27 February 2013

Liberia: Angry Citizens Flog Mary Broh

Photo: New Democrat
City Mayor Mary Broh celebrating Liberia'’s debt waiver.

The Suspended Acting Monrovia City Mayor Mary Broh on Tuesday (Feb 26) narrowly escaped death and arrest from hundred of Liberia youths at the Temper of Justice in Monrovia.

The controversial Broh had gone to the Temple of Justice to file a writ of Prohibition against the decision by House of Representatives to have her incarcerated for the period of thirty days after she prevented suspended Montserrado County Superintendent Grace Kpaan from going to jail last Thursday.

The House ordered the imprisonment of Kpaan last week after she failed to explain why she should not be held in contempt for reportedly refusing to carry out an instruction given her earlier. While she was being taken to her cell, Broh at the head of several prominent Liberian women obstructed the process, whisking Kpaan away.

By Friday, the following day, the House called an emergency session and sentenced Broh and Montserrado to thirty days in prison for "contempt of the Legislature." The duo has been on the run until Broh fell in the hands of angry citizens yesterday.

After spending several hours at the Monrovia City Court seeking judicial redress to the House's decision, Broh was escorted outside of the court room to board her vehicle, but was prevented by angry protesters who vowed to arrest and turn her over the Liberia National Police.

The chanting mob immediately began manhandle the suspended Acting Mayor from one end to another. Some of the protesters were seen physically assaulting and raining insults at her.

Court officers and some aids to the suspended Mayor managed to rescue her and forcibly placed her in the Monrovia City Court. Officers of the Liberia National Police immediately arrived on the scene and put the situation under control.

Some of the protesters on the scene vowed to arrest Broh and turn her over to the Monrovia Central Prison to serve the sentence of the House of Representatives.

Many of them said Broh had ill-treated, flogged, disgraced and brutalized peaceful citizens with impunity and it was time for her to face these same harsh realities.

In a related development, the House of Representatives has fined Gender and Development Minister Madam Julius Duncan Cassell the amount of L$4, 999.99 for her action to prevent the detention of suspended Superintendent Kpaan.

The House took the decision Tuesday after the Minister admitted to her action and pleaded with the body to forgive her.

She said her appearance at the Monrovia Central Prison was in solidarity with a female colleague, but was not meant to disrespect the function of the first branch of government.

Cassell was also mandated to write an open letter of apology to that body and copy be published in three local dailies beginning this Thursday.

In another development, the Liberia Senate has written the House of Representatives, informing it that the Senate stands by them in their decision against the two suspended officials.

In a communication addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Liberian Senate said it has "followed the situation involving the two suspended officials and it is in full support of the House's action."

The Senate also informed the House that any attempt by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to disregard the decision of the Legislature will lead to a non-compliant posture against the Executive Branch of Government.

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