14 November 2017

Liberia: Public Defense Lawyer Pay-Bayee Dies

Nimba County's public defender, Mewaseh Pay-Bayee, has died. He was 70. His death occurred on Wednesday, November 8, at his family's residence on LPMC Back Road in Ganta following a period of illness.

Family sources said that Atty. Pay-Bayee died from 'natural causes.' He was one of the last three surviving brothers of the six children.

Pay-Bayee hailed from Gleyee Zorpea Town in Mehnsonoh Clan, Yarwin Mehnsonoh District. He was the fourth of six children born on April 7, 1947 to the union of Mr. Pay-Bayee Gbanlah and Mrs. Gehlay Menluah Pay-Bayee who pre-deceased him.

Pay-Bayee attended the then Tappita Public School, now Tappeh Memorial High School, and later transferred to the Sanniquellie Central High School where he graduated in 1974.

Shortly after graduating from high school, Mr. Pay-Bayee enrolled at the University of Liberia (UL) where he majored in mathematics and was nicknamed the "Father of modern mathematics."

Upon his graduation from the UL on December 21, 1983, he took up a teaching job at the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) in Kakata, where he served as the assistant head of the mathematics department in 1984.

In 1988, Pay-Bayee returned to teach math at the Sanniquellie Central High School, where he later became principal until the advent of the 14-year Liberian civil crisis.

In 1982, he represented Nimba County at the National Patriotic Reconstruction Assembly Government (NPRAG) until the cease fire and disarmament.

In 1999, ex-President Charles Taylor appointed Pay-Bayee as the Deputy Commissioner for Administration, Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (now Liberian Immigration Service), and was promoted to the Immigration Commissioner position, which he held from 1999 to 2001.

From 2001 to 2002, after Pay-Bayee was relieved of his post at the BIN, President Taylor appointed him as Minister of Post and Telecommunications, a position he held until he entered the Louise Arthur Grimes School of Law at the UL, and successfully graduated as Attorney-at-Law.

Upon graduation from law school, he served as an Associate Magistrate at the Paynesville Magisterial Court until authorities at the Ministry of Justice assigned him as the Public Defender in Nimba County.

Pay-Bayee was a founding member of the of the Yarwin Mehnsonon Selezui, a social organization aimed at bringing citizens of the district together. He also founded an auxiliary organization, the Yarwin Mehnsonon Selezui, called the Mehnsonon Seletorwah, with a similar objective that promotes unity.

Pay-Bayee fathered 27 children and was the grandfather of many.

According to a family source, his remains will be laid to rest in his home town of Glehyee Zorpea on Saturday, December 2.

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