Liberia: Global Bank Rejects Jurors’ Decision, Calls for New Trial

Monrovia – Legal arguments in the case involving the Management of Global Bank Liberia Limited and Kailondo Petroleum Incorporated were entertained on Thursday, April 28, at the First Judicial Circuit, Criminal Assizes “C” for Montserrado County, sitting in its February Term A. D. 2022, before His Honor, T. Ciafa Carey, Assigned Circuit Judge. Our reporter was in court and carefully listened to the arguments.

After the legal debate, our reporter visited the headquarters of the Bank on 5th Street, Sinkor, where a senior staff of the Bank who agreed to speak to him on the basis of anonymity had this to say: “I am not surprised to hear that 11 out of 12 jurors agreed to have the case ruled against us. We know Kailondo to be a notorious criminal who always uses bribe to go scot free whenever he is caught in criminal webs. From a reliable source, we are told that he has been making frantic effort to bribe the jurors and the judge, but we are not convinced that Judge Carey can be easily compromised. But trust me, Kailondo will not do business as usual in this case because the preponderance of the evidence we have is overwhelming.”

When further quizzed about his take on the ruling, he emphatically intoned:

“It was a scene of disbelief and clear travesty of justice when the 11 of the 12-member jury voted to hold Global Bank guilty for “Theft of Property” and “Misapplication of Entrusted Property”, in the face of the convincing evidence that clearly shows that the Bank acted in consonance with the agreed terms and conditions of the various credit facilities availed to Kailondo Petroleum Inc..

The staff said the bank was surprised the Jurors’ decision to agree with Kailondo and his lawyers that the Bank should have written and obtained Kailondo’s written approvals before collecting the periodic loan principal and interest installments from Kailondo’s accounts; even though the facility letter which was duly accepted and executed by George B. Kailondo, Sr., President/CEO of Kailondo Petroleum Incorporated, gave the right and authority to the bank to debit his accounts without notice to him whenever his liabilities fell due.

“For instance, no one can comprehend why the jurors would say that Kailondo’s own cheque of US$150,000 drawn on his Global Bank account, issued by George B. Kailondo himself to his GT Bank account; which subsequently got value after the Central Bank of Liberia clearing period, with a corresponding debit to his Global Bank account on which the check is drawn is considered “theft”.

He said: “Also, that the Bank is adjudged guilty of “Theft” and “Misapplication of Entrusted Property” because in accordance with the Guarantee Facility Agreement (GFA), it used monies held in an escrow account for the purpose of paying the guarantee which gave Kailondo Petroleum Inc., petroleum products worth US$2.417,000 from SRIMEX OIL & GAS. The Bank simply paid SRIMEX OIL & GAS the US$2.417 million from the escrow account that warehoused the sales proceeds of the consignment of petroleum products secured by the Bank Guarantee it issued to SRIMEX on behalf of Kailondo Petroleum in accordance with the terms and conditions of the GFA.

He continued: “How could any group of levelheaded people who were not compromised, declare the Bank guilty of what they considered “theft” and “misapplication” by doing what is legal and in accordance with the laid down institutional policy? How could anyone who is not compromised or bought, require the Bank to pay Kailondo Petroleum Inc., another US$2,417,000 after it had paid SRIMEX, and SRIMEX through its CEO, Musa Hassan Bility, who confirmed and adduced evidence in open court that his company supplied Kailondo Petroleum Inc. the petroleum products valued at US$2,417,000, secured by a Bank Guarantee from Global Bank Liberia Limited and that the Bank honored its obligation by settling the full value of the product SRIMEX supplied Kailondo Petroleum Inc.?

He said it is glaring that the jurors, except one, were all bargained; and that their verdict was not based on the pieces of evidence and testimonies adduced in court; adding that it is not the end of the road; as the Bank is determined to stretch this case to any length in ensuring that justice is served beyond all reasonable doubt.”

As it stands, the Bank (Global Bank Liberia Limited) by and thru its defense counsel, comprising of some of the country’s best lawyers, has called for a new trial in the case.

The counsel filed the motion for a fresh trial on Friday, April 29, a copy which is in the possession of this outlet. In said motion, the Bank’s legal team dismissed all of the arguments of Kailondo’s lawyers and the jurors and prayed the Court to hear the case anew. According to legal luminaries interviewed, Global Bank reserves the right to appeal to the Supreme Court, if the new trial in the case does not meet its expectation.