Liberia: Children & Youth Advisory Board Wants Murder Charge Against Five-Years Old Killer
Monrovia – The National Children and Youth Advisory Board is calling for a murder charge to be levied against 33-years old Melissa Tokpah for allegedly killing little blessing Johnson in the 72nd community on March 18 of this year.
Report By: Jackson F. Kanneh – 00231770195412 / [email protected]
Speaking at a press conference recently, the group’s Secretary-General, Esther Karr said the manner in which little blessing was murdered requires Murder charge instead of manslaughter as per the police report.
According to her, Melissa Tokpah’s decision to beat on a five-year-old minor intentionally leading to her death was well calculated and as such, she should be charged with murder rather than manslaughter.
The group further noted that a lesser charge of manslaughter will undermine future ruling in the case.
Said the group: “According to criminal law definition, murder is a homicide crime defined as the intentional killing of one human being by another with malice aforethought. Malice aforethought is a state of mind, or intend requirement that makes a homicide a murder.”
“Therefore, we as child rights activists totally disagree with the Liberia National Police to charge Miss Tokpah for a lesser crime of manslaughter in which we strongly feel that it will undermine or jeopardize this case, thus promoting the culture of impunity and violence against children.”
Little Blessing Johnson met her untimely death March 18, of this year after being beaten by her guardian, Melissa Tokpah for defecating on herself and messing up the bathroom.
The group, at the same time, called on the government to be steadfast in tackling all forms of violence against women and children.
According to them, the best way of combating child violence is by identifying its root cause.
“We challenge the government of Liberia to work towards the elimination of all forms of violence against children, including violent forms of discipline. We are also calling on the Liberian government to address the underlying causes of violence against women and children and comprehensive measures to tackle it.”
Speaking further, the group urged the government to uphold the United Nations 2017 resolution 17/176 which calls for the protection and development of children in member states.
“The National Children and Youth Advisory Board calls on the government of Liberia to take effective and efficient measures in providing a safe and healthy environment for children, especially in the wake of these alarming events.”