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Politics News

War against women?

Liberia seems to be gradually becoming a country where women are being willfully targeted and murdered in cold blood predominantly as a result of domestic violence with over five cases recorded in just the first and second quarters of this year.

A chronological review of ghastly attacks against women leading to death recollects chilling stories of how several women lost their lives to violence, which in most instances were initiated by their male counterparts.

Early this year, a man intentionally shut and killed his wife with a single barrel gun after he suspected her of involvement in extra love relationship, while in April, a couple went indoor on Peace Island Community, Jacob Town in Paynesville, but the woman was subsequently found dead lying in a pool of blood, while her boyfriend was taken to hospital after sustaining injuries due to apparent fight in the room.

The most recent this month that kept the nation dumbfounded is photograph of a woman who was ghastly beheaded in Zorzor, Lofa County after a man armed with single barrel gun found a couple in their rice farm, initially shooting the husband before moving on the helpless wife and butchering her head from her should
Now the latest incident which took place over the weekend, involved a Liberian man believed to be a footballer, suspect Pet T. Toe, who allegedly murdered a female instructor in her early 50s, Mother Lydia F. Daku in Caldwell, outside Monrovia over claims that the victim was a witch behind his alleged misfortune.

Suspect Toe was returning from a nightclub early Sunday morning at about 2:45am, 24 June after being allegedly attacked by some criminals when he heard a noise along the way in the community in which some residents called victim Lydia a witch.

Witnesses say the suspect immediately rushed on the victim, beat her mercilessly and stoned her in the stomach twice with bricks, leading her to bleed profusely on the scene to death.

The suspect allegedly accused the victim of being responsible for criminals attacking him at a nightclub through her alleged witch power. This latest alleged murder incident in Montserrado County comes just about 10 days after another horrible killing was reported in Lofa County where a man allegedly beheaded a lady and cut other body parts of the victim, stirring chaos in the county.

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Eyewitnesses say the late Lydia F. Daku was an employee of the Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS) as an instructor before her alleged murder at about 2:45 am on Sunday, 24 June. Suspect Toe, believed to be in his 20s has been arrested and detained by officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) to face investigation.

After allegedly killing victim Lydia tragically, suspect Toe went home and locked himself indoor at Caldwell, witnesses say.When police went on the scene and also visited suspect Toe’s house, his uncle who is yet to be identified, allegedly locked the iron gate of the house, denying police entry into the house to arrest his nephew.

Sources on the scene say police later got order from Central Headquarters to ensure the suspect’s arrest, following which they allegedly discharged five rounds in the air to scare the suspect and his uncle.

Our sources say it was at this point that the suspect’s uncle came out and opened the gate, allowing police to arrest the suspect including the uncle in question.A lady on the scene told our reporter that victim Lydia F. Daku lived in Gardnerville, and had gone to a bank on Saturday morning to get some money.

Upon returning from the unnamed bank, the eyewitness says victim Lydia went to Caldwell for a party, but lost her way after the reported party in Caldwell.Prior to being allegedly attacked by suspect Toe, witnesses say some residents suspected that victim Lydia was drunk, and others thought she was a crazy woman.

They say the victim did not respond to questions posed to her by anyone who came across her and asked about her identity or where she came from or where she was going.

Witness Dominic Kollie tells this paper that he was with Lydia from 10 pm to 2am before leaving her. Dominic recalls that while he was still with victim Lydia, he came in contact with two patrol officers riding motor bike and informed them about the lady’s situation.

“I asked the OPS who is the operation at Zone – 7 Depot here to take the lady along with them, but his response was they were going for different operation,” witness Dominic claims.

He says while the police officers were leaving that night, the OPS allegedly warned that if anything happened to victim Lydia, he would hold those around her responsible because he knew them.

The eye witness continues that the alleged murderer is a footballer who recently returned from Indonesia where he was playing football. According to Dominic, suspect Toe came to Liberia and rented an apartment in Caldwell.

Mr. Daniel Ayofami, a resident of Caldwell around the Old Police Station Community narrates to this paper that it all started by 2:45 am when he heard a lady screaming and calling for help opposite his house.

He says upon hearing the heavy screaming, he decided to come out and see what was happening. Initially, he says, he thought it was vigilante guys trying to harass someone, but when he come out, he saw four ladies and two gentlemen with two kids calling victim Lydia a witchcraft who had allegedly gone in their community to perform witch.

Witness Ayofami continues that to his surprise, he met the alleged murderer beating on the lady.But he says he disagreed with the guys, arguing that the woman could not be a witch. According to him, he told them that witchcraft doesn’t normally appear in the light because it exposes their activities.

Ayofami says he insisted that they stop calling the lady witch, but they refused and drove the woman out from their porch where she had gone to sleep.The eye witness continues that a boy cut victim Lydia’s handbag over claims that the victim had witch in it.

But after cutting the handbag, witness Ayofami narrates that only victim Lydia’s identification cards, driver license and other things fell out of the bag.He explains that after her things fell from the bag, he continued to warn the guys that they were looking for trouble on someone’s mother who may have just lost her way and wanted to pass the night on the porch.

Witness Ayofami says he attempted rendering assistance by taking the lady away, but the group allegedly stopped him from assisting her.He recalls that while the group was still calling victim Lydia a witch, suspect Toe met them in the noise and suddenly made claim that he was attacked by criminals (zogoes) due to Lydia’s alleged witch power.

Witness Ayofami alleges that suspect Toe started beating on the lady, stepping her face to the ground, knocking her head on the wall before taking bricks and hit her in her stomach twice. According to witness Ayofami, victim Lydia died on the spot.

He says when he tried stopping suspect Toe, the accused chased him (witness). Witness Ayofami says he called for help, but nobody could come out. As such, he says he send his two younger brothers to call the police.

While suspect Toe was allegedly trying to escape the scene, witness Ayofami says he changed his white shirt and crept after the suspect to see where he was going.

The witness says he personally took police to suspect Toe’s house, leading to his arrest.One eye witness also narrates that he met victim Lydia at Dixville Junction at about 10 pm on Saturday, 23 June, asked her for her name, but she couldn’t say where she was going or where she came from.

Meanwhile contacted over the incident, Deputy Police Commissioner for Public Affairs Moses Carter confirmed the situation in Caldwell, but promised to give details at a later time.

By Lewis S. Teh–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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