Pres. Sirleaf calls for comprehensive probe
Probe into circumstances leading to the death of 12-year old rape victim Ma Musu Fofana will certainly go beyond the alleged rape perpetrator Musa Kanneh, 45, as President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf wants investigators to identify all of “the different people” who played some roles.
This could suggest that a wide range of investigation demanded by the President may include the Redemption Hospital which, according to Fatu, failed to treat or at least give First Aid to the profusely bleeding victim, Ma Musu while under emergency; and probably, police officers who may not have acted promptly to save the dying girl.
President Sirleaf has instructed the police to do their job “very quickly” and make a report available for the necessary actions to be taken, as sorrow and anger could be sensed from her facial expression, having listened to the horrible story narrated by the victim’s mother, Fatu Morris.
During a visit to the home of the victim’s parents in Brewerville, outside Monrovia last Friday, January 23, 2015, President Sirleaf challenged the Ministry of Justice to do proper investigation, with the expectation that the victim’s mother will be invited to explain what happened, as well as identify the different people for their roles.
During the visit, Madam Fatu Morris narrated that following the rape incident, she and her husband drove suspect Musa Kanneh, along with victim Musu to the Zone Six Police Depot where an officer gave them a contact number on their way to the Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town.
But the number failed to ring when a doctor at Redemption tried calling it, following which the doctor subsequently told them the hospital could do nothing about the victim who was profusely bleeding.
According to her, when the girl could not be attended to, they returned with the victim to Zone Six in order to have a police accompany them because it was curfew hour already; but she further claimed that the Zone Six Commander, Blama Yancy only promised to follow them to the Faith Clinic where the victim began convulsing.
When it became clear that the Clinic could not handle the case, they were advised by Commander Yancy to go to the JFK in Sinkor, after which he would follow, but failed to do so this time.
She indicated that they finally encountered officers on duty at the police gate upon approaching the Central Headquarters on the Capital Bye-pass, and while facing inquiry as papers were being demanded, the number provided by officers at Zone Six could not ring.
It was at this juncture, she said, one of the officers pointed a torch light at the rape victim and observed that she had already died.
“The only thing I can promise you is that whoever, whoever had part to play, they will pay heavy price. That’s the only thing I can promise you. But let’s wait until the police finish doing their work, then we will see what’s what,” President Sirleaf vowed.
The Liberian leader asked Montserrado County District 17 Representative William Darkel and his colleagues to allow the police and Ministry of Justice to do the necessary investigation, following which they would be informed. Her appeal followed information by Mr. Darkel that Plenary had constituted a committee to gather some facts.
“Because your people will come beg you; I don’t want … begging in this one,” President Sirleaf told representative Darkel, emphasizing that though she didn’t want to act ahead of police investigation, “but this is too much; the destruction of these little girls is just too much, so we have to do something. We have to set a very strong example in this case to send a message to people.”
Earlier, Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister Julia Duncan-Cassell, told the President on Friday that the victim’s DNA was being done, and a pathologist was in- country to conduct the autopsy.
In a chart with residents before President Sirleaf’s departure from Brewerville, she encouraged the establishment of a neighborhood watch team, as well as admonished community dwellers to report strange people to the police for the safety and security of the children, while government does its part.
Representative Darkel had said the House’s Plenary has constituted a committee to gather some facts because they were concerned as to why at Redemption Hospital there was a delay to take the child in.
Beyond that, he told President Sirleaf about a related rape incident wherein, he said, a suspect named Isaac Johnson went in the room of another lady between 9am to 10am on Thursday, January 22, 2015 and attempted raping her eleven year old- daughter with his trousers already down.
He said the suspect has been taken to LNP Central Headquarters on Capitol Hill.
By Winston W. Parley