Hired by Mali Development Resources (MDR), Cameroonian-born US-based international Mining and petroleum legal expert, Dr. David Makongo recently won a title battle in a Mali court, thereby helping to recover and secure 100% ownership of an American company, MDR’s investments which were already under serious threat in Mali,The Recorder gathered
Dr. Makongo also rescued two exploitation permits for gold, two dredges and won an award for his client of 188.000.000 Frs. CFA (about USD$100.000) in damages. Mr. Joseph Paul Smith, acting in his capacity as general administrator of MDR, by proxy signed on August 23th 2010 and entrusted in the hands of Mr. Mohamed Keita the authority to act as representative of the company in exchange of which the shareholders offered him 3% free carried interest of the company.
Within the framework of its activities, the company bought two dredge-machines for the exploitation of gold along the River Niger in the mining district of Téguédakan, in Kangaba. After Mr. Smith’s death in October 2010, an inventory of the assets of the company was conducted by the shareholders including Mr. Keita. When Dr. Makongo was hired and in the course of conducting his due diligence investigation in Mali, it emerged that, Mohamed Keita had been using MDR machines to exploit gold for his personal profit without ever informing the company. It was further discovered that Mr. Keita was trying to fraudulently change the name of the company from MDR to SHIRAMAX with all kinds of paperwork to justify his ownership claim.
After attempts at persuading Mr.Keita drop his false claim failed, Dr. Makongo (supported by local counsel - Maitre Fangamba) waged a fearless legal assault against Mr.Keita for breach of trust, arguing strongly that an illegal act legalized does not become legal. Delivering judgment in the case, the President of the Court of First Instance in the 5th Municipality of Bamako, Mrs. Berthe Coumba Mafing Diallo, ordered that Keita (born on 11/09/1964 in Segou – Mali) pay MDR 189 150 000 Frs. CFA (about USD$95.000) damages from illegal exploitation of gold on company property and commanded also that Keita be placed under house arrest for twelve months.
In winning this case, Dr. Makongo –now legal and political consultant for MDR, also succeeded in rescuing MDR’s title to two exploitation permits for gold, in securing title to two environmental permits for MDR, in maintaining intact the shareholders’ agreement of MDR and in winning the award of costs – lost production to MDR of USD$95.000. It is worthy of note that Dr. Makongo succeeded in winning this legal battle when there was a military coup in Mali that has seen the country divided between the President on exile and a military junta still pulling the shots and the strings in the country.
Dr. Makongo’s victory in the Mali legal tussle is evidence that this Cameroonian legal petroleum/mining expert knows Africa too well and what it takes to do successful business in the continent. The Recorder has learned that Dr. Makongo is also bent on is helping his clients in Guinea, Senegal, Niger, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Congo Brazzaville secure their assets tightly and exploit resources for the benefit of all stakeholders.
NB: First Published in The RECORDER Newspaper,Cameroon,July 20,2012