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NOTICES & DOCUMENTS  

Yada Williams & Associates Speak for VP Samsumana Press Statement November 2009
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Nov 18, 2009, 17:22
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The attention of the Vice President, Chief Samuel Sam Sumana, has been drawn to a publication in the Unity Press of 29th October 2009 in relation to him.


The newspaper story purportedly based its allegations on Court papers filed in the United States of America by Mr. James Westlake & others against some of his business partners in the United States. Mr. James Westlake inter alia alleges that the Vice President was paid the sum of US$350, 000.00 (Three Hundred & Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) "... to induce Samuel Sam-Sumana, acting in his capacity as Vice President of Sierra Leone, Africa, to, among other things, have two United States Citizens, who are residents of Perry Country, .........., arrested and unlawfully detained in penal custody in

Sierra Leone Africa for a period of several months......"[sic]. It was further alleged that the said sum of US$350, 000.00 was paid to the Vice President "in the form of cash, corporate stock, and other inducements".


Our firm was briefed by the Vice President on the 27th October 2009 to inter alia investigate the said allegations and prepare written response to the said allegations. We should state at this juncture that the Vice President denies each and every allegation of fact contained in the said Court papers and the Unity Press publication referred to.


It is apparent to us that the allegations contained in the Court papers are hearsay and highly presumptive. The allegations are that the bribes were paid to the Vice President by his own former business associates, Ed Sandridge, Mark Beasley and C. Floyd Anderson. On the 2nd November 2009 Ed Sandridge & Mark Beasley put out a signed statement which inter alia states:


"We have received notice of a publication in the Unity newspaper of Sierra Leone dated October 29, 2009, which references legal papers filed in the courts of the State of Arkansas in the United States of America against us, Taakor, the Honourable Vice President of Sierra Leone, Chief Samuel Sam Sumana, and certain investors of Taakor. That lawsuit alleges that we; or other investors in Taakor, bribed the Honorable Vice President to either curry favors or cause the unlawful detention of United States citizens in Sierra Leone for several months.


These allegations are false, malicious and outrageous. We categorically deny these allegations and affirmatively state that neither we, nor any investor of Taakor, nor our business interests in Sierra Leone, have ever bribed, nor have we ever had any cause to bribe, the Honorable Vice president for any reason"


Our investigations reveal that the two United States citizens referred to in the impugned publication and Court papers are named Mr. William Ray Moor and Mr. Ronnie Youngblood. Mr. Ray Moor and Mr. Youngblood were investigated by the Sierra Leone Police in respect of a complaint of larceny of a "L-7000 Ford Box Truck". The police, by virtue of section 17(3) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act No. 6 of 1991 can lawfully detain criminal suspects for up
Our investigations reveal that the two United States citizens referred to in the impugned publication and Court papers are named Mr. William Ray Moor and Mr. Ronnie Youngblood. Mr. Ray Moor and Mr. Youngblood were investigated by the Sierra Leone Police in respect of a complaint of larceny of a "L-7000 Ford Box Truck". The police, by virtue of section 17(3) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act No. 6 of 1991 can lawfully detain criminal suspects for up


to ten days for economic and offences carrying the death penalty and for up to seventy-two hours for other offences. By letter dated the 28th October 2009 addressed to the Director, Criminal Investigations Department in Freetown we requested information on the alleged detention of Mr. William Ray Moor and Mr. Ronnie Youngblood, "in Sierra Leone, Africa for a period of several months".

The police responded by letter dated 29th October 2009 stating that "....... at no point in time during the investigation were the suspects detained in police custody".


We also searched the Court files in the Judiciary of Sierra Leone as the two American citizens were subsequently charged to Court for the alleged offence. The files in respect of the Magisterial and High Court proceedings also reveal that these two gentlemen were never detained for a moment in Sierra Leone.


The allegations made in the lawsuit also alluded to stocks that were offered the Vice President. Enquiries were made by us at the office of the Registrar of Companies in Freetown. Documents kept at that office reveal that the Vice President, acting on his own volition, relinquished all his interest in Taakor Tropical Hardwood Ltd. on the 22nd April 2008.


CONCLUSION


We are of the opinion based on all the facts stated above, that there is not an iota of truth in the allegations made against the Vice President. The dates, manner and mode of payments were not disclosed. Our investigations reveal that the two United States citizens were never lawfully or unlawfully detained by the Sierra Leone Police or by the Sierra Leone Judiciary all throughout their stay in the country. The allegations made in the said Court Papers are therefore spurious and malicious. The recent action of the said Mr. James Westlake on the 3rd November 2009 authorising his solicitors in the United States to withdraw or strike out the proceedings against the Vice President from the Court records further endorses our position on the issues.

The Vice President has authorised us to make available to the public the several documents obtained from the Registrar of the High Court, Deputy Assistant Registrar, the Registrar of Companies and the Director of the Criminal Investigations Department.

YADA WILLIAMS & ASSOCIATES
SOLICITORS FOR THE VICE PRESIDENT.


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