-For Alleged Fraud In Late Client’s Will
By: R. Joyclyn Wea
MONROVIA-Grand Cape Mount County Senator Varney Sherman is on trial before Civil Law Court “B” for allegedly attempting to play with the late Sermon Grann “Will and Testament.”
Senator Varney Sherman happens to be the Chief Executive Officer of Sherman and Sherman Incorporated, a renowned law firm in Liberia.
The ‘Will and Testament’ under contention is said to have been drafted by Sherman and Sherman, Incorporated and witnessed by some past and current employees of the Senator’s Law Firm, hence, reason for being dragged to court by Joseph Grann, son of Senator Sherman’s late client Sermon Grann.
According to court record, the alleged ‘Will and Testament’ drafted, kept, witnessed by employees of the Senator’s Law Firm contains 15 percent share of the Deceased’s properties.
Joseph Grann, son of the deceased has objected to the purported ‘Will and Testament’ presented by the law firm claiming to be that of his late father’s Sermon Grann.
The action for the proven of a will which was objected to by the deceased’s son was forwarded to the Civil Law Court “B” to be tired on the allegation of fraud on undue influence. The trial has commenced with the objector parading at least five witnesses.
Senator Sherman was burned as one corrupt public official in Liberia who has managed to amass wealth at the expense of the ordinary people. The United States Treasury Department also placed a sanction on the Grand Cape Mount County Senator from traveling to the US.
The Senator was also indicted in the global witness report in which he and other public officials were accused of stealing over millions of dollars.
During Tuesday, July 19, 2022, trial, Joseph Grann’s team of lawyers adduced three subpoena witnesses all of whom are signatories to the document in question and had served in different capacities at the entity at the time of such action.
All three of the subpoena witnesses admitted to Sherman and Sherman drafting and witnessing the deceased’s ‘Will and Testament’ in the office of Cllr. G Moses Paygar, then Managing Director of the firm.
One of the objector subpoena witnesses in person of Cllr. Golda Bonah Elliott who also witnessed and affixed her signature to the contentious document was quizzed by the court as to whether it is normal for a law firm to prepare its client’s will and have member of the firm witnessed his client’s signature, Elliot said yes.
Elliot maintained that it is normal especially so when that client has a long-standing relationship with the lawyer or the firm as in the case of the late Sermon Grann.
When questioned about the state of the deceased when the purported last ‘will and testament was signed, all three subpoena witnesses said the late Sermon Grann appeared to be in good health and sound in mind.
Meanwhile, after recessing for hours to enable the objector’s other witnesses to appear and testify, the court was constrained to adjourn trial to resume on today July 20, 2022 with the warming that the Objector’s legal team brings all their witnesses to testify on their client’s behalf today.
Grann’s lawyers moved the Court for continuances for lack of witnesses, though a regular notice of assignment was issued twice for the trial yesterday.
The Court says the essence of notice of assignment is for party litigants to prepare themselves for the purpose of trial and that preparation is gathering witnesses and ensuring that these witnesses can be easily contacted.