Magistrate Peabody Under Fire for Granting GT Bank Manager Medical Leave

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Ayodeji Bejide, ex-Managing Director, GT Bank Liberia, was allowed by a judge to seek medical care outside Liberia and has yet to return to face charges of aggravated assault.

-Ordered to produce defendant Ayodeji Bejide by October 22

Magistrate Kennedy Peabody of the Monrovia City Court yesterday came under serious fire from Judge Roosevelt Willie of Criminal Court ‘C’ over the magistrate’s action to allow dismissed Guaranty Trust Bank Manager, Ayodeji Bejide, a Nigerian national, to leave the country on medical leave without the knowledge of the government.

Bejide was expected to have been indicted by Criminal Court ‘C’ for the crime of aggravated assault after he threw his calculator at the face of one of his staff members in a fit of rage, during a meeting. The staff member, identified as Edward Freeman, sustained a serious injury on the lip.

The decision allowing the defendant to leave the country on medical grounds has caused the government to issue a complaint to Judge Willie who has ordered Magistrate Peabody to ensure that defendant Bejide returned to the country by October 22.

Though the government placed a travel ban on Bejide, Magistrate Peabody later lifted the ban and subsequently ordered Bejide to leave the country anytime he wished because Bejide was now under a US$50,000 bail posted by the Insurance Company of Africa.

Not being satisfied with the bail, Peabody made Bejide’s lawyer Abraham Sillah to sign for him, before he took the decision to grant Bejide the medical leave, an act which prosecution maintains it is unaware of.

Judge Willie’s order to Peabody, a copy of which is with the Daily Observer, says Magistrate Peabody would be held responsible if the defendant Bejide is not in the country by October 22.

Peabody’s decision resulted from the government prosecutors’ refusal to press for the resumption of the case, after Bejide appeared before the court on August 30 of this year, and the judge resolved to revoke sanctions imposed on defendant Bejide barring him from leaving the country.

The assault on Freeman took place on Tuesday, August 28, after which Bejide was arrested by the Liberia National Police (LNP), and charged with aggravated assault, and arraigned on August 30 at the Monrovia City Court.

Author

  • Anthony Kokoi is a young Liberian sports writer who has an ever-growing passion for the development of the game of football (soccer) and other sports. For the past few years, he has been passionately engaged in reporting the developments of the game in the country. He is an associate member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL). He is a promoter of young talents. He also writes match reports and makes an analysis of Liberian Football.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Magistrate Peabody should NOT ONLY be Under Fire for Granting GT Bank Manager Medical Leave. The three weeks ultimatum is too long! A week is enough to bring that Nigerian heathen and brute back to face justice!

  2. Bejidi’s departure from Liberia under the guise of medical leave by judge Peabody the dishonorable, shows how duplicitous “some” high class officeholders are. If a low-level employee of GTB had done what Bejidi did, that poor employee would have gotten a harsher punishment from Peabody. The sad truth is that we are being greased up with falsehoods about Bejide’s illness as if we’re stupid in and out of Liberia. But God knows we aren’t stupid! The real truth in this rotten deal is that judge Peabody has exposed himself as a jerk.
    The nagging issue that unsettles the inquiring minds of people is this: How did judge Peabody reach the clumsy conclusion that Bejide had a medical problem? Is there not a competent Liberian doctor who could have treated Bejide’s high tantrum mental problem or problems? Finally, did bribery cause any “rush to judgement” decision by judge Peabody the dishonorable? Who knows what lurks in the hearts of “some” Liberian judges like Peabody the dishonorable?

    On the day that Bejide became enraged and threw a phone at his surbordinate, Bejide did not show any sign of illness. Rather, Bejide showed machismo and a blatant disregard for the corrupt justice system of Liberia.

    The Bejide issue is a teachable moment! It’s a compelling story that reminds the Liberian people to come to grips with this reality: The nation’s criminal justice system is in a mess. I recommend an injection of penicillin in the head of our justice system. That may help. To some, my recommendation could be viewed as a stretch. But we can all agree that if the justice system is not revamped, we’ll be stuck with a third world mentality until the Second Coming! The system can change. Liberians are more educated today than ever before. I hope we don’t have to wait until the Second Coming.

  3. Mr. Bartum,
    Who are you referring to? Bejide or Jesus?

    I ask the above question because you’re not too clear. You said briefly, “That man isn’t coming back”.

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