MONROVIA-The Full Bench of the Supreme Court of Liberia on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, affirmed the National Elections Commission (NEC) verdict declaring indicted and former Minister of National Defense J. Brownie Samukai as the senator of Lofa County.
The Justices agreed with NEC decision by declaring him as senator elect and said there was no evidence to substantiate Samukai from taking his position as Senator of Lofa County.
The Supreme Court on February 8, 2021, upheld the lower court’s ruling against the newly elected Senator (Samukia) and his two deputies in which they are expected to spend two years in prison if they failed to restitute the over US$1.5 million Armed Forces of Liberia personnel funds misapplied.
This ruling of the High Court was a big blow to his re-emerging political career and the opposition collaborating political parties whose tickets he got elected, as he had hoped to be exonerated at the level of the Supreme Court.
Reading the opinion, Justice Yusiff D. Kabah said the court did not find substantive evidence that Mr. Samukai and his deputies were authorized by Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, then President of Liberia and that assuming they were given her authorization, they should have declined because the action was against the law.
The Supreme Court also claimed that there was un-refuted evidence gathered from the records of the case that the soldiers of the AFL compulsorily contributed to the fund lodged in the AFL Pension Account established at Ecobank Liberia Limited, and as such they said account is not a public account intended for the operational use of the Ministry of National Defense.
The high court upheld the lower court’s decision with a slight modification that they all should be awarded a two-year prison sentence each since they committed the crimes together.