Liberia: Alleged Rape At Liberian Embassy

As victim's father seeks intervention

A Liberian Embassy official assigned to the country's diplomatic mission in Abuja, Nigeria, has alleged that his seven-year-old daughter has been raped right on the Embassy's premises by two perpetrators.

Mr. Nat Bayjay, Minister Counselor for Press and Public Affairs at the Liberian Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria says his daughter, aged just 7 at the time, was unfortunately sexually abused over a period of seven months by two different perpetrators.

He said in a press statement issued Monday, 6 December 2021 that he had to come public because all efforts he has applied diplomatically to get the attention of relevant authorities to particularly care for his daughter's welfare have only produced no response.

Mr. Bayjay, a Liberian journalist who has transitioned to public service, has lamented that the situation has made closure on such a traumatizing incident to be yet far off and continues to haunt his family.

"These two perpetrators themselves were under the guidance of a colleague diplomat also assigned at the Abuja Mission who himself up to today's date shows no remorse for the acts carried out by his wards against my baby," Bayjay alleged.

Mr. Bayjay has called for President George Manneh Weah's personal intervention in what he terms a "very distressful situation" that happened to his family while on national duty in Abuja.

This paper has made contacts with relevant public affairs officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including Assistant Minister Sylvester Pewee and the Officer-in-Charge at the Public Affairs department, Mr. David Akoi, for comment. Mr. Pewee could not be reached via phone, while Mr. Akoi's numbers rang without an answer.

Throughout his press statement, Mr. Bayjay did not name those he alleged to be the perpetrators of the rape incident against his daughter.

He explained that after being raped at the Embassy by two of its residents, this barbaric act was confirmed by medical doctors and the Nigerian police after which he formally complained same to the Liberian Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Information.

Nat said as if that wasn't enough shock for the little baby and his entire family, his colleague whose wards committed such a heinous crime against the victim showed absolutely no remorse over the very unfortunate incident.

"The worst shock came when our Liberian Ambassador, my own direct boss Professor Al-Hassan Conteh with whom I have had very excellent and cordial professional and personal relationships, so terribly intervened in the matter in which he was unfortunately bent on protecting the perpetrators rather than the victim," Mr. Bayjay explained.

He said within three weeks of when this came to his knowledge, the Ambassador refused to notify 'Home Office' (Liberian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) in addition to his determination to protect the two alleged rapists who took turns in sexually abusing the victim for seven uninterrupted months.

"Ambassador Conteh's biased intervention in the matter compelled me to relocate my family out of our assigned Liberian Government apartment on the chancery of the Embassy at my personal expense as my family was no longer safe under his leadership," he added.

"And when I formally complained the incident to the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism which seconded me to the Embassy, the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs initially expressed his disappointment especially in the Ambassador's refusal to have him informed on the matter within three weeks of the incident," said Mr. Bayjay.

According to him, the Foreign Ministry sent a three-man investigative panel to Abuja.

Bayjay also alleged that the three-man panel's report was so tailored in protecting the role of the Ambassador whose mishandling of the situation got the Liberian Government to even commit already scarce financial resources to do an investigation of three officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"I also want to use this time to state that the Ambassador Jarjar Kamara Report only amounted to nothing more than a diplomatic appeasement, all aimed at protecting Ambassador Conteh at the expense of us the victims," he alleged.

He claimed that the likes of Ambassador Jarjar Kamara are only concerned about protecting their own clique at the expense of any victimized situation.

While I'm in Monrovia for the past two months to pursue the justice aspect to this matter, Bayjay said he keeps getting calls from his family over his young daughter's declining health back in Abuja, causing the kid to miss out on school for several days.

He said for the past 8 months, he has been asking the Liberian Government to take full responsibility for catering to the child's wellbeing while pursuing justice.

But he said his request has been completely ignored right from when such an alarming matter finally came to his attention since April 17, 2021.

"As we are aware of the long process of litigation, why can't cater to the welfare of this innocent child solely on humanitarian grounds? Why if this litigation lingers for a year, we the family [remain] the only one to be going through the financial stress of her health which is already in a poor state?" Bayjay ponders. He has launched an appeal to all female advocacy groups, including the Association of Female Lawyers Association of Liberia (AFELL) and the Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FeJaL) in standing up for his daughter.

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