Knight: "While it is true that Rev. Giddings is an elder in the Methodist Church, we do not believe that he raped and killed Odell until the court or investigation prove that he committed the act; that is the main reason why we are calling for speedy investigation to establish the root cause of Odell's death."
Over conflicting reports in Odell Sherman's death
The Human Rights Monitoring arm of the United Methodist Church (UMC) has called on the government to independently investigate the ELWA hospital for its conduct in the handling of the death of Odell Sherman, particularly the release of three different reports regarding the cause of the young lady's death.
The UMC Rights group said the action by such a renowned hospital is not only disappointing but raises eyebrows and makes the investigation complicated as if they are shielding an individual.
In an exclusive interview, Mr. Jefferson Knight, Program Director of UMC Rights, told the Daily Observer on July 8, 2019 that, even though Reverend Emmanuel Giddings is an elder in the Methodist Church, it is important that his family, the hospital and all those directly linked with Odell's murder case undergo serious investigation. Those that will be found guilty, he said, shoud face the full weight of the law.
It may be recalled that the near-lifeless body Odell Sherman, a high school student, was discovered during the early hours of Tuesday, May 22, 2019, at the home of Reverend Emmanuel Giddings in Duazohn, Margibi County.
"While it is true that Rev. Giddings is an elder in the Methodist Church," Knight said "we do not believe that he raped and killed Odell until the court or investigation proves that he committed the act; that is the main reason we are calling for speedy investigation to establish the root cause of Odell's death."
Knight said, "If Rev. Giddings or any member of his family is involved in the death of Odell let the law say it and the person face the weight of the law, because justice delayed is justice denied."
The late Odell Sherman
He said the constant compromising of rape cases by the police is a major contributor to the increase of the crime across the country.
"The police is the first to set the stage of justice. They decide which case is worthy of court action and [accompanying] charges, but they have been compromising rape cases over the years," Knight said.
He added that the government, through the police, should not drag its feet on cases involving rape and murder because it appears that they are shielding people and allowing the culture of impunity to take over the nation.
"I strongly disagree with the [proposed] amendment of the rape law. Imagine, rape is not a bailable offense, yet it is on the increase. What more if it was bailable?" he questioned.
Knight said those who commit rape do so because they have power, money and strongly believe that with the corrupt and weak justice system, they get away without facing the law. Those who commit rape on victims between the ages of zero months to eight years are doing it for ritualistic purposes, he added.
He expressed gratitude to President George M. Weah for allowing an independent Pathologist to examine the remains of the late Odell Sherman and even accepting to pay the fees.
Knight said the constant raping of women and girls by evil-minded men is uncivilized, evil and unhealthy and takes away the sacred worth of women. "Enough is enough," he said.
He called on the government to ensure that justice is given to those children who were murdered in Kingsville for alleged realistic purposes that led the police shooting live ammunition among citizens who were protesting the delay or apparent lack of justice for the two boys.
"Polices that did the shooting must face the law because the police are getting reckless with their firearms," he said.