Court Orders Reopening of Spoon Network Amid Motion filed by Management
TEMPLE OF JUSTICE, Monrovia – Judge Kennedy Peabody, presiding over the Sixth Judicial Circuit, Civil Law Court “A,” has issued an order for the reopening of Spoon FM/TV Communication Network. The decision was made in response to a motion to vacate the attachment filed by Spoon Network’s management on August 23, 2023.
The court’s order reads: “You are hereby ordered to lift the attachment on Mr. Stanton Witherspoon and the Management of Spoon TV/FM Communication Network, applicants/movants in the above entitled cause of action, thereby opening applicants/movants premises, permitting and allowing movants/applicants/defendants to carry on their normal business activities until otherwise order by the court, ” the court ordered.
The initial closure of Spoon Network had been mandated on July 14, following an action of damages by the bill of attachment. The lawsuit, brought forth by Wilmot Smith, former Deputy Director of General for Information Coordination at the Liberia Institute of Statistic and Geo-information Services (LISGIS), accused the Management and CEO Stanton Witherspoon of Spoon Group of Companies of causing damages. The lawsuit had sought damages totaling FIVE MILLION TWO HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND United States Dollars.
Spoon Communication Network and CEO Stanton Witherspoon were identified as the first and second defendants, respectively, in a writ that commanded the attachment of their offices, land, goods, money, chattels, and credits. This attachment was meant to secure the sum of US$5,250,000.00 as specified in the lawsuit.
Furthermore, the court had required an indemnity bond equivalent to one and a half times the sued amount, totaling approximately US$8 million, to be posted by the defendants.
In 2023 Mr. Smith filed a US$1.5 million lawsuit against the Management of Spoon TV/FM Communication Network for alleged damages, slander, and libel. The court’s decision also included an arrest order for the management and CEO of Spoon Network, following a complaint submitted to the court.
According to Cllr. Arthur Johnson, Witherspoon had repeatedly defamed Smith, labeling him a criminal during broadcasts on Spoon Talk, which aired on social media and radio. The former acting director-general of LISGIS demanded a retraction and correction of these statements within 72 hours.
This legal dispute arose subsequent to Smith’s dismissal by President George Weah for “administrative reasons” alongside Alex Williams, then Deputy Director-General for Statistics and Data Processing, on November 14, 2022.
The lawsuit had necessitated the provision of real properties valued at over US$3.5 million to serve as a surety bond, in accordance with Sections 63.1 and 63.2 of Liberia’s Civil Procedure Law.