Minneapolis, MN: The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas, ALJA, has condemned in the strongest term the recent gruesome and barbaric attack on the home of the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, Gloria Musu Scott, which resulted in the death of at least one person and left another critically injured.
In a Press Release issued on Monday, February 27, 2023, the Association said the Justice Ministry and the Liberia National Police are culpable for the incident because of their abject failure to provide security protection for Justice Scott and her family after two previous attempts on her home.
Following the failed attacks, former Chief Justice Scott formally alerted Justice Minister Musa Dean and the Liberia National Police Inspector General, Patrick Sudue, for the intervention of government in curtailing the threat the attackers posed to her and her family’s safety, but Minister Dean and Inspector General Sudue deliberately failed to provide and form of protection.
ALJA says if an eminent person such as Justice Scott couldn’t receive the protection of the Liberian government after numerous public outcries about attempts on her life, one wonders about the commitment of the Weah administration to ensuring a safe and secure environment for ordinary Liberians.
ALJA maintained that the fundamental responsibility of any responsible government is to protect the lives and properties of its citizens, but regrettably the Weah administration has again failed in meeting these cardinal responsibilities.
Meanwhile, the Association is urging President George Weah and the Liberian government including the National legislature to hold accountable those in charge of state security apparatus including Police Director Patrick Sudue and Justice Minister Musa Dean for this gruesome attack on Justice Scott.
ALJA described as a dereliction of duty the decision of the Liberian National Police to now opt to provide what it calls “appropriate police protection” for the former Chief Justice after the brutal murder of her niece, Charloe Musu, and the stabbing of another victim.
The Association wonders whether Police Director Sudue and Justice Minister Dean would have adopted such cavalier attitude if, the reported unfortunate incident had involved the lives of a ranking member of the ruling Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC) and family.
At the same time, the Association is calling for an independent probe to ascertain the facts behind the attack on the former chief justice because it has no confidence in the ability of the Ministry of Justice and the Liberian National Police to do so.
ALJA called on President Weah and the ruling CDC government to avoid paying lip service to the critical issues of national security for all Liberians especially at this critical juncture when the country and its people are preparing for the holding of Presidential and General elections.
The Association said the government must ensure that confidence is restored in the country’s criminal justice for Liberians of all walks of life to be able to freely exercise their political franchise without any form of harassment and intimidation.
ALJA is a conglomeration of current and retired Liberian journalists residing in the Americas. It is a 501c (3) non-profit organization. The Association was founded in 1998 with the objectives of advancing press freedom through media capacity building, and the fostering of good governance in Liberia through media advocacy.