By: R. Joyclyn Wea
MONROVIA-Early this year, a Writ was issued out of the Paynesville City Court in favor of Marvin Cole, charging Journalist Bettie Johnson Mbayo, her husband, Dr. Moses Mbayo and a family friend Johnson Kerkulah with Felonious Restrain, Disorderly Conduct and Terroristic Threats.
They were accused by Cole of parking their vehicle in his driveway in the Harmon Field Community, in Du-Port Road, Paynesville. Throughout the proceedings, the Mbayos maintained their innocence.
After listening to argument from both disputing ends and taking evidence into the case, the Paynesville Magistrate Marvin Bah ruled in favor of the lawmaker, despite glaring fact of misused of power by the lawmaker.
Magistrate Bah dropped all charges against Johnson Kerkulah and hooked the Mbayos thus serving them 30 days and 90 days prison sentences respectively.
An exception was made to the Magistrate’s verdict, with an appeal before the Circuit Court (Criminal Court A) by the Mbayos’ team of lawyers.
During a called conference by Judge Roosevelt Willie at the Temple of Justice, both parties to the case reached a consensus thus waving their rights, this ends all legal proceedings and quashed the ruling of the Magisterial Court that was already muted. This as well restored the freedom of Journalist Bettie and her husband Dr. Moses Mbayo.
Of late, some members of the Liberian media have been calling for the disqualification of the journalist from participating in the pending Press Union of Liberia’s election since news about her intention to contest the Vice Presidency post broke out.
According to them, Journalist Bettie is a convict and is facing criminal prosecution at the level of the Circuit Court without any knowledge that the parties have reached a melting point.
Criminal Court ‘A’ Wednesday, confirmed to RCI Judicial Correspondent that Representative Cole dropped his criminal litigation against Journalist Bettie Johnson-Mbayo during a pretrial conference with Judge Roosevelt Willie a month ago.
The Court has said that Journalist Bettie’s freedom has since been restored as provided by law. The clarification by the court is not only a shock, but also a serious blow to some journalists who are contending against the journalist’s participation in the PUL elections.