Contradiction & Denial: CDC Comes to Weah’s Aid Amid Questions

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Monrovia – After initially charging that a story about an arrest warrant for their political leader, George Manneh Weah in Newton County, Georgia was a fabrication; and launching a wave of attacks on the mother of Mr. Weah’s 10-year-old child, the Congress for Democratic Change through its head of mobilization, Mr. Mulbah Morlu has now conceded that Mr. Weah is indeed the father of the child.

Weah child’s case ruling in the possession of FrontPageAfrica

After initially charging that a story about an arrest warrant for their political leader, George Manneh Weah in Newton County, Georgia was a fabrication; and launching a wave of attacks on the mother of Mr. Weah’s 10-year-old child, the Congress for Democratic Change through its head of mobilization, Mr. Mulbah Morlu has now conceded that Mr. Weah is indeed the father of the child.

When the story was first reported about an arrest warrant issued for Mr. Weah who is expected to appear in court and answer to allegations of abandonment of a 10-year child, an offspring of a relationship between him and a Liberian lady Meapeh Kou Gono; supporters of Weah described the story as a fabrication and an attempt to blackmail Weah, who less than a week ago declared his quest for the Liberian presidency for a second time.

‘Politically Motivated’

Many CDC partisans and supporters of Weah claimed that the story is politically motivated and meant to blemish the reputation of their party political leader ahead of elections in 2017 even though failing to address the key questions of whether Weah is the father of the child and also the authenticity of the court warrant against him.

Since the first publication of the legal battle hanging over Weah, the CDC political leader has been mute on the issue, refusing to come public leaving the ranting with his supporters and other party officials.

Moses Acarous Gray, a CDC lawmaker of electoral Distruct#10 in Montserrado County first took to the airwaves on Monday declaring that FrontPageAfrica is not a credible news outlet and as such the report should not be given credence.

Others in the United States and other parts of the world took to the social media mainly Facebook expressing anger over the publication, attacking the woman and also FrontPageAfrica.  

In the wake of the attacks launched by Senator Weah’s supporters against Ms. Gono and FrontPageAfrica over the publication, Mulbah Morlue, Vice Chairman for Operations and Mobilization of the CDC is claiming that there is no longer a court warrant against Weah.

Morlue told the Voice of America (VOA) Day Break Africa news program that the warrant is no longer in effect.

“The speculation that there is an arrest warrant for Mr. Weah quoting court sources is just not true.  While it is true that a court document published on the 18th talked about the warrant, but also the same court issued another document that neutralizes or withdraws that court file of 18 April 2016.  So as we speak, there is no arrest warrant for Mr. Weah,” he said.

Morlue said the case in the Georgia court is politically motivated in order to diminish Weah’s popularity ahead of the election.

But the VOA confirmed that Kenna White, the clerk of the court for criminal hearings of the Newton County Court in Covington, Georgia, confirmed that a petition was filed by Ms. Gono, the mother of Weah’s 10-year-old daughter. According to the VOA the court official also confirmed that a hearing has been scheduled on May 11, 2016.

The VOA also stated that it has seen a document showing that on February 25, 2016 one Laureen J. Mullins, Weah’s attorney, paid $162 to the court, “authorized by my client for the needs of the minor child”.

While supporters of Weah and other officials of the CDC continue to argue that the publication is politically motivated, Morlue admits that Weah has had a relationship with Miss Gono Glay and does not deny fathering a child.

“It is a normal relationship. As with any couple anywhere in the world or people who have had interaction in the past. So regarding his child, Mr. Weah has always cared for children, not just his own but children of the world, children of Africa, and Liberia. So he cannot be the kind of person that abandons a child as is speculated in the complaint filed by the individual,” Morlue said.

Accusing fingers

Morlue is accusing people he called ‘domestic state actors’ as those behind the publication saying Ms. Glay once served as an official of the another political party, the Alternative National Congress.

“Madam Gono Glay happens to be the former secretary general of the Alternative National Congress party (ANC) that broke away from the CDC influenced by domestic state actors to try to diminish the popularity of Mr. Weah and the CDC.

But how be it, we respect the rights of children, we respect the rights of women. So we are not going to be castigating her. We simply want to provide details that Mr. Weah is not wanted anywhere in the world and there is no arrest warrant for him,” Morlue said.

The CDC official also stated in the interview that he is demanding that Rodney Sieh, the publisher of FrontPageAfrica retracts the story which claimed that an arrest warrant has been issued for Mr. Weah.  Morlue says the action of the court on 26 April 2016 withdraws the warrant of 18 April 2016.  

Morlue said he knows of no record showing that FrontPageAfrica publisher Sieh made any attempt to contact Weah or his party for reaction before publishing his article.

Resolute for Justice

The lady at the center of the lawsuit against Weah, Ms. Gono has meanwhile vowed that she will pursue the case until there is legal remedy to the situation and that of her child.

In a post calling on those supporting her to continue to do so, Ms. Gono stated: “Let me take this time to thank all of the many friends and supporters who are standing with me in these difficult times. To the women who have reached out in empathy, many of whom have shared their personal experiences on this family battle, I remain grateful”.

Ms. Gono said detractors and blind loyalists are defying logic and instead of pushing for justice they are labelling her all sorts of names, but says she remains unapologetic.

“My sympathizers, women group leaders in Liberia, and men alike who have given me enormous courage, to you I say thank you. When the detractors and the blind loyalist reasoning defied logic, you stood with us today.

Nevertheless, I will remain resolute in seeking the best remedies under the law to ensure my child gets justice. I remain unapologetic in this quest at any time. As one who advocates for women and girls I understood the odds against a woman coming out and compelling compliance against a man of some prominence”

Specifically regarding the matter, Ms. Gono said she will share her experiences at the appropriate time.

Stated Ms. Gono: “As it relates directly to the matter, at the appropriate time I might share my experiences, similar to that of many women who are voiceless in the midst of these struggles. Again I’m grateful to those who have seen the interest of a minor girl child and stood up to protect her well-being and dignity”.

Politics vs responsibility

In Liberia many women suffer similar situation as Ms. Gono; as men in some instances abandon women with as many as four children or even more.

A group, the Female Lawyers Association of Liberia (AFFEL) has been working to push for the protection of women rights against these kinds of abuses but the weak legal framework allows many men to go with impunity.

Under the Liberian law, a man who abandons his child is held for Persistent Non- Support, which is a misdemeanour of the first degree committed in violation of Chapter 16. Offense Against the Family of the Penal law of Liberia Title 26 – Liberian Code of Laws Revised.

Section 16.5 of the Penal Law defines Persistent non-support as follows “A person commits a misdemeanour of the first degree if he persistently fails to provide support which he can provide and which he knows he is legally obliged to provide to a spouse, child or other dependent, as specified in section 5.4 of the Domestic Relations Law”.

According to a report by the Ministry of Gender Protection, domestic violence, especially persistent non-support and abandonment of families, as well as child abuse is a major reason for the rise in child prostitution.

In Liberia prominent figures often walk away with such offense given the level of connection and a faulty judicial system prompting sympathisers of Ms. Gono to conclude that the legal redress she is receiving in the United States of America could stutter in a politicized and sentimental Liberia environment.

Today, many Liberian women prefer to remain quiet and struggle to provide for their abandoned children due to the cost and complications associated with the justice system.

For Weah, who is still considered one of the wealthy Liberians given his long years as a professional soccer player where at some point earned more than US$30,000 a week, not providing for a child is something that could haunt him even if the case is taking place in the United States of America.

 Samwar S. Fallah, [email protected]

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