MOTC Files for Bankruptcy
MONROVIA-The Monrovia Oil Trading Company (MOTC), engaged in the selling and importations of petroleum products accused of colluding with Judge Eva Mappy Morgan, to deplete the Ducor Petroleum’s escrow account, of over US$3milluon, at the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), has filed for bankruptcy before the Commercial Court for Montserrado County.
Counselor Morgan, the current Chief Judge of the Commercial Court, and the MOTC, according to the Judiciary Inquiry Commission (JIC), the body constituted by the Supreme Court to investigate compliant of an ethical violations by magistrates and judges, its investigative findings, in early 2021, said, the parties, MOTC and Ducor Petroleum General Manager, Amos Brosius, agreed to freeze the Ducor’s account, at the LBDI pending the outcome of a lawsuit for accounting the MOTC filed against their partner, Brosius.
But, the JIC said, without the consent and knowledge of Brosius, on July 22, 2013, the lawyer T. Nagbalee Warmer wrote Judge Morgan, to unfreeze the Ducor’s account, which the judge, the next day, July 23 modified the unfreezing order, and requested the bank to ensure that MOTC have access to the account, which was done by the LBDI management that led to MOTC depleting of the account.
It was based on that, the JIC recommended for a period of one-year suspension without pay and benefits against Morgan, and subsequently asked Brosius to take further legal action against Judge Morgan and the MOTC. However, Judge Morgan appealed against the JIC’s recommendation before the Supreme Court, which recommendation four of the five justices of the Supreme Court are finding it difficult to arrive at a quorum.
This is because one of the justices, Associate Justice Yussif Kaba had earlier recused himself from voting in the matter because he chaired the JIC when the decision was made against Judge Morgan.
If the justices were to reach a quorum to accept the JIC’s recommendation, it means that Brosius will have to file a lawsuit against both the Judge Morgan and the MOTC, to claim the US$3million.
But, to not be held liable to for the depletion of the Ducor’s account, the MOTC lawyers, on August 31, 2021 filed the Petition for Insolvency before Judge Morgan, who despite the JIC’s recommendation, is still being retained by Chief Justice Francis Korkpor as the Chief Judge of the Commercial Court.
In their August 31, 2021, petition, the MOTC claimed that as of December 31, 2020, their total liabilities (Debt’) is higher than the total assets, and the operating income, which makes it impossible for them to run the day to day business, which has continued up to the filing of the petition, which they cannot pay their debt to their creditors.
According to the petition, they got to know the company financial difficulties when an audit frim, the Crowe Liberia LLC, conducted an audit of its financial statements, on December 31, 2020.
“MOTC has become insolvent and therefore, seeks the desire to be declared as such, because MOTC has no means of meeting its obligation to many of its creditors”: the MOTC petition alleged.
In the petition, the MOTC named their creditor as; West Oil Liberia, Srimex Oil and Gas, Petra Energy Geneva, Arkoil Gevena, LPRC Storage and handling, Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), International Bank Liberia Limited, Ecobank Liberia Limited, SIBLL, Guaranty Trust Bank Liberia Limited and Global Bank Liberia Limited.
Interestingly, the MOTC petition did not mention anything about Ducor Petroleum Incorporated.
On June 7, 2013, the Monrovia Oil Trading Company filed a petition against Amos Brosius,the owner and general manager of the Ducor Petroleum Incorporated, claiming that it is a majority shareholder in the Ducor Petroleum, a company managed by the complaint, Amos Brosius, as the general manager.
They further alleged that Brosius failed to account for US$8million worth of petroleum products supplied to Ducor Petroleum’.
On July 17, 2013, MOTC made an application for preliminary injunction against Brosius, which was immediately granted by Judge Morgan.
Subsequently, Brosius filed his return to the petition for accounting and a motion to vacate the preliminary injunction.
After the filing of these petitions, Judge Morgan know very much that she by the law governing the Commercial Court, she singlehandedly presided over the case, and proceeded to entertain several pretrial conferences, which culminated into the agreement of the parties, to freeze the account of Ducor Petroleum pending the resolution of the matter. Based on the agreement of the parties, the judge ordered a freeze on the Ducor Petroleum’s housed at the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), and the Ecobank Liberia limited.
Subsequently, upon request by the MOTC lawyers, Counsellor T. Negbelee Warner, to unfreeze only the account at the LBDI, where the account had as a bank balance of US$3.4million,as of his July 22, 2013 letter, claiming that in aid of the smooth operation of the company, the judge gave the unfreezing order, the next day, July 23, modified the same to return the LBDI to status quo ante.
Knowing that they were not aware, on August 9, 2013, the parties through their lawyers though, Brosius was not aware about the signing of the agreement) signed an irrevocable stipulations to submit the case to audit.the the August 9, 2013, agreement also removed Brosius from the management of Ducor Petroleum pending the conclusion of the audit. It was during his exclusion of him that from the company management that led to the depletion of the account.