LIBERIA: THE IRKSOME SKYJACK OF SOLWAY’S LICENSE TAKES DIFFERENT TURN: BOIMA MORGAN GOES TO COURT

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Few months after the skyjacking of the exploration license of Solway, the architects of the transaction seem to have some divergences amongst themselves as Boima Morgan, a local Manager of the company who is said to have falsified some documents with the help of officials of the Ministry of Mines and Energy during the Weah regime to claim 100% share of the company, files lawsuit against the Government of Liberia, ArcelorMittal Liberia, and former Minister of Finance Samuel Tweah.

On the 12 of January 2024, with the assistance of his legal counsel Bennedict SANNOH, Alfor B. Morgan filed a petition in the Civil sixth Judicial Circuit Court, in Montserado county.

“REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA) IN THE CVIL SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, MONTSERRADO COUNTY) SITTING IN ITS DECEMBER TERM A.D. 2023 BEFORE HER HONOR: GOLDA B. ELLIOT ASSIGNED CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE Solway Mining Incorporated, a corporate entity organized and existing under the laws of Liberia represented by and through its managing Director and sole shareholder, Alford Boima Morgan of the City of Monrovia, County of Montserrado , Republic of Liberia… 1 st PETITIONER And Alford B Morgan, Sole Shareholder of Solway Mining Incorporated, in his individual capacity, of the City of Monrovia, County of Montserrado , Republic of Liberia …………………………………….2nd PETITIONER VERSUS The Government of the Republic of Liberia to include its Agents Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Mines & Energy and The National Investment Commission (NIC), represented by and thru the Attorney General & Minister of Justice, Republic of Liberia, Hon. F. Musa Dean of the City of Monrovia, County of Montserrado ………………………..1 st RESPONDENT PETITION FOR SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE AND Hon. Samuel N Tweah of the City of Monrovia, of the City of Monrovia, County of Montserrado , Republic of Liberia ——————————————–2 nd . RESPONDENT And AcelorMittal, Liberia Holdings Limited (formerly MITTAL STEEL (LIBERIA) HOLDINGS LIMITED, a company incorporated under the laws of Cyprus with registration number HE 163095 whose registered office is at Julia House, 2 Thememoistecles Dervis Street, CY 1066, Nicsis, Cyprus; and AcelorMittal, Liberia Holdings A.G (formerly) MITTAL HOLDINGS AG), a company incorporated under the laws of Switzerland with Registration number CHE-112,701.185 whose registered office is at Zahlerweg 6 Zug, ZUG, 6300, Switzerland, together (ArcelorMittal”……………3 nd . RESPONDENT PETITIONERS.” The petition stipulates.

In September last year, Solway Mining, a Swiss group involved in iron Mining that has been operating in Liberia since 2019, was victim of an Alibaba and the 40 thieves king of operation at the highest level in government.

The company had just ended its exploration in Nimba County when one of its local Manager, Alford B. Morgan, unknown to the owners and financiers of the company, entered in a lucrative deal with the Government and AML to turn the license of the company to AML for 30 million United States dollars.

“Under the terms of the Agreement, the Government agreed to pay Petitioners Thirty Million United States Dollars (US$30,000,000) in two tranches, in consideration of which Petitioners herein agreed to relinquish all rights, title and interest it had in and to the Exploration License and the Exploration Area, and to convey, transfer and deliver to the Government all Assets and Facilitate acquired by it in connection with the Exploration License, and the Exploration Data, results and findings generated during the term of the Exploration License. We set forth below the terms of payment: 3.3.SETTLEMENT AMOUNT; PAYMENT TERMS “(a). In consideration for the relinquishment of the Exploration License, transfer of the Exploration Data and relinquishment of any intellectual proprietary rights thereto, exploration costs incurred by the Company and settlement of any potential claims or future claims, the Government shall pay to the Company, by direct wire transfer with evidence of the transfer, the amount of US$30,000,000.00 minus any0 amounts due by the Company to the Government pursuant to Section 4 below (the Settlement amount (into the Escrow account set up in a Commercial Bank with the Commercial bank stipulated as the Escrow Agent, designated by the Company in Schedule 3 in the form of : (i) a payment of US$15,000,000 representing 50% of the Settlement to be paid in full and clear funds, within 190 days following the Exploration License termination and re-issuance to the third party; and (ii) following the payment under paragraph (i), the payment of the remaining 50% of US$15,000,000.00 to be paid in full and clear funds, within 10days following the Ratification date for the third party.” Alford B. Morgan said in his petition written by Cllr Bennedict SANNOH on January 12, 2024.

The news about the turning over of the company’s license to ArcelorMittal Liberia was received in Switzerland as frustrating and shocking news. To date, the financiers and owners of the company are still under the shock.

“We know that Liberia is law-abiding country. We believe that justice will prevail in a way that this will not be a deterrent for other investors.” A foreign diplomat told this paper.

As the owners and financiers of Solway are still going through their trauma, their former employee who claims ownership of the company is fighting to get payment from AML, Samuel Tweah and GOL.

Alford Morgan said in his petition to the court that the first $17.5 million given by AML was used by Samuel Tweah to campaign for the CDC of George Weah during the presidential election.

“Contrary to the aforesaid expressed and unambiguous provisions of the Release and Settlement Agreement, however, and the clear understanding of the parties that the Government would establish the Escrow Account and effect payment to Petitioners of the Fifteen Million United States Dollars (US$15,000,000.00) required under Section 3.3(a)(i) of the Release and Settlement Agreement upon the receipt of the payment from ArcelorMittal, the Government through the instrumentality of the 2nd Respondent, Mr. Samuel N. Tweah, embarked on a scheme to frustrate the implementation of the payment arrangement agreed upon by the Government, ArcelorMittal and the Petitioners for their own selfish objectives. Firstly, the Government through the instrumentality of 2nd Respondent Samuel N. Tweah, neglected, failed and refused to establish the Escrow Account as required under Section 3.3(a)(i) of the Release and Settlement Agreement into which the payments to Solway would have been effected. Secondly, 2nd Respondent, Samuel N. Tweah, misused and abused his dominant position as Minister of Finance and Development Planning and contrary to established procedures, rules and regulations for the withdrawal of funds from the Consolidated Account of the Government, he illegally withdrew the total amount of Fifteen Million United States Dollars (US$15,000,000.00) out of the funds paid by ArcelorMittal under the Deed of Settlement, and from credible information, he utilized it to provide support to the Congress of Democratic Change (CDC) in the erstwhile General and Presidential Elections and to disburse the balance of the funds to himself, his partners and conspirators in Government in furtherance of this illegal scheme. 15. Petitioners say that, the conduct of 2nd Respondent, Samuel Tweah and his collaborators in withdrawing the Fifteen Million United States Dollars (US$15,000,000.00) out of funds paid by ArcelorMittal into the Consolidated Account in furtherance of the Deed of Settlement executed by the Government and ArcelorMittal was not an official Act of the Government in his capacity as Minister of Finance, but rather an abuse of dominant position of Mr. Tweah for personal and or political gain at the detriment of Petitioners, and at the detriment of the integrity of the people and Government of Liberia, for which he must be held personally responsible. Mr. Samuel Tweah’s conduct under the circumstances not only frustrated the payment to Petitioners in the manner prescribed in the Release and Settlement Agreement, but also defrauded ArcelorMittal which was lured by the Government into believing that once payment is made by ArcelorMittal, the Government would effect payment to Petitioner Solway, when in fact the 1st Respondent Government and 2nd Respondent Samuel Tweah, at all relevant times had a different plan for the money once it was paid into the consolidated account.” Alford Morgan said.

The release and settlement Agreement was signed on the 5th of July, 2023, and was signed by Gesler Muray, Samuel Tweh, Alford Morgan, attested by Musa Dean, and witnessed by Emmanuel Sherman.

Information reaching this paper discloses that the new Government of Liberia has already prepared its reply to the lawsuit. More details on the government’s facts finding investigation are coming soon.

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