The House of Representatives has remained silent on its decision following discussions on a petition from the Liberia Children’s Forum demanding the investigation of one of its members – Grand Gedeh District #2 Representative Morais Waylee, for allegedly raping and impregnating a 13-year-old, who is believed to be his niece.
Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay and over 30 lawmakers debated the petition in Executive Session yesterday (Tuesday, May 30) in chambers, after Bong County District #5 Representative Edward Karfiah forwarded it to them upon receiving it from the Liberia Children’s Forum.
Although the lawmakers withdrew from the media, they were seen in various groups in chambers discussing the issue.
A staff of one of the lawmakers, who begged anonymity, told the Daily Observer that the lawmakers decided to “play the wait-and-see game from the Executive before determining their next course of action.”
A few minutes before Tuesday’s session, Rep. Karfiah welcomed the children and thanked them for “bringing the petition to the attention of the leadership of the House of Representatives.”
The angry, disappointed and frustrated children – about 55 of them– held placards, some reading, “Rape is a Crime; There’s no Compromise for Rape and We Demand Justice for All Victims of Rape.”
According to the petition under the signatures of Mulbah Flomo, secretary general and speaker Satta Sheriff, the House of Representatives must ensure that the “Alleged Rape Case involving Rep. Morais Waylee” be investigated.
The Children’s Forum recommended four pillars in demanding an independent investigation:
“That an independent investigation team be set up by the Gender Based Violence Unit and the Children’s Division of the Ministry of Gender to unearth the truth behind the alleged rape case against Rep. Morais Waylee; that the FrontPageAfrica (FPA) be officially invited by the Ministry of Gender, the Liberia National Police (LNP) and the Solicitor General to provide details, contacts and information on the alleged rape case of Rep. Waylee that was reported in the May 3, 2017 edition of the paper.”
The petition also said “That Rep. Waylee must be immediately arrested and placed behind bars during investigations and prosecution and the LNP and Ministry of Gender conduct investigations…”
Meanwhile, the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) has expressed concern over the allegation.
According to the INCHR, its concern comes in the wake of mounting calls for Representative Waylee’s prosecution amid inadequate evidence and his move to file a lawsuit against his accusers.
The INCHR said while it is currently gathering facts relating to this human rights issue, it wants the LNP to launch an investigation into the situation.
The INCHR’s call for an investigation comes in the wake of a protest action staged on the grounds of the Capitol by international award winning child rights advocate Abraham Keita, calling on the Legislature to probe their colleague.
According to the Commission, it wants the police investigation to establish the facts surrounding the matter, which borders on the abuse of a child’s rights.
The INCHR noted that the investigation should be conducted as quickly as possible as it is speculated that the child has disappeared to an unknown location thus raising fears for her life and the welfare of the newborn baby.