Unity Party Seeks Relief from Arrest -Files Petition to Supreme Court

B­y Melvin Jackson

MONROVIA: The opposition Unity Party (UP) has filed before the Justice in Chamber at Supreme Court of Liberia, His Honor Cllr. Yermie Quiqui Gbeisay Sr., a petition for a writ of prohibition against Civil Law Court Judge Kennedy Peabody and the Worjoloh McClain enterprise.

Acting on the Petition for a Writ of Prohibition by the Unity Party, Justice Gbeisay issued a writ citing Judge Kennedy Peabody and the petitioners to a conference on Monday, July 10 at the precise hour of 10:00 AM.

Justice Gbeisay also ordered Judge Peabody to stay further action against the former ruling Unity Party until the conference is held and a determination is made on the merit or demerit of the petition on the 10 of July, 2023.

The Unity Party’s application of a petition for a writ of prohibition grew from a Petition for Summary Proceedings to Recover Possession of Real Property filed before the Civil Law Court by the Worjoloh McClain Enterprise on the 23rd day of February 2021 against the Unity Party’s Chairman, and all those in authority in the party.

On November 23, 2021, the Civil Law Court held the opposition Unity Party liable for indebtedness to the Worjoloh McClain enterprise in the sum of $US180, 000 for the property the party had occupied as its headquarters.

Accordingly, the Court ordered its Sheriff to evict the Party from the building to allow the petitioner to repossess its property.

According to Court records, the Unity Party UP owed the Worjoloh McClain enterprise $US180, 000 as arrears in rent and $US20, 000 for wrongful withholding of said property.

The Petitioner Worjoloh McClain Enterprise in its petition for recovery of real property, prayed to the Court for the issuance of the Writ of Execution for the payment of the $US200, 000 which the court granted.

The Respondent UP therefore filed a Petition for payment stipulation on the 14th day of June 2022.

The Presiding Judge at the Court, Her Honor Nancy Finda Sammy, heard the petition and ordered UP to pay 25% of the amount within a week as of the 16th day of August 2022, which the Unity Party defaulted on.

Accordingly, the Court ordered the “… Sheriff of this Court to arrest the living bodies of the Standard Bearer of Unity Party, the Chairman of Unity Party, the Co-Chairman of the Unity Party, the Secretary General of the Unity Party and the Legal Counsels and Chairman on steering committees without notice to them and brought before this court,” reports from the court said.

“The court wants the respondent Unity Party to show assets to be auctioned by the Civil Law Court to satisfy the judgment amount or they will be incarcerated at the Monrovia Central Prison pending the satisfaction of the said judgment,” the court’s order said.

The Civil Court Judge added that based on the failure of the Unity Party to live up to the mandate and ruling made on the 16th day of August 2022, a second ruling was made on the 19th day of October 2022 by Judge Nancy Finda Sammy.

However, Judge Peabody quoted the ruling of Judge Nancy Sammy as saying “that the Unity Party is hereby mandated to pay the sum of $US100,375.00 representing 50% of the judgment amount on or before October 31, 2022, as well as the total sum of $US500.00 representing costs of Court”.

Judge Sammy added that the balance of 50% of the judgment amount of $US100, 375 should be paid on or before December 15, 2022.

Judge Sammy further indicated that any failure by the former governing party, the UP, to make these payments in keeping with their request shall leave this Court with no other alternative but to proceed with the execution for the Respondent to satisfy the said judgment.

After the Unity Party failed to live up to its request of stipulation as prayed for, the petitioner then filed a Bill of Information on the 3rd day of May 2023, informing the Court that the Respondent has failed, refused, and neglected to pay the 50% of the judgment amount as mandated by Judge Nancy Finda B. Sammy.

Judge Peabody said his May 19, 2023 ruling against the opposition Unity Party was generated from the facts that they could not live up to their request in ensuring that the complaint money is paid on June 10 as mandated.

“This ruling having been made on the 19th day of May 2023, the Respondent Unity Party again applied for payment stipulation on the 8th day of June 2023. The Party told the court that it has paid the amount of $US50, 000 as 25% of the judgment amount, and requested this Court to allow the party to pay the balance in four (4) equal installments.”

To the contrary, Respondent Party filed two different payment stipulations, which Respondent refused, failed, and neglected to honor.

As a result, Judge Sammy ruled in the last installment payment request that if Respondent failed to honor the stipulation of paying 50% of the judgment amount on the 31st day of October 2022 this court will be left with no other alternative but to enforce the judgment of November 23, A. D. 2021.

“It is from this background that this Court ruled on the 16th day of May 2023 mandating and ordering Respondent to pay the full judgment amount on or before the 10th day of June 2023 or Respondent could be held in contempt for such failure.

“This Court further says that the ruling made on the 16th day of May 2023 is still in effect because Respondent has defaulted on its stipulation submitted before this Court on several occasions.

“Therefore, the stipulation payment request made by Respondent Unity Party is hereby overruled and denied,” the court further ruled.

It says the Respondent Unity Party is hereby given again up to and including the 3rd day of July 2023 same being on Monday to satisfy the full judgment amount.

However, the respondent, Unity Party, has run to Supreme Court to seek relief, filing a Petition for a Writ of Prohibition for which the Justice in Chamber issued a stay order and a citation to the parties for a conference.

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