Home Governance Two Court Officers: ’Steal’ Over US$200,000 …From Civil Law Court

Two Court Officers: ’Steal’ Over US$200,000 …From Civil Law Court

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By: Linda Gbartie

MONROVIA: The Liberia National Police (LNP), has charged and forwarded to Court two officers of the Civil Law Court- Annex-B for allegedly stealing over US$200,000.

The money was allegedly generated by the court during court trials.

Defendants Pobleh P. Wea and Nah J. Wollor, Sheriff and Clerk respectively of the Civil Law Court Annex-B were charged with the Crimes, “Mis-Application of Entrusted Property, Theft of Property and Criminal Conspiracy”, in the tone of Two Hundred Twenty-Eight Thousand, Three Hundred Sixty United States Dollars Sixty-Seven Cents (USD$228,360.67).

According to the LNP charge sheet, the acts committed by the court officers are in violation of Chapter 15 & 10, Sub-Chapter “D”, Sections 15.51, 15.56 & 10.4 of the Revised Penal Law of Liberia.

They were arrested based upon a complaint filed by His Honor Ousman F. Feika, Assigned Circuit Judge Civil Law Court Annex B, Temple of Justice, Judiciary Branch, Montserrado County, Republic of Liberia.

According to the police charge sheet, the LNP investigative team established that defendants Nah J. Wollor, Clerk of Civil Law Court Annex B and Pobleh P. Wea, Sheriff of Civil Law Court Annex B, on several occasions received funds from party litigants as indemnification of parties when judgement is rendered, and said amounts were placed into an escrow account so as to safeguard the funds belonging to party litigants.

Deposit slips, withdrawal slips and cheques/checks issued to the court through the sheriff and the clerk office by party litigants, and banks statements from the escrow accounts of both United States Dollars (53030550010299) and Liberian Dollars (53030550010305) from United Bank of Africa (UBA) show the current bank balance of USD$ 103.34 and LRD$20,981.73.

The Police Charge sheet shows that the previous bank balances of USD$ 228,360.67 and LRD$20,772.05 showed that they were in possession of said funds between the period July 1, 2021 to January 8, 2024.

The investigation also gathered that defendants Nah J. Wollor, Clerk of the Civil Law Court and Pobleh P. Wea, Sheriff received the funds from litigants in fulfillment of judgement for summary proceeding to-recover possession of real property.

They were instructed by the Judge of Civil Court Annex B to place the money in an escrow account that will be monitored by them which they did, but with criminal intent, started withdrawing funds from the accounts unknown to the judge, using the money for their personal interest instead of presenting the funds to party litigants.

The act, according to the LNP investigation is contrary to the sole purpose and intent for which the funds have been deposited into an escrow account for safety.

The LNP investigation indicated that such an act gave clues to the investigation that they were knowledgeable of the commission of the crimes.

LNP asserted that the two, being court officers understands court proceeding and the purpose and intent of the funds deposited into an escrow account and that they had prior knowledge of the act perpetrated against the court and party litigants.

Meanwhile, the LNP charge sheets pointed out that Ousman F. Feika, Assigned Circuit Judge Civil Law Court Annex B, Temple of Justice, Judiciary Branch, Montserrado County, Republic of Liberia, who is the complainant averred that, in November 2023, the Civil Law Annex B concluded a summary proceedings case and then ordered the court’s sheriff, defendant Pobleh P, Wea, to pay to the successful party, the amount of Nine Thousand, Six Hundred United States Dollars (US$9,600.00), which had been paid to him by order of court back in 2022 while the case was ongoing.

The complainant continues that after said amount was requested to fulfill Judgement to the party from the defendant Pobleh P. Wea, he pretended that he was getting the money from his account but went into hiding for a month.

After defendant Pobleh P. Wea’s refusal to return the funds, the court decided to conduct a massive search for the living body of defendant Pobleh P. Wea but such search did not heed any result until a month when defendant Pobleh P. Wea turned himself over to the court.

The complainant averred that after the return of defendant Pobleh P. Wea, he was asked whether he brought the money from his account but he could not explain anything convincing to the court.

Based on his Conduct, preliminary investigation was conducted and from that investigation, it was proven that the defendants Pobleh P. Wea Sheriff and Nah J. Wollor Clerk of Court “conspired and withdrew all of the monies in the escrow account of the court.”

They were forwarded to the Ministry of Justice through the County Attorney Office of Montserrado County for internal investigation.

Meanwhile, Defendants Pobleh P. Wea and Nah J. Wollor, Sheriff and Clerk respectively has been forwarded to prison.

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