Just five days to the October 10 presidential and legislative elections, Montserrado County District #13 Rep. Saah Joseph, yesterday could have found himself in jail for his failure to support a six-year-old child of whom is the biological father.
The Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) lawmaker escaped that punishment following his lawyer, Viama Blama’s plea for forgiveness before the Monrovia City Court, although the lawmaker did not attend the hearing that could have sent him to jail.
The CDC lawmaker was found guilty of child support non-payment allegation, following his lawyer’s admission that his client (Joseph) failed to pay his child support obligation for a long time.
Besides the confession, Cllr. Blama made initial two months, August and September payment of US$500 leaving a balance of US$100, of which the court allowed for the lawmaker’s driver to serve as his surety until the US$100 is paid today, Thursday.
Pursuant to a court order, the CDC lawmaker is obligated to pay US$300 per month child support, of which his lawyer managed to make a payment of US$500 yesterday for two months,
The case against Rep. Joseph yesterday was based on a complaint filed against him by the child’s mother Marie Kerpoah for his alleged persistent non-support.
In her complaint, the lady claimed that the lawmaker is a natural father of her six year-old child, but has allegedly refused to provide support to the child.
Marie, in her complaint, swore to the court that defendant Joseph is the father of her minor child and that he has intentionally refused to provide support to the child.
Rep. Joseph and one of his church deacons had earlier appeared at the court and promised to settle the obligation, which the lawmaker failed to uphold, up to yesterday’s hearing.
It may be recalled that the political leader of the CDC, Senator George Weah, last year, faced a similar charge in the United States of America, immediately after he declared his intention to contest the Liberian presidency.
Weah’s case was in the Newton County Court in the U.S. State of Georgia, where a warrant was issued for the Montserrado County Senator’s arrest for child abandonment.
The complaint against Weah at that time was filed by his 10-year-old daughter’s mother Meapeh Gono Glay.