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Lawsuit Looms Over G.W. Harley Hospital
By Wellington G. Patrick, LINA Nimba County Correspondent
SANNIQUELLIE, November 4 (LINA) - Public Defender Cllr. Mewaseh Paybay has threatened lawsuit against the G. W. Harley Hospital in Sanniquellie and media institutions in Nimba County for alleged “prejudice” against his clients.
Paybay is defending five employees of the County Health Team (CHT) who were linked to the alleged disappearance of 200 bags of rice and other items from the hospital’s warehouse in Sanniquellie.
The case was transferred from Sanniquellie to the Ganta Magisterial Court late October under a change of venue arrangement.
The court, however, trashed the case on October 31 on grounds of insufficient evidence to prosecute the accused, according to the Liberia News Agency correspondent in Nimba County.
It claimed that since the change of venue, prosecuting lawyers have refused to appear twice and there has been no interview, witness or evidence as per the assignment of the case.
Judge Nyan Meator Ben said prosecution of the case was impossible in the absence of the plaintiff and sufficient evidence.
Nimba County Attorney Hector Quoigoa told LINA on Sunday, November 2, that the prosecuting lawyers would resurrect the case during the November Term of Court.
However, defense Counsel Paybay has challenged the court and the administration of the hospital to provide evidence to convict his clients or face a counter suit from his clients.
He said the CHT has no legal right to suspend his clients and broadcast information that shows prejudice against them in the absence of a court verdict.
Without mentioning specific media institutions, Cllr. Paybay said the concerned media houses would face justice for partially reporting the rice saga.
On 2 October, the Liberia National Police arrested 15 gallons of vegetable oil, 10 bags of beans and 200 bags of 25kg rice on board a vehicle with license plate TP-766.
The County Birth Enumeration officer, Sarah Layweh; Head of Psychosocial Counseling Department, Kou Yeelebo; Warehouse Manager Bleh Vah; Community Health Director, C. Paul Nyenzee and Precelia Monmai of the CHT were alleged to have links to the consignment and later arrested and sent to court.
Their lawyer says the supplies were moved to feed citizens quarantined in Saclepea and other parts of Nimba County.