Liberia: Deputy Gender Minister Runs to Court

The Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Lydia Mai Sherman, has filed a lawsuit against a Liberian citizen identified as Saye Maye Cole, for falsely accusing her of being in a relationship with the former Director of SOS Children's Village Augustine Alieu, accused of raping a 15-year-old girl in December 2021 at the Village.

Defendant Saye Maye Cole, who spoke on OK Morning Rush on May 5, 2022, alleged that the deputy minister is compromising the rape case because she's a fiancée of Suspect Alieu, has been asked to appear before the Sixth Judicial Circuit Civil Law Court of Montserrado County, sitting in its June Term of Court on the third Monday of June A.D 2022 at the hour of 10:00 A.M.

Failure on his part to appear in court as stipulated, he risks Judgment by Default.

In Deputy Minister Sherman's complaint before the Sixth Judicial Circuit, Civil Law Court, she indicated that Defendant Saye Maye Cole on Monday, May 5, 2022, with Malicious intent to injure and damage her reputation developed over many years and without any color of right, held several press conferences, including email exchanges, while at the same time went on Facebook and blamed her for compromising the alleged rape case involving the former SOS boss when in fact, the matter was still being investigated by the Liberian National Police.

She notes the said action of Saye Maye Cole is false, malicious, reckless, and irresponsible, purely intended to tarnish and damage the hard-earned character she has built over the period.

Minister Sherman laments that the defendant's actions were only designed to bring harm and injury to her, both locally and internationally.

"Especially Saye Maye Cole was fully aware or had reason to be aware of the effect of these false statements and was also under an obligation to verify or investigate the allegations before making the publication", she says.

Deputy Minister Sherman has asked the court to grant her judgment against the defendant Cole as follows: to hold Saye Maye Cole liable for the falsehood, defamation, slanderous and libelous statement maliciously contrived, spoken and published.

She is also demanding an award for general damage sufficient enough to compensate her for the injury and damages suffered by her which amount should not be less than US$500,000.00 as well as award her punitive damages of not less than USD$ 1,000,000.00 for the defendant's reckless action in further imputing her dishonesty, and deception as a reputable and respectable citizen.

Meanwhile, the deputy gender minister maintains that she is a peaceful and law-abiding Liberian in the employ of the Government of Liberia, and is a professional social worker.

According to her, she was employed as a senior executive service consultant by government in 2007 and subsequently appointed as deputy minister for children and social protection in 2014 and 2017, respectively by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and President George Manneh Weah.

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