March 23, 2023

Judge Dunbar ordered British National arrest for alleged refusal to pay USD$6,000 to estranged wife’s lawyer

The premises of the Temple of Justice housing the Criminal Court A was a scene of disbelief when a British national, Hans Armstrong was arrested by court officers based upon the directive of Judge Scheaplor Dunbar of Civil Law Court B Montserrado County.

The dramatic situation occurred after Armstrong had gone to the court as one of the state witnesses to appear before the Grand jurors, to testify in the USD$5million economic sabotage case that involved the Senate Secretary Nanborlor Singbeh.

When Armstrong appeared at the criminal court, while seated alone with other state witnesses, court officers appeared on the scene. Later, one of the officers pulled out Judge Dunbar ordered, and demanded that Armstrong should follow him immediately, but was resisted by Assistant Minister for Litigation at the Ministry of Justice, Counselor Wesseh A Wesseh.

Minister Wesseh argued that Armstrong was a state witness and could not be arrested while under the control of the government. Following hours of argument between Minister Wesseh and the court officers, the officers left without taking Armstrong alone with them. Unfortunately, after Armstrong completed his testimony before the Grand jurors, it was then Minister Wesseh handed him over to the Civil Law Court for arrest.

When Armstrong appeared before Judge Dunbar, there was no lawyer to represent him; the judge did not inquire as to whether Armstrong was legally represented. But rather in an angry mood, instructed the court officers to send him to prison immediately without a lawyer representing Mr. Armstrong.

It is established that before Judge Dunbar decision, Armstrong had written two separate communications to Chief Justice Francis Korkpor expressing disappointment over Judge Dunbar handling of a non-contested divorce case that involved him and his estranged wife Karen R Clarke Armstrong.

During the hearing of the case that is believed to be a civil matter, Judge Dunbar, initially arrested Armstrong on grounds that he had refused to pay USD$6,000 as counsel fees to his estranged wife lawyer, Counselor G. Wrefurd Sayeh. It was based on the decision that Armstrong complain Dunbar to Chief Justice Korkpor.

Judge Dunbar was on October 25, 2021 complaint to Chief Justice Francis Korkpor by Hans Armstrong who accused the judge of ethical transgression, while presiding over Hans and his separated wife Karen R Clarke Armstrong’s non contested divorce case.

Again, Armstrong on December 21, 2021, wrote a follow-up letter of complaint to Chief Justice Korkpor, bringing to the chief justice attention the behavior of Judge Dunbar, who had demanded the payment of the counsel fees, and the judge had already issued an arrest order for him, for his refusal to pay the money.

The complaint against Judge Dunbar was triggered, when the judge chose to enforce the early judgment of his predecessor Judge Yamie Quiqui Gbeisaye, who had demanded that Armstrong pay said amount unto his separated wife’s lawyer, Counselor G. Wrefurd Sayeh, the amount of US$6,000 before he can proceed further with the case.

Reported by:  Taisiah K.Merfee


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