GT Bank Liberia managing director, Ayodeji Bejide, allegedly injured employee Edward Freeman by throwing a calculator at him, causing a serious injury to his lips.-As Defendant Ayodeji Bejide gets court permission to leave the country The Liberian government has declined to indict dismissed Guaranty Trust Bank Manager, Ayodeji Bejide, a Nigerian national, after he threw his calculator at the face of one of his staff members in a fit of rage, during a meeting. The staff member, identified as Edward Freeman, sustained serious injury on the lip.The Monrovia City Court, where defendant Bejide is expected to face charges of aggravated assault, has lifted its travel ban on the defendant, permitting him to leave for a two-week medical trip outside the country.Initially, the government had requested the court not to allow Bejide to leave the country while the matter was still pending.It was not clear whether it was the government’s prosecutors that agreed to the court’s decision, though defendant Bejide had been under a US$50,000 bail posted by the Insurance Company of Africa (ICA).The assault on Freeman took place on Tuesday, August 28, after which Bejide was arrested by the Liberia National Police (LNP), charged with aggravated assault, and arraigned on August 30 before the Monrovia City Court.Since defendant Bejide’s first arraignment, there is no record to show that the government has notified the court about their preparedness to pursue the matter.And because government prosecutors did not press for the resumption of the case, the court resolved to revoke its sanctions imposed on defendant Bejide barring him from leaving the country.Their revocation letter, a copy of which is with the Daily Observer, is dated September 28, 2018 and signed by Francis Weah, clerk of the court. It reads: “Acting upon order and directive of Magistrate Kennedy Peabody the Writ of Ne-Exeat Republica of August 31 issued by the court for the purpose of preventing defendant Ayodeji Bejide leaving the bailiwick of the Republic of Liberia is ordered by the court revoked since, in fact, the purpose for which the writ was issued no longer exist.”In conclusion, it said, “He (defendant Bejide) is thereby at liberty and has the freedom to leave the Republic of Liberia to foreign parts as he wishes.”It may be recalled that because of the urgency attached to the matter, the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), at the time of the incident, instituted several punitive measures against Ayodeji Bejide, including his immediate suspension for assaulting Edward Freeman.The Bank, in a release, said, “The Chairman of the Board of Governors and Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Nathaniel R. Patray, III sanctioned the decision as Mr. Ayodeji Bejide will not receive pay pending the thorough investigation of the allegations against him by the CBL’s Board.”Another measure taken by the CBL, was the naming of GTBank Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Amazu Nwachukwu, as Acting MD until the conclusion of the aforesaid investigation and “the submission to the CBL within 48 hours the GT Bank Board’s intended course of action to address this grave matter.”“The CBL Management says following its (GT Bank Board’s) report, it would review the Board’s recommendations and ensure the strictest implementation of the Bank’s ‘mitigative’ actions,” the release noted.In response to Bejide’s action, GT Bank Board expressed deep regret for this alleged incident and further informed the CBL that a senior executive from its parent company, GT Bank Nigeria, was due to arrive in Liberia on August 29, 2018, to assist in the investigation.Police investigation also established that suspect Bejide and the victim were not in confusion at the time of the incident and that the suspect had admitted to the commission of the crime.At that time, Inspector General of Police Patrick Sudue warned that his administration would not tolerate such a barbaric attitude and perpetrators will surely be prosecuted according to the laws of Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
…Govt-subsidised river taxis reduced minibus revenuesThe Berbice Bridge Company Incorporated (BBCI) is running at a loss with the company experiencing minimal growth in traffic and revenue, according to the directors in the 2015 Annual Report.This has resulted in no dividends being declared for Common Shareholders that own the equity in the bridge, for the eighth successive year since operations of the Berbice Bridge was launched.BBCI held its annual general meeting on Friday at the Guyana Cooperative Insurance Services (GCIS) building on Main Street, Georgetown. However, according to the annual report, which was seen by Guyana Times, even though the company recorded a loss of $167.4 million last year, this reflects a 30 per cent improvement when compared to the loss of $239.2 million in the previous year.According to the Directors, this reduction in both traffic and revenue growth was significantly lower than projected at the planning stages of the Berbice Bridge project. It was outlined that revenues from tolls in 2015 had amounted to $1,343 million as against $1,342 million in 2014.The report revealed that of the revenue generated, some 45.2 per cent were gained from cars, 16.16 per cent from freights, 9.29 per cent from minibuses, 10.73 per cent from medium trucks, 5.23 per cent from small trucks and 4.45 per cent from pick-ups, and remaining categories 8.89 per cent. The daily average revenue earned, the directors said, amounted to $3,682,212, a minor increase of 0.14 per cent over 2014.“This minimal increase of below one per cent over the previous year was primarily due to minor increases in traffic for cars, motorcycles and large trucks. Once again, a sharp decline was observed in traffic for minibuses and ocean-going vessels, along with a decline in all other categories, inclusive of freight,” the report stated.However, it was explained that BBCI in December last year had entered an agreement with the Government, which saw the State paying a commuters’ subsidy to reduce the Bridge toll for passenger cars and mini-buses from $2200 to $1900 and for all other types of vehicles by 10 per cent, excluding vessels.“This was done on the premise that both parties would engage shortly after implementation of the said agreement on January 1, 2016 in discussion on mutually beneficial arrangements in relation to tolls, since these were to be increased as per the toll formula,” the report stated. It is uncertain if this meeting occurred.Moreover, the BBCI directors pointed out that Government’s introduction of a “subsided” River Taxi System in September 2015 for passengers only from Rosignol Stelling to New Amsterdam, would have contributed to the significant decline in minibus traffic across the Bridge, which amounts to some six per cent over the period September 21 to December 31, 2015.In addition, the report stated that the non-interest expenses before amortization and depreciation for 2015 was $276 million compared to $292 million in the previous year. This decrease of five per cent was as a result of no dredging operations being required last year.The directors added too that BBCI’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was $1.072 billion, an increase of two per cent from 2014. However, the company’s total assets decreased from $6.7 billion to $6.5 billion in 2015, reflecting a decrease of 2.60 per cent over 2014, which was due mainly to continued amortization of concession assets, increases in property, plant and equipment, inventory and cash and cash equivalents.Additionally, the report outlined that capital expenditures for the year included the construction of a jack-up barge, a new scale for the eastern end of the bridge and a standby generator set, which are work-in-progress.