Liberia: House Pardons Sheriff Siblings Following their Passionate Appeal, Relatives’ Intervention

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MONROVIA – The House of Representatives has pardoned Makanvee Sheriff and her brother Abdul Sheriff following the 14-day jailed sentence it imposed on them on Tuesday for assaulting a lawmaker on the grounds of the Capitol.

The decision of the House followed appeals from the Sheriff siblings, their relatives and the Muslim community headed by the Chief Imam of Liberia, Ali Krayee.

In a passionate letter written to the House by Makanvee, who is currently admitted at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital and Abdul from his cell, the pair asked for forgiveness and promised to serve as peace ambassadors to spread the messages of nonviolence on the premises of the Legislature.

They informed the House that Makanvee is suffering from serious medical complications that occurred during the incident, and taking her to prison will further worsen her medical condition.

Following the reading of the communication, Plenary then voted in favor of Rep. Dixon Sebo’s motion to drop the contempt charges against at 2:pm today, Friday after Makanvee has submitted her medical documents to substantiate her claims.

The Plenary of the House of Representatives on Tuesday sentenced the Sheriffs to 15 days (each) in prison for verbally and physically assaulting Rep. Nathaniel Bahway of Grand Kru County District #1 at the grounds of the Capitol for allegedly hitting their vehicle while he was heading to session and refused to say sorry.

Despite the Sheriff siblings pleading guilty and begging for forgiveness, the House, citing Article 44 of the Constitution of Liberia, voted to punish them in order to “Set a precedent and deterred future attacks against lawmakers”.

Since the incident, the pair’s families and the Muslim community of which they are members, including the public have apologized and asked for their pardon.

Chief Imam Krayee on Wednesday leading the family and members of the Islamic community to apologize to the House said: “Yesterday’s act wasn’t just unfortunate, it was illegal, it was inappropriate, and on behalf of the Sheriff family, we want to say we are sorry that it happened at all. We condemn it in every sense of the world and we pray that the Honorable House of Representatives will forgive us; especially our sister, Makanvee Sheriff and our brother Abdul Sheriff for the act done yesterday.”

Meanwhile, speaking to the press for the first time following the incident, Rep. Bahway said he welcome the decision of Plenary in pardoning the Sheriffs, and as children’s farther and a humanitarian, he personally accept their apology and wholeheartedly forgive them.

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