Monrovia – FrontPageAfrica reporter, Bettie Johnson-Mbayo was abused and threatened by supporters of Representative Morais Waylee of Grand Gedeh County for her consistent reportage on the alleged rape and impregnating of a 13-year-old girl who lived with the lawmaker.
“Since this is the only story you see, let me see one more publication, your life will be done.” – One of Rep. Waylee’s Supporters Threatened FPA reporter Bettie Johnson-Mbayo
They had gone to the court to share sympathy with Rep. Waylee who was being forwarded to court by the Liberia National Police on multiple charges including criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, tampering with criminal investigation and tampering with witness.
The threats and invectives on reporter Johnson-Mbayo started when she attempted photographing the lawmaker who was being escorted to the Monrovia City Court at the Temple of Justice.
Her camera was hit by a lawyer she identified as Bob Laywher and continuously obstructed her from taking photographs.
“Since this is the only story you see, let me see one more publication, your life will be done,” one of his supporters, a female, threatened.
She continued: “The thing you want from this man you will get it, just keep lying [and] say you doing story.”
Many of his supporters threatened to smash the camera of any reporter who attempts photographing him or his wife, Mrs. Williette Waylee who also carried same charges.
Reporter Johnson-Mbayo has been consistent in investigating the alleged rape case and her reports have provided leads for the Liberia National Police and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
It can be recalled that she travelled to Konobo, Grand Gedeh County, where she located the girl and the baby.
During their engagement, the girl told Bettie, “That’s my uncle who impregnated and the ma and pa know about it, but they say I should not talk to anyone about it.”
The girl was reportedly taken into a traditional bush immediately her mother noticed she had spoken to a stranger.
It was FrontPageAfrica’s investigation that discovered the school the alleged rape survivor attended.
Meanwhile, the management of FrontPageAfrica is calling on the Liberia National Police and the Press Union of Liberia to take notice of the threats rained on its reporter for simply doing her job.
“We are journalists, all we do is to report and report the truth no matter what."
"The threats wouldn’t scare us from reporting the truth and seeking social justice through our reportage."
However, the Liberia National Police and Press Union of Liberia must take note of these threats coming against our reporter.
“At this point, we are afraid that the safe of Journalist Mbayo-Johnson is in danger and we will want the Liberia National Police and the PUL to investigate these threats,” the management noted.
At the same time the former Superintendent of Grand Gedeh County Mr. Chris Bailey on Saturday attacked and damaged the camera journalist who went on to photograph Waylee’s wife.
It all began when Journalist Caesar Slapeh attempted taking photograph of Mrs. Wayleee, upon being noticed by Mr. Bailey, he ordered their supporters to forcefully seize the camera from the journalist have bring it to him.
He smashed the camera to the ground immediately and it was turned over to him.
The sheriffs of the Monrovia City Court along with other journalists immediately rushed to the scene and rescued the journalist from Bailey and his men.
Magistrate Cooper called a preliminary hearing and told the former superintendent that the law covers journalists’ right to photographs around the court but not while the court is in session, and later warned the journalist to file a formal complaint with his institution and perform his ethical duties.