Nigerian Rape Suspect Disappears From Criminal Court in Liberia
Monrovia – A Nigerian Suspect identified as John Ochinoso on Tuesday escaped disappeared from Criminal Court “E” at the Temple of Justice where he was being tried.
Report by Bettie K. Johnson-Mbayo/ [email protected]
Ochinoso who came along with another defendant escaped the court and judicial sources said the court has issued a search and arrest warrant for him.
Authorities at Criminal “E” are currently tightlipped on the escape of the Nigerian rape suspect, but sources said there was an ongoing probe by Judge Ceianeh Clinton-Johnson of Criminal Court “E” – the specialized court for sexual offences.
A judicial source who asked for anonymity said if a suspect escapes court someone must be held responsible.
Another legal source said the act by the defendant showed he’s guilty.
“Flight is an element of guilt under the law; once as a prisoner escapes under the jurisdiction of a court, the sheriff carries greater responsibility and sometimes is held liable for a defendant’s escaped,” the source said.
Rape remains one of the most frequently reported crimes in Liberia, according to Liberia’s Ministry of Gender and Development. The incidence of sexual violence against women in Liberia is among the highest in the world.
Rape is in gross violation of Section 14.70 (a) (ii) & (b) of the new rape law of the Republic Liberia.
Criminal “E” is the only one court that handles cases of rape and gender-based violence in the country.
The act establishing Criminal Court “E” stipulates that it should be established in each of the 15 counties, and be a separate and special division of the circuit court to be called Sexual Offence Division.
But due to the lack of infrastructure around the country, only Criminal Court “E” in Montserrado County is operating as a Sexual Offence Court.
It can be recalled Lansanah Kromah, alleged ring leader of the syndicate who was arrested by officers of the Liberia National Police for car theft escaped from the Monrovia City Court at the Temple of Justice. His whereabouts is still unknown.