LIBERIA: Court Jails 3 Clergymen For Assaulting Senior Pastor

Flash Back: Man Handcuffed

The Monrovia City Court on Tuesday sentenced three clergymen to four months in prison for assaulting their Senior Pastor and inflicting injuries on him.

According to court record, the clergymen prevented the Senior Pastor from having access to his office during regular church service and also flogged him.

Defendant Dennis T. Aggrey is head of another branch of the Monrovia Christian Revival Church, while defendants Jonathan V. Wolobah and John Y. Kucuyoiyoigee are Deacons of the same Church located on the Cheeseman Avenue, 13th Street in Sinkor.

The three men were on July 1, 2018 arrested and summoned by the Monrovia City Court based upon a complaint filed by Senior Pastor Abraham Gargannah, indicating that during regular worship service he was assaulted and denied access to his office by the defendants.

The three men were charged with felonious restraint, theft of property and simple assault and arraigned before the Court for a month-long trial to prove whether or not they committed the acts as charged.

Handing down the final judgment, Magistrate Kennedy Peabody said during the entire trial, Prosecution failed to prove the four essential elements of felonious restraint, and also failed to show that the restraint of Pastor Gargannah exposed him to risk of serious bodily injury as it was not shown that because the private prosecutor was retrained from accessing his office exposed him to risk of serious bodily injury.

Magistrate Peabody further stated in his judgment that the office in question is a place of work and not a dwelling place of the private prosecutor, saying had it been a dwelling place for the private prosecutor it would have been a different thing.

He, however, pointed out that prosecution proved their case for simple assault, beyond all reasonable doubts, thereby adjudging the defendants guilty of simple assault, because there was enough evidence, and that the Senior Pastor was seriously wounded as a result of the beating he received.

Magistrate Peabody pointed out that it was during regular worship service immediately after the communion service that co-defendant Jonathan Wolobah made an announcement referring to the Senior Pastor as an Assistant Pastor, while referring to defendant Dennis T. Aggrey as the Senior Pastor, which led the Senior Pastor to go to the pulpit to make a correction.

He said it was while the Pastor was on the pulpit that defendant Wolobah hit him on his back, started pulling him from the pulpit and when he fell to the ground the trio beat him to the point that he sustained serious wounds all over his body.

“In view of the foregoing legal reasoning and citation relied upon, it is the considered position of this Court that the defendants are adjudged not guilty of felonious restraint and that of theft of property, as prosecution miserably failed to prove said charges.

“Whereas for the crime of simple assault, this Court hereby rules and adjudges the three men guilty and sentences them to imprisonment for four months,” Magistrate Peabody said in his ruling.

Meanwhile, the court has also ordered the three clergymen to pay a fine of US$400 each into the judiciary account forthwith consistent with Chapter 23, 2, 3, 4 of the criminal procedure law.


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