Under heavy police protection, no sign yet of an investigation of who might have wanted Jestina Taylor dead
Jestina Kumba Taylor Ghartey, the 48-year old woman who was attacked and drugged by some unknown men hours after she appeared in a live Facebook video, accusing the Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee of murder and knowledge of the whereabouts of a stash of weapons and ammunition, is lying in sick bed with her right leg paralyzed at the St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital.
No investigation has established who may have harmed her to the point that she became unconscious at one time and now paralyzed. However, her being at the Catholic Hospital, which she says was not facilitated by the government, is characterized by unusual police presence that makes her afraid to even communicate with her relatives and friends who come to visit her.
At the Catholic Hospital compound, a female police officer is seen at the main entrance of the building and a male officer at another entry point inside. At the door of Jestina’s private ward, there are three officers sitting and screening (questioning) those those who come to visit Ms. Taylor. While in her room one of the officers is present to monitor activities of visitors.
Adama Dempster, Secretary of the Civil Society Human Rights Platform, said he does not mind seeing the police investigating the issue surrounding the attack on Jestina; however, he remains in defense for the victim because she needs protection as far as human rights protocols are concerned.
According to him, the surveillance of the police outside and inside her room at the hospital suggest more of an intent to monitor her conversations than to protect her for further danger.
“The police have not conducted any investigation into what caused me to be in this condition, but police officers are all here, even coming into my room and sitting all over in the room. I do not want them here; let them go and investigate what happened to me. I feel intimidated by their presence,” said Jestina in tears.
Jestina, who spoke to journalists on Monday, August 26, 2019 from her hospital bed, said she that, at around 2:00 a.m., she spotted four men, who she could not identify, loitering around her house. However, an elderly man from her community, who she did not name, told her that the men were officers of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) who sometimes raid ghettos.
According to her, she went out to inquire further about the men and, in the process, she noticed that one of them injected her on the back, causing her to fall unconscious.
“The next day I remember we were near the sea, because the sound was close to us in the upstairs house that they took me in. The whole time they had masks on their faces and would take small, small needles from a cloth and juke [inject something into] me under my feet and I would get weak,” Jestina recounted.
In one instance, she said that when her attackers saw that the injection under her foot could not make her weak and unconscious right away, they injected her in the neck and on her left hand.
“One of them during this time said he wanted to have something to do with me, and they took a syringe and injected me on my hand as you can see the mark here. The only thing I knew was someone was having sex but, meanwhile, I cannot feel it,” she added.
Jestina, who allowed her medical record to be quoted, is recorded to have received “abrasions and multiple lacerations of the vagina” as a result of intercourse presumed to have been perpetrated by the men. Doctors found “signs of needle pricks on her neck at the right side, under the breast and at the soles of her feet.” She was also diagnosed of trauma, two-degree assault, and drug intoxication.
The drug tests performed on her showed positive of Bensodiazepines (BZO), Morphine (MOP 300) and Opiate (OPI 200), while she was diagnosed negative of Amphetamine (AMP), Cocaine and Marijuana (THC), respectively.
She recalls that the unidentified men planned the next day to “get rid” of her, and they tied her face with a black cloth indicating that she would be killed at any moment.
After a period of unconsciousness when she was injected, she said one of the men decided to help save her life, for “saving others through talks,” and when she regained her senses she saw herself around Duazohn, behaving like a drunkard.
“I stopped a taxi and explained to the driver that I was not drunk, but that they injected me and I needed to go to the hospital. I gave the driver Costa’s number and that of my daughter, and he called both of them. That is how Costa told him to bring me to the hospital, who eventually paid my first hospital bill,” Jestina said in tears.
In order to do her lab to establish causes of problems affecting her, Jestina said Benoni Urey was one person who paid the US$650 she was due to pay.
She could not explain exactly what went wrong that she was targeted by the unknown men and that, officers of the LNP will come to guard the hospital room where she is admitted.
However, she said, as a former member of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) who served as a Public Relations Officer for the Women’s Wing, she had advised partisans of the CDC at the National Elections Commission Headquarters, on August 16, 2019, to stop the violence and not see the CDC of today as CDC of yesterday, when they were in opposition.
“This is all I can remember talking,” she said, adding that after her remarks at the National Elections Commission (NEC) on August 17, she found herself in the condition that she cannot walk on her right leg anymore.
She said the doctor has advised her to be flown out of the country or she would lose her memory.
In a video recording at the NEC headquarters, Jestina is heard saying that Jefferson Koijee, Thomas Fallah and Saah Joseph have their men led by ‘Mulbah Kesselly’ to kill her. She said “The opposition has your clip; everywhere you have your weapons we know it already, but because we don’t want the Liberian people to rise against you, this is why we do not want to expose you.”
She is heard accusing Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee for being a part of the Liberian civil war assigned with Chuckie Taylor (also known as Charles McArther Emmanuel), the convicted and incarcerated son of ex-President of Liberia, Charles Ghanky Taylor. She alleged that Koijee was responsible for the killing of a handicapped child born by a Mulatto woman for Chuckie Taylor.
In the video, she advised Police Inspector General Patrick Sudue to be careful because he is sitting on a “time bomb” and that he could be assassinated any time. She also confessed knowing more about the history of the war and that she would feel comfortable testifying before an established United Nations backed tribunal for Liberia.
Jestina Taylor’s allegations were followed by a press conference by Jefferson Koijee, wherein he distanced himself from the allegation and called for the establishment of a war crimes court, which his government has reneged on approving.
It was after her remarks that Jestina went missing the following morning and later found herself on a roadside in Duazohn, having been injected with narcotics.