14 Illegal migrants sent to court
The Bureau of immigration and Naturalization has sent to court some 14 “illegal migrants” along with their host, co-defendant Pinky Oral Luongon, on charges of aiding and harboring illegal migrants, and illegal penetration of the borders of Liberia.
On Wednesday, January 7, 2015, the defendants were driven to the Temple of Justice in Monrovia at about midday in several BIN vehicles and taken to the Montserrado County Attorney’s office before being turned over to the Monrovia City Court.
A BIN charge sheet says the defendants illegally, criminally [entered Liberia in] defiance [and violation] of the “law” which declared the borders of entry closed as per President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s mandate in the ongoing Ebola fight here.
The BIN was in July 2014 instructed by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to directly supervise and control all border points that were to remain opened while she announced several measures aimed at containing the rapid spread of the Ebola Virus into Liberia from neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Defendants forwarded to court on Wednesday for illegal penetration of Liberia’s borders along with their host defendant Luogon, include Cecelia Weamia, Rebecca N. Dennis, Kadie Konteah, Irene Marpue Shegbeh, Famata Kroma, Jonathan Amiob and Martin Rogers.
Others include Fatu Na Sambe, John H. Mathies, Mohammed M. Kamara, Daniel Banya, Mary K. Baysah, Idrissa Turay and Enoch M.S. Sayuwo.
They allegedly bye-passed the Bo-waterside and Ganta Borders respectively and clandestinely entered Liberia and subsequently hosted by “their boss lady” defendant Luogon on the Bernard Farm, Paynesville.
BIN officers said defendant Luongon provided accommodations and feeding for the “illegal migrants” at her Bernard Farm residence in Paynesville.
The migrants were allegedly arrested at separate locations, including Bo-Waterside Bye-pass in Grand Cape Mount County and Ganta Bye-pass in Nimba County, respectively by BIN Officers Col. Lawrence Karnley; Col. Carl Streete; Col. James F. Bennerman;, Col. Melvin Steward and Maj. Chea Nelson.
The defendants allegedly violate 5.90 and 5.91 Count “b” of the New Aliens and Nationality Law of Liberia, the charge sheet read.
As of January 4, 2015, BIN officers said both defendant Luongon and accomplices were arrested based upon verified information gathered by the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization that the individuals “illegally, criminally and [in] defiance of the law” which declared the borders of entry closed entered Liberia.
The BIN said upon entry into the premises of prime defendant Luongon at Bernard Farm in Paynesville, they took possession of the defendants’ travelling documents such as passports bearing numbers E0190067; AA109848; L113572; L094485 or 0125280; L095703 and N14185.
The officers said they had documentary statements of the defendants in their possession.
Public defense lawyers have asked the court for continuance to allow them prepare for the case. Hearing is expected at 9 am on Monday, January 12, 2015.
By Winston W. Parley