By: E. Geedahgar Garsuah, Sr.
MONROVIA: The Liberia Medical and Dental Association (LMDA), has taken strong exception to the guilty verdict handed down against Dr. Moses Mbayo and his spouse, Journalist Bettie Johnson-Mbayo, by Judge Marvin Bah of the Paynesville Magisterial Court.
The LMDA’s condemnation of the guilty verdict against one of its members, Dr. Moses Mbayo, and his wife comes six days after Judge Bah handed down the guilty verdict against the couple.
The Paynesville Magisterial Judge, Marvin Bah, in his July 5, 2022 ruling found Dr. Mbayo guilty of ‘felonious restraint’ while his wife, Mrs. Mbayo was found liable of disorderly conduct.
While Dr. Mbayo was subsequently sentenced to a jail term of 90-days, his wife was sentenced to one-month imprisonment.
The guilty verdict against the couple originates from a case brought against them by Bong County District #3 Representative in the Lower House of Liberia’s bicameral Legislature, J. Marvin Cole.
However, the LMDA, in a press release issued on Monday, July 11, 2022, under the signature of its President, Albertha Clarke-Kollie, expressed dismay over Judge Bah’s guilty verdict against the doctor and wife.
The LMDA said, “The verdict implies that there are different rules that apply to the rich and powerful and that their rights are different from the rest of the ordinary citizens as they are exempted from conforming to the law.”
“We had hoped that the court would have heralded the indication that people of privilege can no more break the law without consequence and the Representative Marvin Cole’s privilege does not extend to violence as we witnessed in the current case and most disappointingly in the Chambers of the House Representatives with his colleagues,” the release noted.
“We, as the professional body of doctors strongly believe that the court’s action to sentence these innocent and law-abiding professionals to prison, further humiliates them after being taken advantage of by the Representative. This experience further validates the popular claim in Liberia that there is no justice for the poor and that politicians are exempted from the justice system,” the statement added.
The LMDA said its members, as doctors, have refused to be disrespected and assaulted by people they sacrifice to serve especially, to be abused by politicians who take the law into their own hands, and thereby go at any length to influence the system in their favor.
The LMDA reaffirms its support for Dr. Mbayo and stressed that they will go to any length to ensure that true justice is dispensed in this case.
LMDA further noted as Dr. Mbayo’s legal defense team takes the next requisite actions; the doctors are going to completely get involved in every necessary step to demand justice, no matter the consequences.
“We will not hesitate to take an extreme approach in this matter to ensure justice and to send a caveat that at no point should doctors, as law-abiding citizens and professionals, are abused in any matter,” the release stated.
“We will defend our colleague to the end knowing that he was physically and emotionally abused by Representative Cole who has been using his political influence to his advantage since this incidence occurred,” the release added.