4 December 2012

Liberia: Woman Begs for Husband's Body

The widow of the late Professor Thomas K. Gaie, Ruth Gaie fainted outside the Civil Law Court Monday, while awaiting the court's ruling over who controls her late husband's corpse.

Professor Gaie was Head of the West African Examination Council-Monrovia Office.

He passed off last Friday at his home in Paynesville, outside Monrovia after he was discharged from the Du Side Hospital in Firestone, Harbel.

The cause of death is still not known, but sources told this paper that Gaie died of a protracted illness that reportedly led him to seek treatment both in Liberia and Ghana.

However, a split appears to have erupted between Ruth and her two sons - Lamin and Ernest Gaie (one biological), who allegedly denied her of taking control of her late husband's body for burial, over claims that the deceased had already divorced her outside Monrovia.

Civil Law Court Judge Yussif D. Kaba said he could not question the divorce notice submitted by the deceased's children on grounds that the court from which the divorce notice is said to have originated from has equal authority as the Civil Law Court at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia.

The Judge then gave the children and family members the authority to proceed with burial, saying that Ruth could be part of the burial ceremony, but not to take control of the deceased as she has opted.

The late Professor Gaie's sons were represented in court by Cllr. Varney Sherman, while Ruth was represented by Cllr. Ceyreneous Cyphus, among others. Prior to the ruling, Ruth collapsed to the ground outside the court among family members and sympathizers, with others linking her condition to "high blood pressure."

Bystanders struggled to rescue Ruth as they fanned and wasted water on her until she consciously responded to the "first aid method" and offered her water to drink.

Meanwhile, the deceased's body is said to have been deposited at the Samuel Stryker Funeral Home in Monrovia, awaiting burial. The late Professor Gaie succeeded Professor Haile Lumeh in 2008 following his retirement.

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