Magistrate Kennedy Peabody of the Monrovia City Court yesterday warned Abraham M. Keita, a child rights activist, to be law abiding and respect the rule of law.
Peabody’s warning came minutes after he dropped the court’s contempt charges against defendant Keita, who earlier failed to appear before the court.
The magistrate’s decision was in support of one of Keita’s lawyers, Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe’s admittance that he failed to show up for court because of a lack of knowledge of the law.
“The disobedience of defendant Keita to appear before Magistrate Peabody clearly undermines the integrity and dignity of the court and he acted without having any knowledge of the law. We are begging the court to have mercy upon him and drop the contempt charge against him,” Gongloe pleaded.
Dropping the charges after Gongloe’s plea, Magistrate Peabody said Keita’s attitude and behavior showed total disrespect to the court and the country.
Meanwhile, the magistrate noted that “the most difficult thing for any human being to do is to admit their wrong and since his lawyer has pleaded we are going to drop the charges.”
However, Keita’s criminal coercion charges brought against him by Grand Gedeh County District#2 Representative Morais Wayee is yet to be decided by the court.
The contempt started on May 23 when Rep. Wayee asked the court for a writ of arrest to be served on Keita.
Wayee alleged that his action was due to Keita’s action leading a group of his supporters to the Capitol Building holding placards demanding that the representative resigns and exonerates himself from an allegation that he raped his 13 year-old niece.
The court later summoned Keita to appear before it to answer to the charges, which he failed to do on two separate occasions.
His attitude prompted Magistrate Peabody to issue an arrest order and subsequently held him in contempt of court.