MONROVIA – Cllr. Jerome Verdier has a history of making unverifiable claims against Jefferson Koijee, Mayor of Monrovia. It, however, appears that his allegations come with ulterior motives, rather than fighting for justice. This is evident by his failure to prove any of the allegations made.
The question that has remained unanswered is why he always singles Koijee out, and why not any other member of the ruling CDC.
This is where Koijee believes that he is being sought after because of the base he has built and continues to build in the CDC.
“Some of these attacks and allegations come to me as a shock. I also sometimes wonder why am I the target. But, it also occurred to me that the likes of Verdier are those who felt and still feel a common, ordinary Liberian or I should say, a native Liberian should not hold state power. The level of work we did, our interaction with the common people, and the reverence we get from the ordinary Liberians marvel them. So, it is part of their strategy to tarnish our image to the common people,” Koijee said.
Koijee explained that CDC is a youth-centered party and he is a former chairman of the Youth League, politicians in the opposition see him as a cardinal cornerstone of the CDC, which, when removed, would dismantle the CDC.
Said Koijee, “The opposition, using Vedier, has now retorted to character assassination; this entire episode started with a smear campaign to demoralize my capacity and capabilities long before my appointment to the City Government. My credentials were on display for the wrong reasons, my thoughts and actions were bullied and the Senate was requested not to confirm me, amongst others, I however, surpassed that heroically.”
As Mayor of Monrovia, Koijee now manages over five thousand persons at the Monrovia City Government and woos thousands whenever he visits counties of no origin to him, even unannounced. Salaries and administrative runs of the MCC remain intact and the staff is effective and efficient.
“A Chronology of Lies”
Cllr. Verdier who chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission linked Koijee to hiring 200 men from Ivory Coast to disrupt the June 7, 2019 protest after initially announcing that the Mayor had an affair with his wife which she denounced. Mrs. Verdier said in an interview in August 2022 “I never met Jefferson Koijee before and don’t know him.” At the time, she had filed for divorce.
Koijee believed that the “deliberate, malicious and unjustified” accusations were meant to pull him down because his “energetic and intriguing spirit demoralizes the opposition”.
He believes Jestina Taylor was hired by Cllr. Verdier and his co-conspirators to become a key witness in antagonizing him when she misrepresented facts and distorted information to get at him, but it all ended up in the US without legitimacy. Verdier, according to him, has since been loitering in the corridors of the U.S. Congress, unable to get a witness since Congres discredited Ms. Taylor as not being a credible witness.
When he linked Koijee to being Child Soldier, it took several of his fellow TRC Commissioners to debunk him uprightly: Rev. Dr. Pearl Brown Bull, John Stewart, Jeror Coleman and Massa Washington amongst others. In fact, during the war, Koijee was yet to get in his teens.
Jefferson Koijee and others worked with the same Verdier to propose the idea of a War Crimes Court establishment in Liberia and they didn’t rest but protested on August 13, 2009 while Mrs. Hilary Clinton was visiting Liberia. He and other youthful actors called for the full implementation of the TRC report; they were arrested, brutalized and imprisoned.
According to Koijee, he is noted for being a national youth activist who has championed the cause for women, children, and the vulnerable community including being a face for calling for justice in the famous Angel Togba murder case. He recalled being a lead campaigner for several other young people who died mysteriously: late student Augustine Gorlotoh (March 2008 Gbarnga), Alvin Davis murder case (2008), Vewu Kesselly murder (2010), amongst other, high profile cases while serving as National Secretary General of the National Student Intellectual Council of Liberia (NASICOL).
The Monrovia City Mayor lamented that even before the CDC could come to power, Verdier was already on his allegation spree on the CDC. He recalled Cllr. Verdier accused the party of being responsible for the death of Liberian musical star, Quincy B who died in a tragic motor accident March 3, 2017.
Besides linking the March 3, 2019 death of Matthew Innis of the Central Bank to Varlee Telleh, whom he said used a pickup belonging to Mayor Koijee, it has now been established that Mr. Telleh was only employed with the City Government by 1st July 2020 and until then had no connection with the Mayor.
Despite his allegation, when quizzed by the police, Cllr. Verdier said he had only given a lead but had no evidence whatsoever to the allegations he leveled.
Cllr. Verdier had leveled preponderance of allegations that Varlee Telleh is the “murderer,” and that he is the Deputy for Operations at the City Government, however, it was later discovered that Telleh is Patrol Man at the City Government.
In his accusation, he continued at some point that “Varlee Telleh was murdered along the Bomi Highway to conceal information,” and later that “Varlee Telleh has been taken out to the Ivory Coast through Nimba County to bring to a close the issue.” However, it turned out that Varlee attended a press conference and also appeared at the Police Headquarters.