The Sixth Judicial Circuit Civil Law Court at the Temple of Justice has found Global Bank Liberia Limited guilty and ordered the bank to pay $2.5 million United States dollars as general damages to the Management of Monco Liberia Limited in an action of damages for wrong lawsuit filed by the company.
“Wherefore and in view of the foregoing, it is the holding of this court that defendant (bank) be adjudged liable to the 1st plaintiff (Monco Liberia), in the action of damages for wrong. The defendant, Global Bank is ruled to pay the amount of two million five hundred thousand United States dollars (US 2,500,000.00) as general damages to 1st plaintiff,” the assigned Circuit Judge of the Civil Law Court, Nelson B. Chineh said in his ruling on Friday, September 1, 2023.
Monco Liberia, owned by former lawmaker and superintendent of Montserrado County Julius S. Parker; is engaged in a wide range of businesses including wholesale and retail petroleum and its related products distribution; as well as real estate development, cement operation and have warehouses in Montserrado and Grand Bassa counties.
Judge Chineh, making the judgment said, during the entire trial, Monco Liberia established by the preponderance of the evidence that it sustained a loss, detriment or injuries in their persons, property or rights, and that the loss, detriment or injuries sustained, were a direct and proximate result of defendant conduct for which damages can be awarded as a matter of law.
On January 27, 2017, the Management of Monco Liberia FILED a thirty (30) count action of damages for wrong against the Management of Global Bank Liberia.
The company’s CEO told the court he travelled to China in 2009 and while there, he entered into a transactional supply arrangement with a Chinese company, HOATAI Resources China, under which HOATAI Resources China agreed to supply Monco consignment of 1.5 million metric tons of 42.5 R Portland grade cement amounting to US150 million over a period of five years.
On the strength of the contract, Monco applied to Global Bank for a letter of credit for the importation of the 15, 000 metric tons of cement.
The facility was approved and plaintiff renovated its three warehouses and upon terms and conditions agreed that the warehouses be used for the storage and sale of the cement.
The complainant however alleges that upon arrival of the cement in Liberia, defendant, Global Bank, contrary to this prior agreement, and even though enough storage capacity existed in the 1st plaintiff’s warehouses, the defendant Bank unilaterally, illegally and without the knowledge or approval of the 1st plaintiff, rented a separate warehouse where it illegally transferred, stored and sold six thousand (6000) metric tons of cement without any accounting, thereby further unnecessarily increasing the loses sustained to 1st plaintiff, which defendant Bank wrongly assigned to 1st plaintiff debt liability.
The complainant further alleges that defendant unilaterally took over and exercised control over the proceeds realized from the sale, established an escrow account allegedly in the name of the plaintiff, but the bank refused to give any financial statement.
The complainant noted that the defendant mismanaged the transaction and filed an action of debt against plaintiff in the Commercial Court in Monrovia for which Mr. Parker was arrested, jailed, property seized and a public sale notice announced on it, which not only tarnished his public image and excellent reputation, but also inflicted upon him mental distress, public humiliation and left psychological trauma.
On June 27, 2023, during the June Term of Court, plaintiff rested with the production of both oral and documentary evidence from its witnesses.
Key amongst those witnesses who testified during the entire trial were former LBDI President John Davis, an expert witness; complainant Julius Parker and his daughter Mrs. Bendu Parker; and Mr. Prosper Ouoei and Bruce Honorate Kacou both ACE Global representatives who handled the cement at UCI warehouse.
Judge Chineh noted that these witnesses testimonies were crucial to the defendant mismanagement and sale of the consignment of cement including the tripartite agreement for discharged of the consignment from the vessel, storage, sales, delivery from storage, and the handling of the proceeds.
The judge maintained that the defendant Bank did not challenge the expert opinion given and did not bring any other expert witness to rebuff the witnesses; hence, their testimonies must be deemed admitted and credited.