The clock is ticking towards the red line steadily for former Defense Minister Brownie Samukai to comply in order to take the senatorial seat he has won but cannot occupy over court verdict. But there could be a window of opportunity, and a cushion, whereby he can be allowed to take his job and save Lofa County both the embarrassment of having its senatorial representation continually hung in the balance. All that is required by the Court of Law is for him to make a down payment of at least 50 percent of his share of US$383,552.10 that is $191,276.05. Some pundits say the former Defense Minister’s Lofa County supporters, and the opposition community he represents, as well as friends of goodwill in and out of Liberia should come to his rescue by helping in raising the $191,276.05.
The Supreme Court and its subordinate court, Criminal Court C, are unanimous in the view that Mr. Samukai must pay half of the US$383,552.10 that he and his former deputies of the Ministry of Defense were ordered to settle.
Though it is not known clearly whether the payment of the amount is the surest way to rescue the former Defense Minister, a number of pundits believe it is surest way that will help a lot by putting the Government long suspected by Samukai supporters of manipulating the situation in a tight position and ultimately provide the magic wand.
There are subtle or powerful moves being made by a combination of forces to bring to the fore the need to mobilize friends and supporters of the Lofa County Senator-elect to raise the full amount of US$191,276.05 before the Court’s deadline of August 25 expires.
An apparently staunched support of Mr. Samukai familiar with discussions about the pending moves but who does not want to be named in print told the press that the payment of the money as required by the Courts is the popular option amongst like-minds supporting the former Defense Minister’s cause.
“In our estimation, the amount which is nearly $180,000 is not too much to beat the united fight of people who want to see their son, uncle, friend and comrade rescued from his quagmire,” said the source who refers anonymity. “The job in questions is precious, and it is more meaningful having Brownie Samukai sitting in it. Money, notwithstanding the amount, should not stifle democracy, capable representation and political benefits that Samukai stands to bring to the table.”
He added: “Anyone who loves Samukai and Lofa County must be challenged by our call to quickly raise the money in question. We can never tell the next move by our brother’s detractors. If what we are hearing from a major court official is anything to follow and learn from, then it is compelling we do something and do it now.
“Why the deadline is weeks ahead, we heard a judge ordering the appearance of Samukai and his former deputies to appear. This comes when none of the parties in the AFL corruption case requested for any action. This should ring bells that there is much to desire, and the save path for us to be ready to pay the request amounts.”
He said Brownie Samukai has a lot of good friends, supporters and family members who are capable to raising 179,078.05 in no time and it was time to act firmly and decisively as lovers of the former Deputy Minister.
“The sooner, the better,” the source said further, adding. “It is in the strategic interest of the senator-elect, the people of Lofa and all those who support him if we were to preempt and circumvent the snares set to entrap Samukai. Firstly, it is possible that failure to pay could lead to his incarceration after August 25, something that will not only obliterate his political future but will also dampen hopes and aspirations of people of Lofa and all those who believe in him. It will pull the moral rug off the feet of the opposition community to go to the rescue of any of its members in the future.”
“Secondly, our preemptive strike by meeting deadline for payment will increase public support in the favor of Samukai and us, the supporters, and whenever the Government or the Courts does otherwise, like still holding on to the case, it will justify our subsequent actions and public solidarity.”
He conjectured that the zig-zag nature of the case as it dabbles between the National Elections Commission and the Supreme Court and its Subordinate Court is instructive—reeling from the days when, according to him, Justice Joseph Nagbe, unanimously ruled in the case in favor of the anti-Samukai forces.
He added further: “No other actions can save the day than rallying around our man, Samukai, to pay the money than to waste additional time and brandish with mere anger and threats of violence.”