Girls Alliance for Future Leadership says it has lost confidence in the Liberia Judiciary especially the Supreme Court of Liberia.
The teenage based group Girls Alliance for Future Leadership says it has lost confidence in the Liberia Judiciary especially the Supreme Court of Liberia.
In a statement issued to commemorate Angel Togba’s Day, the teenage group says sexual exploitation and abuse of girls in Liberia is at a crisis point and the Liberian justice system is not doing enough to halt the predatory behavior of men against teenagers.
Girls Alliance is calling on the international donors to the Liberian Judiciary to ensure that their tax payers’ dollars to the Liberian Justice system is tied to a comprehensive audit of how the system is handling cases of sexual abuse of women and girls.
Girls Alliance emphasized most Liberia girls are now refusing to report sexual violence against them because they believe the justice system cannot protect them if they come forward.
The Celebration of Angel Togba’s Day was unanimously adopted 2016 by the teenage group to remember the late Angel Togba who was sexually abused and murdered on November 30th, 2007.
The case only went to trial after a massive protest by students and women groups that culminated into a sit in at the foreign Affairs Ministry, the office of former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
On March 10, 2010 Criminal Court “B” after three years of deliberation handed a guilty verdict against Hans Williams and Madea Paykue for the murder of 13-year old Angel Togba. But the Supreme Court after delaying an appeal hearing from the defendants, on August 15,2014 at the height of the Ebola Crisis, when public gathering was barred used just a month of deliberation to reverse the lower court’s ruling and set the convicts free.
Girl’s Alliance has classified the Supreme Court’s ruling as a mid-night judgement and a travesty of justice against a 13-year old.
The teenage based group says it demands two answers from the Supreme Court. 1. Why it delayed the hearing until the height of the Ebola Crisis when the entire country was under partial Curfew and public gathering was barred by the government. 2. Why did the former Justice Minister and former associate justice Philip Banks recused himself from presiding when Associate Justice Kabineh JA’neh who served at the National Port Authority alongside Hans William presided over the hearing. Both men served as rebel representatives in the transitional government representing ULIMO and the NPFL respectively. Justice JA’neh also led the LURD’s delegation to Accra and served as the minister of Justice in the late Gyudea Bryant Administration. The teen-based group says until it receives truthful answers to these questions it believes the Supreme Court’s ruling was marred by nepotism and is a miscarriage of justice.
Girls Alliance is calling on the national legislature, President George Weah and the international community to review the history of all the justices of the Supreme Court and request the resignation of any justice that actively participated in the Liberian civil war like Associate Justice Kabineh JA’neh.
The 2018 Angel Togba Day celebration under the theme “Justice for Girls” takes place at the Assembly of God Mission High School on Buchanan Street in Monrovia. The program officer of the Liberia Access to Information program at the Carter Center Attorney Lamii Kpargoi will serve as the keynote speaker.
The Secretary General of Girls Alliance for Future Leadership, Faith Smith is calling on the media to attend this year’s celebration as the Alliance will launch its annual 16-days of Gender Activism to highlight the negative impact of female Genital Mutilation a major concern to Liberian girls. The teenage based group is calling on all religious establishments across the country to pray for the safety of girls during their Friday and Sunday worship services.