Liberian Children Forum Wants Varney Jersey, Momolu V.O. Sirleaf Taken Back to Pre-Trial Detention
Monrovia – The Liberia Children Representative Forum and the Right Holders Network have called for the rearrests of Varney Jersey, the former president of the Liberia National Student Union (LINSU) and Momolu V.O. Sirleaf, a Health Ministry’s official to face speedy court trials.
Report by Gerald C.Koinyeneh 00231880881540 / 00231777769531 [email protected]
The pair were in jail awaiting trial for allegedly raping girls under 18 years (on separate occasions) but were released for health-related issues.
According to the children advocacy groups, since their release, the two have been seen living as free men and performing other governmental functions while the allegations of rape hang over them.
The groups want rape court to provide a “public justification as to how Varney Jersey traveled to Rwanda in July of this year when he was asked to turn over his passport and other traveling documents.
The groups also called for the arrest of former Grand Gedeh County Representative Morias Waylee who was also accused of raping and impregnating his 13-year-old niece in 2017.
Waylee has since denied the allegation.
A FrontPageAfrica’s undercover reporter was able to locate and speak to the victim who was taken to Waylee’s hometown in Grand Gedeh County, but she (victim) was later shielded from the public and sent to the Sande Society – a sacred traditional school for girls. The case is still pending, while the accused is living a free man.
The groups, in a statement signed by the Jutomue Doetein, Speaker of the Liberian National Children Representative Forum and Ballah Flomo Saywala, Chairman, Right Holders Network decried the situation and called for the reopening of the case and fast tracking of all rape cases on the court’s dockets, noting that “Justice delayed is justice denied.”
The groups: “We call on the Ministry of Justice to order Varney Jersey and Momolu V. O. Sirleaf rearrested as soon as possible and serve them and other alleged rapists speedy trials. We also call on the Ministry of Justice to arrest Morrias Waylee and prevail on the local authorities to show the whereabouts of the 13-year-old girl who is a potential witness in the adjudication of the case.”
Meanwhile, in the wake of the ‘More Than Me’ rape scandal, the Liberian National Children Representative Forum and the Right Holders Network have launched a campaign calling on the Government of Liberia to take pragmatic steps in ending violence against women and children.
The campaign, named “She Doesn’t Deserve to Be Rape,” is headed by Jutomue Doetein and Ballah Flomo Saywala.
According to Doetein, the advocacy groups, under the campaign will visit relevant government’s institutions and non-governmental entities with their petitions calling on them to act now.
Speaking at the start of the campaign at the Capitol Building, Doetein avowed that the act allegedly perpetrated against the children at ‘More Than Me’ is alarming and needs national government’s ‘instant’ intervention, instead of issuing mere statements.
“As representatives of the children of Liberia and advocacy organizations, we condemned to the highest degree the recent rape of several Liberian girls at the More Than Me Academy in Monrovia,” he lamented.
“The action carried out by a man identified as Macintosh Johnson, an ex-combatant and Co-founder of the NGO is a violation of the 2011 Children’s law of Liberia, the Rape law and further undermines the protection and well-being of all children in Liberia.”
In their petition to the Legislature, the groups, among other things, called on the government to cease all travelling documents of More Than Me’s founder, Katie Meyler until the investigation is completed.
They called on the government to investigate all security officers and staff of the institution who were involved in the “cover up.”
They also want the school to remain operational, while the children should be given proper medication and other forms of assistance.
“All those including the police and judges who were involved during the investigation at that time must be questioned; all those who heard about it and did not inform the government should be brought to justice; national government must now vigorously commence monitoring all 19 schools placed under the control of More Than Me Academy in 2017,” the petition noted.