, 15, 2022 held the Government liable for the rent owed to the Denise Estate Management, something the Ministry has since failed to adhere to.

Prior to its relocation to the Ministerial Complex, the Ministry was occupying the property situated at the intersection of Gurley and Ashmun streets, which the Government of Liberia leased since 2014 and defaulted on full payment for the cost involved with the latest version of the lease.

Accordingly, the plaintiff filed the Action of Debt against the Defendant (Ministry), claiming the amount of US$100,000, 00 as unpaid rental due Plaintiff.”

The Dennis Estate management added that the Lease Agreement was for the period of three (3) years at US$40,000.00 per year, beginning January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2016.

The document in the position of this institution revealed that under the Agreement the Commerce Ministry should have paid Plaintiff a total of US$120,.000.00 but paid only US$40,000.00 assumingly for the first year alone, leaving US$80.000.00 for the other two(2) years unpaid.

“Since Plaintiff filed this action about eight months following the lapse of the Lease Agreement. Plaintiff decided to claim a half year rental in the amount of US$20,000.00 for the year 2017, thereby bringing the rental claim up to US$100,000.00.”

The court document revealed that the Government of Liberia filed a single count general denial of Plaintiff claims.  After the Disposition of Law Issues, whereby the case was ruled to trial as consisting of issues of law and facts, Plaintiff took the witness stand and produced evidence supporting its claim.

Defendant failed to appear to testify, but filed with the Court thru the Liberia Revenue Authority certain claims regarding Plaintiff estate taxes due the Government the Court then ruled in its Final Judgment, delivered on 7 February 2022 that Defendant Ministry of Commerce Government of Liberia is liable to Plaintiff in the amount of S$100.000.00 less the assessed tax of 103,928 exclusive of penalties, fines and interest, in the amount of US$11.093.00 which Defendant was to pay to Plaintiff.

On Wednesday Nov 8, the informant filed a bill stating that on the 16th day of August, A.D. 2022 which set the stage for the payment of the judgment in the amount of US$280.000 by the Respondent herein to the Informant.

The property management quoting count two (2) said that on the 12th day of December, A.D. 2022, a Payment Order was issued by the Honorable Court and sign by the Clerk of this Honorable Court and delivered to the Respondent herein for payment of the Judgment sum of US$280,000.00 that was adjudged by this Honorable Court against the Respondent.

Further to count three (3) above, Plaintiff/Informant avers and says that since the receipt of the payment order by the Respondent herein, the Respondent has failed and neglected to honor and/or adhere to the said judgment “As a matter of fact, the Informant informs Your Honor that on the 7th day of February, A.D. 2023 the Informant requested for a Clerk’s Certificate and same was issued by the Clerk of this Honorable Court and copy was served on the Respondent herein for the Respondent’s refusal to comply with the payment of the Judgment Sum as indicate in Your Honor’s final Ruling in these proceeding. Attached hereto is a photocopy of the Clerk’s Certificate and marked as.

Further to count four (4) above, Informant avers and says that since the 7th day of February, A.D. 2023 up to and including the date and time of filing of the Bill of Information, the Respondent herein has failed, reneged and neglected to honor the Payment Order served on said Respondent which is a complete disrespect and defiance to Your Honor and this Honorable Court’s instruction.

Informant avers and says that the Respondent action is deliberate and intentional and same is intended to undermine the integrity of this Honorable Court with respect to its refusal to obey this court’s Instruction as contained in the Clerk Certificate and Payment Order as well as the Final Judgment emanating from this Honorable Court adjudging the said Respondent liable to the Informant herein in an amount of US$280,000.00.

Meanwhile, the complainant wants the enforced her Judgment of July 15, 2022 by instructing the Respondent to honor the Payment Order issued out of this Court on the 12th day of December, A.D. 2022; and also Hold the Respondent in contempt of Court for Disrespecting this Court’s order; And to further grant unto Informant such relief, justice and right may demand in the premises.

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