Monrovia – Forty-three-year-old Amara S. Keifa has been incarcerated at the Monrovia Central Prison by Criminal Court ‘A’ Judge Roosevelt Z. Willie for attempting to sell his 13-year-old daughter for US$105,000.
Judge Roosevelt Z. Willie hanged down the five-year guilty verdict against Keifa with the crime of “Human Trafficking of a Child,” on Wednesday, June 27.
According to the court indictment, on June 14, 2017, convict Keifa, who was then 42, made a phone contact with Margo Cooper-Korkoya and verbally informed her of his desire to sell his 12-year-old daughter, Facia Keifa, to her or any other potential buyer for ritualistic sacrifice or for any other purpose suitable to them.
The indictment added that following the call, Ms. Cooper-Korkoya notified her pastor, Rev. Joseph Johnson and former NSA officer Edward Zeyou, who in turn, informed Sgt. Edmund E. Bayeh, Line Manager of the Women and Children’s Protection Section of the Liberia National Police.
Again, on June 16, 2017, Keifa called Ms. Cooper-Korkoya and demanded a price of US$300,000 for the sale of his daughter, but she advised him that her buyer could not afford said amount but was willing instead to pay US$100,000 for the sale of the child and he agreed to the lesser price.
Later the same day, convict Keifa made another call to Mrs. Cooper-Korkoya informing her that the previous amount agreed upon was too low, and the buyer would increase the price by US$20,000. Mrs. Cooper-Korkoya rejected his demand and instead, offered to increase the amount by US$ 5,000, totaling the amount to USD$105,000.
He accepted Ms. Cooper-Korkoya’s counter-proposal and agreed to take his daughter to her (Mrs. Cooper-Korkoya’s) Smythe Road residence in Old Road the following day at about 6:30 P.M.
On the day of June 17, 2017 at about 8:30 PM, the inmate phoned Mrs. Cooper-Korkoya and directed her to meet him at the junction of Smythe and Old Road for their business transaction.
Mrs. Cooper-Korkoya, therefore walked from her residence to the above-mentioned location where she met Keifa, his friend, Lassanna Sheriff and the convict’s daughter, Facia Keifa. After the introductions, they all walked to her residence for the transaction.
“All of the persons were inside Mrs. Cooper-Korkoya’s residence when defendant Amara S. Keifa handed to Mrs. Cooper-Korkoya a black plastic bag into which she was to deposit the US$105,000. At this point, officer Zeyou, who had been hiding inside the residence, notified Sgt. Bayeh, who had been following the movements of the convict, and was arrested in the residence of Mrs. Cooper-Korkoya,” the indictment reveals.
The indictment details that the actions of Keifa is in violation of Chapter 14, section 14.55 of the new Penal Law of Liberia.
Chapter 14, Section 14.55 states: “A person is guilty of human trafficking if he /she purposely or knowingly engaged in the sale and human trafficking of another, his relative, or child or children. The maximum penalty is 10 years”.
“In view of the foregoing, the defendant Amara S. Keifa is adjudged guilty for the crime of human trafficking and view of the facts and circumstances this court hereby sentences the defendant to a term of imprisonment of five years commencing effective today, June 27, 2018 and the clerk is herby ordered to communicate with the Monrovia Central Prison.”
In a related development, Judge Roosevelt Z. Willie has subpoena the Ministers of labor, Gender, Children and Social Protection, and the Inspector General of Police to appear before the court on Friday, June 29, at 11:00 A.M. to show cause for releasing two witnesses — Famatta Kanu and Kiadiatu Kamara — involved in the trafficking of little Facia Keifa by her father.
“You are commanded to appear and show cause why you should not be held in contempt by this honorable court for releasing witnesses Famatta Kanu and Kiadiatu Kamara, whose names are herein listed without informing the Ministry of Justice or prosecuting arm and having them assign the case.”