Liberia: Mayor of Monrovia Sues Sen. Lawrence, Cornelia Kruah-Togba for Defamation

Monrovia — The City Mayor of Monrovia Jefferson Koijee is claiming over US$5 million in damages from two partisans of the opposition Liberty and Unity parties for allegedly linking him to the November 17, 2018 election violence in the just-ended by-election in Montserrado County District #13. The riot left scores of residents and others wounded.

The two opposition partisans are as Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence and former Representative candidate on the ticket of the Unity Party in the Montserrado County District #13 by-election, Cornelia Kruah Togba.

Mrs. Togba is the daughter of the current Minister of Posts &Telecommunications in the Liberian government being led by former football legend President George Manneh Weah.

In Koijee's 10-count petition filed with the Civil Law Court at the Temple of Justice on Wednesday, November 28, he alleged that on November 17, 2018 while on his way to Iron Factory Community along the Somalia Drive for a political rally in support of the CDC candidate John Weah, he received an information that supporters of both the opposition Liberty and Unity Parties candidate Togba have set a road block at the intersection of New Georgia hereby obstructing the movement of people including CDC partisans. Based on the information, he decided to proceed to the area to advise CDC partisans not to retaliate.

According to him, when he got to the New Georgia Junction, he and some CDC partisans came under attack from supporters of the candidate contesting on the ticket of the Liberty and Unity Parties which caused danger and threat to his life but with the mercy of God and help of some of his partisans who took him to a safety zone.

Mayor Koijee, who is a CDC stalwart claimed that after the incident on November 20, Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence addressed a letter to the President Pro-Tempore Albert Chie and accused Major Koijee.

For Cornelia Kruah Togba, Koijee added that during and after the by-election ended, Madam Togba appeared on both the electronic and social media and accused him that he killed a girl during the election violence which was not true.

"This statement which was made by the 2nd Defendant was untrue and was only intended to defame and damage the reputation of the plaintiff (Koijee) the fact remains that the libelous statement made by the 2nd Defendant had damaged the reputation for which the plaintiff seeks judicial relief," said Koijee.

According to Koijee's petition the defendants' lies have caused him emotional distress, mental anguish, embarrassment as Mayor of the City of Monrovia.

"Wherefore and in view of the foregoing, plaintiff (Koijee) prays your honour and this honorable court to rule against the 1st & 2nd defendants and find them liable to Plaintiff and grant his prayer for damages against the defendants in the amount not less than US$5,000,000 in general damages to be decided by the trial jury and US$100,000 in punitive damages" Koijee's petition stated.

However, the legal counsel of Mayor Koijee, Cllr. Arthur Johnson, disclosed to this newspaper Wednesday, November 28 that the action of the two defendants was intended to defame the high earned reputation of the Mayor which he has built over the years.

"As I speak with you now the petition has been served the two defendants and we are looking forward to their responses for us to commence this case because we are not joking with this case because it requires the reputation of a good character," stated Cllr. Arthur Johnson.

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