The Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA) has condemned in the strongest terms the alleged brutal attack against one of its members Atty. Theophilus F. Gbadeah by former Liberian warlord turned Pastor, Joshua M. Blayee, alias "General Butt Naked."
The Bar in a press statement issued Wednesday, 18 May 2022 described the alleged act by Pastor Blayee as barbaric, disgusting and outrageous.
The statement under the signature of LNBA's National Secretary General Cllr. Bornor M. Varmah described the attack against Atty. Gbadeah as absolutely disgusting' and outrageous.
The Bar calls on the Liberia National Police (LNP) to speedily investigate, charge the alleged perpetrator and forward the case to court in accordance with law.
This paper could not immediately establish contact with Pastor Blayee, but other local media have reported that the accused has denied the claim levied by the LNBA.
The LNBA said on 9 May 2022, it received an official complaint from Atty. Gbadeah alleging that he was brutalized by Mr. Blayee and other men under his authority when he tried to resolve a land dispute between his client, Mrs. Seynie Urey and Mr. Blayee at the accused's residence in the Mount Barclay Community.
The LNBA said the incident occurred on May 2, 2022. Further, in the release, the LNBA noted that the action of the former warlord to outrightly engage in an act to undermine the rule of law only compels relevant stakeholders to collaborate and accelerate the establishment of the war and economic crimes court to provide the basis for accountability in Liberia.
The LNBA indicated that it would ensure that the law is applied and those who are found culpable will face the full weight of the law.
It alleged that information received suggests that since the incident occurred on 2 May 2022, the police have not formally charged the alleged perpetrator and forwarded the case to court as required by law, adding that they believe that the investigation into the matter is long overdue and presents travesty of justice.
"The recent brutal and reprehensible attack against Atty. Gbadeah has provoked a torrent of condemnations from the public and members of the Bar seem to underscore the difficulty the Government of Liberia faces in curbing unprovoked attacks against lawyers in the country," the LNBA noted.
The LNBA says it is heartbroken by recent assaults on lawyers and advice all would-be perpetrators to immediately desist from such callous and brutal attacks as it will not relent in bringing culprits to justice to serve as deterrence to others.
The LNBA further stated that it believes the role of lawyers is to apply and uphold the laws laid down under the Liberian system of jurisprudence and have the right to do so on behalf of their clients without intimidation.