MONROVIA : Although the high-profile murder case involving former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott and three others has been the trendiest topic flooding the media circuits in and out of Liberia for the past four months mainly because it is tied to one of the country’s prominent legal luminaries; however, past and current political figures continue to remain rather taciturn in making public statements that could reveal their leaning in the case that last Thursday landed the former Chief Justice and three of her relatives (Gertrude Newton, Rebecca Y. Wisner and Alice C. Johnson) within the walls of the Monrovia Central Prison, following their arrest by the Liberian National Police over the gruesome murder of young Charloe Musu, a ward of Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott. However, in the midst the uproar that might test the moral and legal fabric of the country’s justice system, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in her characteristic emboldened manner of speaking truth to power, has criticized the Weah Government’s reported lopsided dispensation of justice, which Madam Sirleaf has aptly equated as an ugly reminder of Liberia’s turbulent dark past.
Venting her lamentations apparently over the manner and form in which former Chief Justice Scott and others were allegedly mistreated at the LNP following their initial arrest on Tuesday, June 22, 2023, which had them reportedly remanded barefooted in a male cell; following which they were subsequently denied bail bond on Friday, Madam Sirleaf hurriedly took to the Twitter page yesterday to caustically remark: “It was a sad day as the Liberian justice system reverted to the bad ways of the past, which I have personally experienced”.
The scathing remark from the former Liberian Chief Executive brings to the fore her own political ordeals suffered during the despotic reign of Master Sergeant Samuel Kanyon Doe who overthrew President William R. Tolbert on April 12, 1980, and ordered the summary execution by firing squad of 13 officials of the Tolbert government.
Serving as Finance Minister at the time of the military coup, Doe would lock Ellen up twice, first for 57 days because she had expressed open disdain for “the many idiots in whose hands our nation’s fate and progress have been placed”; and later in November 12, 1985 for “jumping up and down” after local radio stations had prematurely announced Doe’s ouster by rebel forces under the command of General Thomas Quiwonpka. Ellen would narrowly escape being raped while jailed.
It can be recalled, Cllr. Gloria Scott and three of her relatives were arrested on last Tuesday by the Liberian National Police but later released the next day when their lawyers filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus demanding their release and immediate appearance for court proceedings, which the City Court granted.
However, Madam Scott and her three other family members including Gertrude Newton, Rebecca Y. Wisner and Alice C. Johnson were on Thursday, June 22, 2023 rearrested and remanded at the Monrovia Central Prison, popularly known as “South Beach”, where they have spent the weekend, having being denied bail bond by the Stipendiary Magistrate of the Monrovia City Court, Magistrate L. Ben Barco who presided over the ruling of bail bond request from the defense lawyers to have their client released because she was not a flight risk.
Public sentiments over the EJS call
In the wake of her tweeter post yesterday, Liberians here and abroad have been making their position known about the Charloe Musu murder case.
According to Montserrado County District #4 Representative, Rustonlyn Suacoco Dennis, although it is a “sad day for the justice system, we await an impartial trial”; while Benjamin M. Stanley wants President Weah to listen because “the statesman has spoken.”
“Kulah Kamara, “Our country is going back to the dark days. The families of the three missing men are yet to get justice. Moses is walking as a free man. Remember there is a God of justice that we serve. We will get justice one day,” remarked Madam Kulah Kamara; while Edwin K. Jallah stated that for the first time it took this long for the renowned “Advocate-General of feminism” to comment on a matter that infringes on the interest of a fellow, wondering why the former Liberian leader has chosen to remain so silent on this latest trending issue.
Some Liberians on the other hand did not take kindly to Madam Sirleaf’s twitter post, as Isaac Zawolo expressed shock over her statement.
“I am shocked to read this given that it comes from a former president. This is a matter that is with the court. Making such statements has the propensity to undermine the dispensing of justice,” Zawolo said; while T. Ruson Yarnko lamented: “This is what you created and fed the Liberian people!”