The 12th Judicial Circuit Court in Barclayville, Grand Kru County, southeast Liberia sentences two defendants for four years for committing the crime kidnapping during its May term of court.
Defendants Alphonso Blamo, Elizabeth Senoh, Jerome Nyanti and Victoria Wiah on Friday April 28, 2017 kidnapped Pastor Dester Wiah in Jarkapo, Dorbor Statutory District.
But two were convicted after they entered a guilty plea for kidnapping a clergyman. During the February term of court, Grand Jury indicted Jerome Nyanti and others, who committed the act. The Convicts individually asked Almighty God for mercy.
Resident circuit court Judge Peter W. Gbenewleh in his final judgment said, considering the circumstances surrounding the case, backed by their individual confessions in open court were sufficient evidence the two defendants are guilty of the crime thereby, sentencing them for four years.
Judge Gbenewleh ruled the convicts will serve their respective sentences in any suitable prison facility in the Republic of Liberia, stressing that the sentence will serve as deterrence.
Elizabeth Senoh, who is said to be suffering from old age, was set free by the circuit court,but Jerome Nyanti has since denied being linked or responsible for the mysterious disappearance of Pastor Dester Wiah, who mysteriously disappeared a year ago while sweeping in his yard in Dorbor district.
He has not been seen since he was taken to an unknown location by the defendants despite a massive search launched by community dwellers and security forces in 2017.
Victoria Wiah, aunt of the missing pastor told an interview that she offered the victim to her kidnapping club in the dark world on grounds that the man was working for money, but failed to support her.
Several citizens, including women, youth, students and the disabled community strongly condemned continuous mysterious disappearances of citizens in the county, something, they describe as totally ungodly, lamenting that it is wicked for heartless men to take lives of others for ritual purposes.
They call on government to ensure security that would enable citizens to move about freely without fear of being adapted or murdered.Between 2016 and 2017, Grand Kru County experienced an increase in alleged ritualistic activities, but many attribute the situation to lack of adequate security especially, police officers.-
By George K. Momo/ Grand Kru– Editing by Jonathan Browne