MONROVIA – The Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) of the Supreme Court is expected to shortly commence the investigation linking Judge Scheaplor Dunbar of the Civil Law Court ‘B’ of injustice and ethical breach while hearing a non-contested divorce lawsuit that involves a British national Hans Armstrong and his estranged wife Karen R. Clarke Armstrong.
The leaked document filed before the office of Chief Justice Francis Korkpor mentioned that while the case was before Judge Dunbar, he authorized the arrest and detention of Armstrong if he (Armstrong) does not pay the amount of US$6,000 as lawyer fees to Karen’s lawyer, Counselor G. Wieufied Sayeh.
Cllr. Sayeh is the lead lawyer for Senate Secretary Nanborlor Singbeh, who through Armstrong’s complaint was indicted by the Liberia Anti-corruption Commission (LACC) for allegedly duping two Czech Republic investors Martin and Pavel Miloschewsky of over US$ 5 million, which Indictment was recently dismissed by the Criminal Court’C at the Temple of Justice.
The document received on October 25, 2021, and signed for by staffers of the chief justice, quoted Judge Dunbar’s writ of arrest as saying, “You are commanded to seize and expose for sale the lands, goods belonging to the respondent (Armstrong), and if the sum realized therefrom be not sufficient then seize the respondent real property (properties), until you shall have realized/raised the sum of US$6,000, same representing counsel fees.
In addition thereto, seizure and sale; and if you cannot find any land, or goods of the said respondent, you are hereby commended to arrest the living body of the aforesaid respondent and bring him before any judge of competent jurisdictions to be dealt with according to the law, unless the respondent pays the sum of the money herein stated or show cause property to you seize and sell for same. ”
Armstrong further claimed that to his surprise and not being aware of Judge Dunbar’s writ, he had gone to the Temple of Justice, with the intention to receive the judgment in his complaint as Attorney in Fact of the Czech brothers to the US$5million criminal case against Singbeh that was dismissed, and, when he arrived he was immediately arrested.
According to Armstrong’s complaint, the sheriff of Dunbar’s court allegedly held him hostage in his Temple of Justice office for over five hours, during which time, he was made under duress to sign a promissory and guarantee notes against his will.
“Judge Dunbar instructed that I should write in those notes that I will pay the full amount of the US$6,000 before the end of October 2021,” the leaked complaint quoted Armstrong.
The complaint also claimed that since Judge Dunbar was not satisfied with both notes, the judge said, if Armstrong does not ensure the appearance of lawyers to witness those notes, Armstrong would be sent to the Monrovia Central Prison until his lawyer can appear.
“I was terrified when I heard that Judge Dunbar was serious to send me to jail, and so, I was constraint to call two of my lawyers, Counselor James N. Kumeh and Attorney Abubarkar Kiawu of the Gongloe and Associates law firm, ” the complaint said.
According to the complaint, Judge Dunbar, despite the presence of the two lawyers, said, he will not release Armstrong to his lawyers without the knowledge of Sayeh, who upon his arrival and approval Judge Dunbar agreed to release him, Armstrong.
“I was arrested in the absence of those legal requirements, and it is a serious offense and a violation of my constitutional rights as a foreign investor, to be treated like this in a sample noncontested divorce case that is purely civil.”
Therefore, the complaint said, “I will appreciate your immediate investigation into the injustice melted against me by Judge Dunbar and Cllr. Sayeh, just to silence me not to pursue the US$ 5 million case against Singbeh.”
Meanwhile, Judge Dunbar has about ten days to reply to Armstrong’s complaints.