Rights Activist Says He’s Life is under Threat
Monrovia – Human rights activist Leroy Archie Ponpon has accused some supporters of the ruling establishment — Coalition for Democratic Change — and some officials of government of threatening his life.
Report by Augustine T. Tweh, [email protected]
“My three-day hunger strike action was about Liberians’ right to information about their public officials’ assets. I want the President [George Weah] and his supporter to know that I don’t need job. I just want the President and his officials to declare their assets.”
Further in his charge, he accused Chief Justice Francis Korkpor of intimidating him on the job, he does at the Tax Court; adding: “The threat on my life is coming from everywhere.”
Ponpon said since his protest action aimed at drawing the attentions of the President, his Cabinet and other senior officials for them to declare their assets as required by law, there have been several attempts on his life by supporters and officials of the government.
He also alleged that two days after his hunger strike, he was attacked by an individual he identified as James Kollie on the alleged instructions of Transport Minister Samuel A. Wlue, after he had gone to collect his bed and other belongings from the spot he had been stationed during his three-day strike up Mamba Point.
Archie Ponpon also alleged that the Chief Justice has threatened to dismiss him from his job and has instructed Court officers assigned in his office to monitor his (Archie’s) daily activities at the court.
“The Chief Justice has intensified his intimidation of me and has threatened my dismissal. Every time, I see people coming to ask about whether I am at job; this is strange. This is intimidation because of asset declaration advocacy that I put up,” Ponpon stated.
When contacted, the Director of Press at the Temple of Justice, Darryl Ambrose Nmah, said he had no knowledge on the issue and could not respond to it.
“I don’t know whether he works at the Temple of Justice, so I can’t respond to that,” Director Nmah noted.
For his part, Minister Samuel A. Wlue said he has no idea of the allegation levied against him by Archie Ponpon.
“First of all, I don’t know who you call Archie Ponpon and secondly, I don’t even know what you are talking about, I have no idea on what you are talking about,” he said.
Leroy Archie Ponpon works as a bailiff at the Tax Court at the Temple of Justice.
Bailiff is a law enforcement officer or magisterial officer who serves writ by the instruction of the clerk.
Leroy Archie Ponpon is on record of staging a protest for gay rights in 2012. He is also on record of burning the Norwegian flag in protest over former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 and several other protests during the Sirleaf’s regime.
Ponpon’s hunger strike protest intended for President Weah and his officials to declare their assets was staged on April 11, 2018. It is Ponpon’s first civil disobedience under the CDC-led government since inauguration on January 22, 2018.
In furtherance, Ponpon said his three-day hunger strike was intended to bring transparency and accountability.
“I do not need attention from anybody. I am just doing a human rights piece of job. The public has the right to be informed as to what the President’s asset is, what his income is, what his liability is. He must declare all of that. And so, I am not seeking any attention. I am just doing my work as an activist to make sure that society lives within the confine of the law and that nobody is bigger than the law,” Ponpon said.
President Weah last declared his assets in 2005 when he contested the presidency but lost to Madam Sirleaf.
Calls have been mounting for a new declaration since he was sworn in as President on January 22, 2018.