Drama occurred yesterday in a packed Monrovia City courtroom when a swift intervention by the County Attorney of Montserrado County, Cllr. Daku Mulbah, prevented Henry Sambullah, Comptroller at the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (MLME), from spending a night behind bars at the Monrovia Central Prison. Mr. Sambullah and Minister Patrick Sendolo were both ordered by the court to appear before it yesterday to answer to a charge of “Theft of Service” from a complaint filed against them by Madam Jamima K. Wolokollie, Manager of Pan African Travel Agency.In her complaint, Madam Wolokollie alleged that in March 2013, Minister Sendolo obtained her agency’s services to provide him and others airline tickets to the tune of US$7,268 – to allow them to attend a conference in Guinea – which the Ministry has not paid up to present.But when Sambullah arrived in court yesterday, he did not come along with Minister Sendolo as was requested by the court’s document, a copy of which is with the Daily Observer.Upon entering the courtroom, Sambullah was immediately placed on a bench with other accused individuals, some of whom were identified as “hardcore criminals.”Dressed in a blue long sleeved shirt, Mr. Sambullah sat on the bench for over two hours as officers awaited a directive from Magistrate Kennedy Peabody to take Sambullah to jail, though the crime qualifies for bail.The most surprising event unfolded when Sambullah noticed that there was no lawyer in the courtroom to plead on his behalf as he sat on the prisoners’ bench.“Does the Ministry have an in-house legal team like other government agencies? I don’t think so,” a judicial expert was heard rhetorically asking after Sambullah was left alone in the courtroom.Being a senior official of the Ministry, maybe Sambullah did not expect to be treated in the manner he was. He, however, chose to fight his own battle by making calls from the bench.One of those calls attracted the attention of Cllr. Daku, who intervened for Sambullah to be allowed to leave the bench to complete the call.Routinely, if a person remains on the bench without a lawyer to file his bond for an offence that qualifies for bail, that individual is sent to jail until he/she can make bail.Later, Cllr. Mulbah, Sambullah and Madam Wolokollie were seen leaving the courtroom for what appeared to be a closed door discussion with Magistrate Peabody.Following the closed door discussion, the Daily Observer reliably learnt that Cllr. Mulbah promised to repay the US$7,268 by Friday.“Cllr. Mulbah pleaded with Madam Wolokollie to wait until Friday to repay the money and he vowed that he was not prepared to commit government to any legal expenses of such nature,” a source quoted Cllr. Mulbah to have said at the closed door discussion.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A Swann in Pennsylvania? Former Pittsburgh Steelers star Lynn Swann declared his candidacy for Pennsylvania governor in the city where he made his name in professional football. The former USC star told the Associated Press in an interview Wednesday afternoon that he made up his mind to run in the fall, after spending months weighing support at events around the state. Falcons fire QB coach: The Atlanta Falcons fired Mike Johnson as their quarterbacks coach. Johnson, 38, coached the Atlanta receivers in 2002 before taking over quarterbacks the following season. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets discussed a compensation package for coach Herman Edwards on Wednesday, a person familiar with the situation said on condition of anonymity. The Chiefs, rumored to be interested in Edwards for the past two months, would have to give up draft picks to hire Edwards because he is still under contract with the Jets. Edwards has ties to the Kansas City organization and general manager Carl Peterson, and would replace retired coach Dick Vermeil. The NFL must approve the deal before it can be official, and nothing was submitted to the league office by late Wednesday afternoon. Giving up draft picks is nothing new to the Chiefs. Kansas City surrendered a second- and a third-round pick when it hired Vermeil, who was technically under contract with St. Louis even though he was retired. Peterson was upset about that, and though he declined to discuss Edwards at a news conference Tuesday, he did say “Any time I have to part with a No. 1 draft choice it’s painful.” Shockey practicing for playoffs: New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey practiced on his injured ankle for the first time in more than a week Wednesday. Peterson will play against Pats: Jaguars linebacker Mike Peterson missed a second day of practice, but said his sprained right wrist will not prevent him from playing against New England in the playoffs Saturday night. Bills president fired: Tom Donahoe was fired as Buffalo Bills president and general manager in a shakeup that could mark Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy’s return to the franchise in a management role. Offensive coordinator Tom Clements was also fired, his agent, Gary O’Hagan, told the Associated Press. Best rookies: Carnell Williams of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was named the Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year award, and Shawne Merriman earnned the Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Coaching searches: Ron Rivera, the Bears’ defensive coordinator, acknowledged he’ll meet with the St. Louis Rams about their head coaching vacancy this week. … Miami offensive coordinator Scott Linehan was in Houston to interview for the head coaching job left vacant when Dom Capers was fired after the Texans finished their season with an NFL-worst record of 2-14.