The family of a 7-year child who was allegedly repeatedly raped between September 2020 and April 2021 right on the premises of the Embassy of Liberia near Abuja, Nigeria, has stated its preliminary observations in light of the December 8, 2021 press statement by the Embassy of Liberia in Nigeria under the leadership of Ambassador Al-Hassan Conteh.
Headed by journalist Nat Bayjay, the family said foremost, the statement by the Embassy of Liberia near Abuja confirms their contention that Ambassador Al-Hassan Conteh has and continues to demonstrate a pattern of callous attitude underpinned by lack of any sense of humility and decency toward the plight of their 7-year old daughter who was allegedly raped multiple times at the diplomatic premises of the mission he heads.
The family noted that the statement by the Embassy of Liberia near Abuja validates their position that Ambassador Al-Hassan Conteh in apparent ca-hoots with some officials within the corridors of power in Liberia, particularly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, have in the last eight months designed a strategy to employ the constraining legal term of sub judice as an alibi to suppress and silence the voice of the family from publicly speaking and seeking legitimate interventions inclusive of social justice, humanitarian, and psycho-social support given the rapidly worsening condition of the victim and the trauma.
“The statement by the Embassy of Liberia near Abuja solidifies our assertion that Ambassador Al- Hassan Conteh and his ca-hoots are more concerned about the image of the mission he heads rather the deteriorating health of a young Liberian child.
“The statement by the Embassy of Liberia near Abuja which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has unfortunately decided to use as a template response to this very inhumane situation shows no semblance of interest in common humanity. That singular act demonstrates the Ambassador‘s disregard for my family’s plight, further revealing why he sought to ignore and delay the plight of our baby just to uphold the image of the embassy and the perpetrators and their guardians who fall directly under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. By that statement, our Ambassador in Abuja has further demonstrated that the issue of the baby’s mental and physical health is lesser of his concern and as a father, as he has fallen short of that moral duty and embarrassingly too,” the family of the victim mentioned.
They went on to declare that the statement by the Embassy of Liberia near Abuja only exposes more on how the Ambassador’s posture reflects lip service to his “so-called zero” tolerance on rape as he would have a few to believe in his statement which evidently exposes the high degree of hypocrisy and partiality of an Ambassador in the rape case of their daughter wherein he claims “a zero tolerance to all forms of sexual molestations, gender-based violence and all forms of discrimination against women and girls,” but yet he refused to allow the Nigerian Police to take statements from the alleged perpetrators of the rape act at the Embassy of Liberia near Abuja in as much both Liberia and Nigeria consider rape as a major offense.
According to them, the statement by the Embassy of Liberia near Abuja‘s reference to the father Nat Bayjay being seconded from the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism as if the Ambassador has no jurisdiction over those under the umbrella of the embassy is just a disguised way of shifting from his responsibility as the country’s Ambassador in Abuja who should account for every action that occurs within the premises of the Mission he heads.
“That the Ambassador and his Foreign Ministry ca-hoots would only now call on the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism to urgently address the legitimate needs after nearly nine months of this coming to our public knowledge validates my claims of the Ambassador’s lack of any human feeling for our baby but only being pretentiously said now because I have become constrained to come public on this matter.
“For the record, we again state the facts as contained in medical reports and testimonies: that there were violent, multiple acts of rape – not just a ‘Rape Incident’ – perpetrated against our daughter at the Embassy of Liberia near Abuja. The acts of rape occurred on a frequent basis between September 2020 and April 2021 when the opportunity existed for the rapists to sexually abuse our daughter.”
Contrary to the insinuation by the Al-Hassan Conteh-led Embassy of Liberia near Abuja, the family believes there is a sea difference between a ‘rape incident occurring in September 2020 but only coming to light in mid-April 2021’ and acts of rape regularly committed between September 2020 and April 2021.
The family also believes that the statement by the Embassy of Liberia near Abuja even contemplates ‘libelous’ action for a hurting father whose daughter was sexually abused right under the Ambassador‘s noses to which he continues to show no empathy but hides under ‘matter in court’ excuse comes across like an Ambassador who is likely a ‘chief specialist’ in covering up rape. They add that instead of the Ambassador showing some empathy and sympathy as well as emotional support for such an emotional battle, he and his cahoots are more concerned with reputational damage.
They said such acts are worrisome of what could lay beneath a lot of other covered issues not only at the Abuja Mission but at the country’s various missions across the world.
“That the statement by the Embassy of Liberia near Abuja would now become the official response from the Foreign Ministry further justifies our concerns that my own direct employer, the Government of Liberia, cares less about the welfare of the child. As the custodian of all Liberian Foreign Missions, the Foreign Ministry should not be a taking such a posture with its acceptance of this insensitive statement, disowning its own jurisdiction over those under the umbrella of the Abuja Mission. This is the worst disappointment of such an embarrassing and shameless ‘response’ that the Foreign Ministry now considers as the ‘best answer’ to unanswered questions of why our baby’s welfare is still being completely ignored eight months down the line and a week after I publicly lamented our Government’s lack of interest in our baby’s welfare and post-traumatic recovery process.
“The statement by the Embassy of Liberia near Abuja’s neglect of the raped survival’s welfare says one thing: as clearly that the welfare of a raped seven-year old can’t be a priority, same can be said about the interests and welfares of thousands of Liberians in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Republics of Benin and Equatorial Guinea, three countries to which the Abuja Mission has concurrent accreditations.”
The family declared that they shall not go down low as Ambassador Conteh in his show of pride and unfeeling, as they would like to urge and remind him to come clean by making public all communications inclusive of email exchanges, investigative reports, and the timeline of his interventions, interactions and exchanges – both physical and via telephone – he made since the alleged commission of multiple acts of rape against the 7-year girl by “two preying sexually-active rapists” got to their and his attention.
“Amidst it all, all my family seeks in the aftermath of this traumatic experience is humanity: cater to the medical and mental health of a Liberian child who suffered sexual assault in the premises of the Liberian Embassy in Abuja. With God and the compassionate public on our side, we shall overcome!”
Recently, the Minister Counselor for Press and Public Affairs at the Liberian Embassy in Abuja, the Federal Republic of Nigeria called President George Manneh Weah’s attention to a sexual abuse incident of his young daughter that occurred on the premises of the Abuja Mission which he laments is seriously affecting the innocent child’s health.
During a press conference, Nat Bayjay during a press conference held in Monrovia narrated that his seven years old young daughter years was sexually abused over a period of seven months by two different perpetrators. The act, according to him, was done multiple times over a period of seven months right on the premises of the Liberian Embassy in Abuja. These two perpetrators themselves were under the guidance of a colleague diplomat also assigned at the Abuja Mission, who according to Mr. Bayjay, has since not shown any remorse for the acts done by his two wards.
“So, I am using this press briefing to bring to the attention of President Weah the deteriorating health condition of my eight years old daughter. It’s only been us the family spending money on her medical and post-traumatic or any form of psychosocial counselling section as should be done for such a traumatized child.”, the young Liberian diplomat appealed to the Liberian Leader for attention.
He explained that though the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Information, and Justice have taken steps to forward the matter to court following his insistence, it is not enough in helping to cater to the welfare of his abused child: “While I’m in Monrovia for the past two months to pursue the justice aspect to this matter, I keep getting calls from my family over our young daughter’s declining health back in Abuja, costing her to miss out on school several days. As we are aware of the long process of litigation, why can’t cater to the welfare of this innocent child solely on humanitarian grounds? Why if this litigation lingers for a year, we the family remains the only one to be going through the financial stress of her health which is already in a poor state?”
According to Mr. Bayjay, eight months down the line concerns over his baby daughter’s health has been the least of concern for all relevant Government personnel concerned who have been involved in this matter as her health which continues to deteriorate. A disturbed and traumatized Bayjay says all medical expenses for the past eight months is weighing his family down financially with no concerns from even the perpetrators’ relations.
He revealed that the situation compelled him to move his family out of the government assigned apartment based since May of this year as he accused Ambassador Al-Hassan Conteh of unnecessary biases in his so-called intervention that convinced him that his family was not safe at any longer under his leadership.
He has accused the Liberian Ambassador, Professor Al-Hassan Conteh with whom he had have very excellent and cordial professional and personal relationships, of unfortunately protecting the perpetrators of the act rather than the young victim.
Mr. Bayjay’s appeal is coming in the wake of the ongoing 16 Days of Activism, with a national theme “Enough is Enough! Let’s Act Now To End Violence Against Women, Girls, Children and Other Marginalized Groups”.
At the same time, Mr. Bayjay accused the Foreign Ministry’s Special Investigative Committee of protecting Ambassador Conteh’s bias and one-sided handling of the matter at the expense of the victims. He termed its report as only amounting to nothing more than a diplomatic appeasement and cover-up.
“The honest and hard truth is that the likes of Ambassador Jarjar Kamara are only concerned about protecting their own clique at the expense of any victimized situation. Is this because this child is not one of their own? After government spent already limited resources on his team to travel to and fro Abuja to conduct an impartial report, Ambassador Kamara would have his team connive with Ambassador Conteh to protect the terrible handling of this matter that compelled me to have the Nigerian police involved”, he stated during the press conference.