LIBERIA: COURT QUASH OUT LACC WRIT OF “NE EXEA REPUBLICA” AGAINST THREE

Date:

The Monrovia City Court Judge Jomah Jallah has quashed and dismissed the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) writ of Ne Exeat Republica against Bishop J. Allen Klayee, the dismissed Robert International Airport boss, suspended Liberia Water and Sewer manager, Duwana Kamara, and George D. Youh, suspended Chief Financial officer of the Robert International Airport (RIA).

Judge Jallah granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss the writ on grounds that before a Writ of Ne Exeat Republica can be filed there should be a pending matter before the Court.

He noted that there is no pending matter against the defendants before the court.

The Monrovia City Court Judge said the writ of Ne Exeat Republica was wrongly filed and hereby dismissed.

It can be recalled the founder of Jubilee Praise and Worship Center Church, Bishop J. Allan Klayee filed through his lawyer a motion to quash Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission writ of Ne Exeat Republica.

In the motion, Cllr. Johnny Momoh said that a writ of Ne Exeat Republica may be obtained in the same way that an injunction is obtained, that is a prayer in the bill and application to the court based upon a sworn petition or affidavit setting forth a sufficient ground to justify the issuance of the writ.

Cllr. Momoh said that the usual practice is to make the application by petition or motion supported by affidavit and submits that in the instant case, the LACC did not file a petition or motion supported by affidavit.

Bishop Klayee’s lawyer stated that the affidavit of the application for the writ of Ne Exeat Republica must show that his client Bishop Klayee intends to leave the country; it must be positive as to the point or must show threats, a declaration to that effect or facts evidencing it or circumstances amounting to it.

Cllr. Momoh revealed that the affidavit should allege that Bishop Klayee’s threatening departure would enable him to avoid his obligation to the LACC and render any ensuing judgment against Bishop Klayee effectual.

Cllr. Momoh furthered said while it is true that the application for Ne Exeat Republica is usually an Ex Parte Application and made be granted after an ex parte hearing, the law requires that the court give Bishop Klayee an opportunity to present testimony where the pleading squarely raised a question of facts as to whether his client Bishop Klayee against whom the Writ is sought is planning to depart the jurisdiction of the intent to defraud.

“The law also imposes the burden on the party seeking the issuance of the Writ of Ne Exeat Republica to show exceptional circumstances warranted the relief sought and that burden must certainly be at least as great as that required to obtain other types of injunctive relief; and such allegations must be proved to the satisfaction of the Court” Cllr. Momoh noted.

He stressed that inconsistent with the opinion of the Supreme Court mentioned herein for the Writ of Ne Exeat Republica to lie, there must be a pending matter, in the instant case, there is no pending matter before any court involving Bishop Klayee and LACC and that the mere fact that LACC is said to be conducting an investigation in an alleged financial malpractice involving Bishop Klayee does not warrant the issuance of the Writ of Ne Exeat Republica; for to do so would be in violation of the Supreme Court opinion and the Constitutional and statutory doctrine of presumption of innocence.

Bishop Klayee’s lawyer stated that the Supreme Court of Liberia also held that while lawyers should be zealous and meticulous in prosecuting their client’s interest, but cautioned that same should not be overreaching and overbearing to the extent of unlawfully and unnecessarily impinging upon the rights of others who have not been charged with the commission of any criminal offense with impunity; for to do so would be a denial of the constitutional rights to due process,  hence, the Writ of Ne Exeat Republica issued against Bishop Klayee should be discharged and quashed.

Cllr.  Momoh pointed out that the allegation of LACC is that it is conducting an alleged corruption scandal involving Bishop Klayee, and was seeking the court’s assistance in their investigation by preventing his client Bishop Klayee from leaving the bailiwick of the Republic of Liberia pending the completion of the investigation.

“There is no allegation and established proof that Bishop Klayee is planning to depart the jurisdiction with the intent to defraud or invade justice.

Cllr. Momoh lamented that there was no hearing conducted, minutes made and an order issued pursuant thereto by the trial judge for the issuance of the Writ of Ne Exeat Republica against Bishop Klayee, hence,  the Writ of Ne Exeat Republica having been issued contrary to law, should be discharged and quashed against his client Bishop Klayee.

He further said the law imposes on the party requesting the Writ the burden of demonstrating that this restrain of liberty is a necessary and not merely coercive or convenient method of enforcement.

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