At first, it appeared like the good-neighborly thing to do. After a heated argument between two girls and their stepmother during the last week of March 2020, the girls found themselves homeless for the night. Their father, Othello Johnson, had gone to Monrovia on a contract and would not be back for several days. Dekulah Kolleh, who heard about the incident, offered the two young ladies shelter in the home of his girlfriend and her teenage son, where he (Kolleh) also lived, in the Wein Town community of Bong Mines. Kolleh, believed to be in his 50s, happened to be a friend of the girls’ father.
The next day, Kolleh made contact with the girls’ biological mother and invited her for a meeting, since the girls’ father was out of town. The meeting was held at Kolleh’s home, where the girls were staying. The girls and their stepmother were also in attendance.
When there seemed to be no resolution in sight between the opposing parties during that meeting, Kolleh offered to let the girls continue to stay with him and his girlfriend, giving them a room all to themselves, at least until their father returned. There are conflicting reports about why the girls left the house. Some say their stepmother put them out. But a source quotes the stepmother as saying that she could never put her “husband’s children out because the house belongs to them.”
When Othello Johnson, the girls’ father, returned from Monrovia, he immediately paid a visit to his friend Kolleh to express his gratitude for his friend’s intervention and said he was ready to take his daughters home.
But Kolleh praised the girls to their father and told him that he wanted them to stay a few more days and get gifts for them before sending them home. Johnson, apparently captured by his friend’s benevolence, obliged and left his daughters, who had already been there several weeks, with the Kolleh.
Johnson told the Daily Observer that he had been knowing Kolleh for over five years.
According to sources, shortly after Johnson gave permission for his daughters to remain at Kolleh’s home a while longer, Kolleh had an altercation with his girlfriend, who then told him him to leave her house. But instead of leaving, Kolleh moved some of his belongings to the room were Johnson’s daughters were staying. According to sources, he slept in that room for several nights, up to the last week in April.
It was there, on one of those nights, while Johnson’s older daughter had gone out, that Kolleh allegedly raped the younger daughter a 13-year-old. According to the girl, Kolleh threatened to kill her if she told anyone. But being bold enough, she complained the next day about the incident to Kolleh’s girlfriend. Kolleh, however, denied the allegation and pointed finger at his girlfriend’s 19-year-old who also lives in the house.
However, the girl insisted that the act was committed by Dekula Kolleh.
A source at the Women and Children Section of Bong Mines detachment of the Liberia National Police (LNP) confirmed the accounts gathered by the Daily Observer but could not divulge further details. Kolleh was charged on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 and turned over to authorities of the Magisterial court of Bong County for prosecution.