An Alarming and Troubling Report

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What happened to Justice Minister Benedict Sannoh’s Liberia National Police (LNP)?   Is the LNP attempting to disrespect him and tarnish his reputation as an effective and decisive Attorney General of Liberia?

But no, not only the Attorney General, but the LNP’s ultimate boss herself, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf seems to have been brazenly   challenged by the Police.  For following the Daily Observer’s detailed story last Wednesday by our Woman and Family Correspondent, Claudia Smith,  of the brutal rape and subsequent death of 12 year-old Ma Musu Morris, allegedly by a 49 year-old man named Musa Kromah (alias CDC), President Sirleaf immediately took a personal interest in the case. Not only did the alarmed and grief-stricken President Sirleaf visit the victim’s family at Moulton Corner in Brewerville; she vowed, according to our Presidential Correspondent William Harmon, to intervene personally to ensure that justice is done concerning the rape and subsequent death of Ma Musu. 

In addition, President Sirleaf said the law should also go after “all those who contributed one way or the other to the death of this   raped child.  These include, she said, the health facilities that refused Ma Musu treatment, and the LNP officers who denied passage at a check-point of the vehicle that was conveying the victim to the John F. Kennedy Medical Center.

In her detailed story, Correspondent Claudia Smith reported that the child had been refused treatment both by the Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town and by the Faith Clinic in Brewerville.  It  was following these refusals of treatment to the dying raped victim that the parents and friends tried to rush her to the JFK, only to be intercepted and turned back by the police at the Capitol-By-Pass-Jallah Town Road checkpoint, leading to her untimely death.

It was following this terrible incident that the Daily Observer wrote an Editorial entitled “Justice Minister Sannoh’s first major case”—  or so we thought. 

The alleged rapist, Musa Kromah, was immediately apprehended by the Moulton’s Corner community and turned over to the police at Zone 6 in Brewerville.  That was on the very night of the rape, Sunday, January 18, 2015.  And yet, today, January 28, a full 10 days later, our Judicial Correspondent Abednego Davis reports that the alleged rapist has not yet been brought to court. 

The big question is, what are the police waiting for?  For the man to run away?  Or to turn the whole tragic incident into another case of delayed justice?  Or to let time lapse so that the case is soon forgotten?

This is why we are surprised at the behavior of the LNP.  Our Thursday, January 22 Editorial was very clear.  We said this is a momentous case for the new Justice Minister—and we went so far as to name it his first major case.  Surely Justice Minister Sannoh most definitely will not want to play with this one—not just because the President has pledged her personal involvement to see that justice is done; but more so because an innocent little girl, who could have been anyone’s daughter or granddaughter, has been brutally and murderously violated.

We make an appeal that we think is entirely unnecessary.  But having waited so long see this horrible matter to brought to justice, we have no choice but to urge Inspector General Chris Massaquoi and his Deputy, Major Abraham  Kromah, to turn Musa Kromah  over to the courts without delay.  We are sure that Attorney General Sannoh will be ready with a competent prosecutorial team to ensure that this matter is expertly dealt with in the courts.

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