Liberia: What Happened to 13-Yr-Old Angel of Ricks Institute?

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More Questions Than Answers…

MONROVIA – What led to the untimely death of 13-year-old Willvette Angel Nagbe of Ricks Institute is still unknown. The public has begun to speculate the cause surrounding the teenager’s death, with some even concluding that there is a foul play. Some have pointed accusing fingers at Ricks Institute, where she attended primary school before she met her premature death few days ago.

However, there are unconfirmed reports that the teenaged girl was pregnant and had taken the time while on the trip to visit an aunt, who is unlicensed to assist her abort the pregnancy.


By Mae Azango, [email protected]


According to some accounts, this aunt picked her up from the bus when they arrived in Buchanan City. It is said that she prepared for her (Angel) a local delicacy of the Bassa people — fufu and palava sauce — to eat and afterwards, inoculated her twice apparently to remove the alleged pregnancy. 

Based on this information, Ricks Institute has called for an autopsy to know the cause of death but the deceased family is said to be refusing an autopsy.

Reacting to media reports, Ricks Institute said the deceased sister, Trence, allegedly admitted to seeing this aunt or family friend, injecting her sister Angel.

Ricks further said in a statement, the preliminary report of physical examinations conducted on the remains of the late Willvette Angel Nagbe from the Homicide Division of the Liberia National Police, which was read on Friday, December 16, to both the parents and Ricks Institute, showed that Angel had some pre-medical conditions prior to her going on the trip.

According to Ricks’ statement, Angel’s family members were said to be very angry upon hearing the report and accused the police of being bias.

However, when FPA visited the police regarding the information on the case, they said the charge sheet was not ready but confirmed that the aunt and another person were in police custody and they declined to provide further details.

In an effort to get the family side, this newspaper gathered that the aunt in question, who allegedly administered the injections to Angel, is called Lisa Jackson and she is the person who had registered Angel at Ricks Institute two years ago and her name is in the school’s file as Angel’s legal guardian. 

It can be recalled that 6th grader Angel, who passed on December 12, while on a school trip to Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, was said by the school administration, to have been sick before embarking on the field trip.

According to a student only identified as Watta, Angel had earlier complained of stomach pain on the day of the trip. Watta further stated that her friend was removed from the trip because she was not feeling well and told to stay, but she hid and sneaked into the bus unnoticed by the authority and sat at the back.

She narrated that by the time she noticed Angel was on the bus, the car was already in motion and inquired from her why she got on the bus when she is not feeling well. According to her, Angel told that she wanted to make the trip to Buchanan to try and reconcile with her boyfriend.  

Ricks Institute’s full statement provided to this newspaper through their lawyer, Cllr. Edwina Barchu:

“On December 19, 2022 the FrontPageAfrica newspaper volume 16 No.233 published an article on The Ricks Institute with the caption “Tragic & Unacceptable” 

  Our beloved student Willvette Angel Nagbe of the 6th grade class was a day student.

Student Angel was born on March 27, 2009. She enrolled at the Ricks Institute in the 4th grade during the academic year of 2019.  

We are still saddened of the death of our beloved student Willvette Angel Nagbe and have been fully cooperating with the Liberian National Police to establish the circumstances surrounding the cause of death.

The Ricks Institute conducted an investigation which revealed that the child was sick prior to going on the trip:

1. There are schoolmates’ testimonies that she was sick.

2. There were phone calls between her and her aunt/family friend that she was going to Bassa sick.

3. Her sister Trence saw her aunt or family friend giving injection to her sister.

4. The aunt/family friend testified giving medication to her.

5. More significantly, the preliminary report of physical examinations conducted on the remains of the Willvette Angel Nagbe from the Homicide Division of the Liberia National Police, which was read on Friday, December 16 to both the Parents and Ricks Institute show that Angel had some pre-medical conditions prior to her going on the trip. The family members of Willvette Angel Nagbe were very angry upon hearing the report and accused the police of being bias. 

Based on the above evidence, we know that she was sick prior to going on the trip but did not tell the administration.”

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