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Crime & PunishmentGeneralLiberia news

Reopen investigation in Odell Sherman’s death-Women group tells government

A women’s group observing the third memorial of the late Odell Sherman’s death is calling on the Government of Liberia to reopen the investigation in the case because too many questions surrounding her death since May 2019 remain unanswered.

“We call on the Government of Liberia to reopen the investigation in the case of Odell Sherman, for what it represents for justice for women in Liberia,” the group said.

In the ‘Odell Sherman Memorial Day Press Statement’ released in Monrovia, the group narrated that on 21 May 2019, Rev. Emmanuel Giddings allegedly discovered in his unfinished building Odell Sherman unconscious.

The deceased was a 21-year-old student of the Harriet Bailey United Methodist School.

Women group posed with a banner if Odell’s picture with students in the background

Upon her discovery, the group recalled that Rev. Giddings took Odell to the ELWA Hospital and registered her under an assumed name even though he previously knew her, had contact with her and had reason to know her name.  

“The unfinished building where the late Odell Sherman was found also belonged to Rev. Emmanuel Giddings,” the group explained.

In the Post Mortem Examination conducted on the remains of the late Odell Sherman, the women’s group said Dr. Mitchell concluded in his final report that the deceased student died as the result of “Blunt Force Trauma of the Head,” a consequence of descent.

Since the autopsy report, the group lamented that the police have neglected to find the underlying reasons behind the blunt force trauma of the head.

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“Many questions still surround Odell’s death. How could a healthy young woman find her way after an approximately 4-minutes walk to a home she had been before and drop head-on?” the group wondered.

“Who was there? Why did she go to the home at mid-night alone? Why did the security open the gate at midnight [to someone] who didn’t live in the compound?” it continued.

The women’s group also wants to know what reasons Rev. Giddings [have] initially for registering Odell under an assumed name.

“These and many other answers, we still seek to know. Some fear we will never know. Today we remember Odell Sherman, [a] vibrant young woman whose life was snuffed without answers,” the group said.

It noted that Odell is a symbol of the many young women and girls and Liberians who were allegedly murdered without accountability.

In recent times, the group said it has heard and seen dozens of other mysterious deaths that so-called police investigation leaves without a logical conclusion. 

It warned that this was the peak of impunity and lack of accountability, saying “how we treat our people as a nation determines the progress we will make.” 

The group argued that Article 11(c) of the Liberian Constitution provides that “All persons are equal before the law and are therefore entitled to the equal protection of the law.”

“Time is out – our government must no longer turn a blind eye to the equal protection of all citizens.”

“We demand answers and timely actions from this government, respecting the Constitutional rights guaranteeing all persons including girls and young women,” the women group stated.

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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