Monrovia, December 11, 2021: As Family of our 7-year baby who was repeatedly raped between September 2020 and April 2021 right on the premises of the Embassy of Liberia near Abuja, Nigeria, we wish to make the following preliminary observations in light of the December 8, 2021 Press Statement by the Embassy of Liberia near Abuja, Nigeria under the leadership of Ambassador Al-Hassan Conteh:
- Foremost, the statement by the Embassy of Liberia near Abuja confirms our 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 our 7-year old daughter who was raped multiple times at the diplomatic premises of the Mission he heads.
- The statement by the Embassy of Liberia near Abuja validates our 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 our family from publicly speaking and seeking legitimate interventions inclusive of social justice, humanitarian, and psycho-social support given the rapidly worsening condition of our daughter and our 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 Ambassdor 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, he has fallen short of that moral duty and embarrassingly too.
- The statement by the Embassy of Liberia near Abuja only exposes more 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 Ambassador Al-Hassan Conteh in the rape case of our 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 perpetrators of the rape act at the Embassy of Liberia near Abuja inasmuch both Liberia and Nigeria consider rape as a major offense.
- The statement by the Embassy of Liberia near Abuja‘s reference to me 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 our 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, we believe 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.
- That the statement by the Embassy of Liberia near Abuja even contemplates ‘libelous’ action for a hurting father whose baby 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. 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. Such acts are worrisome of what could lay beneath a lot of other covered issues not only at the Abuja Mission but at our 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 proces.
- 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 accreditions.
- Finally, while we shall not go down low as Ambassador Al-Hassan Conteh in his show of pride and unfeeling, we would like to urge and remind Ambassador Conteh to come clean by making public all communications inclusive of email exchanges, investigative reports, and the timeline of his so-called interventions, interactions and exchanges – both physical and via telephone – he made since the commission of multiple acts of rape against our 7-year baby by two preying sexually-active rapists got to our 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! Our sincere thanks.
Nat Bayjay (Dad to the Rape Survival) On Behalf of the Family
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