Monrovia — Monrovia City Court has sent two men to jail for purporting to be reporters and editors of FrontPageAfrica, with the sole intent of extorting money and blackmailing senior officials of government.
Defendant Cyrus Jackson Doe, 33, a resident of Front Street in Monrovia, and Co-Defendant Junior V. Foley were charged by the Liberia National Police along with one George Vaye with forgery, impersonating officials, criminal conspiracy, criminal facilitation, and criminal solicitation in violation of sections 15.70, 10.2 and 10.3 of the revised pan law of Liberia.
They were complained to the Police by FrontPageAfrica’s News Desk Chief, Lennart Dodoo for impersonating him and other reporters of FrontPageAfrica.
According to Dodoo, the suspects would often call high-ranking government officials, prominent business people and citizens introducing themselves as Lennart Dodoo, Editor of FrontPageAfrica, to extort money from them.
Some of their victims and almost victims include the Auditor General, P. Garsuah Jackson, Deputy Speaker J. Fonati Koffa, Prof. Wilson Tarpeh, Comptroller General Janga Kowo, Asst. Min. Jessie Koboi, Mr. Dewitt vonBalmoos, the EPS Director, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Senator Prince Moye, among others.
Mr. Dodoo said sometime in September, he received calls from several top government officials and other prominent citizens that the defendants called them purporting to be him and were requesting financial assistance and in some instances, attempting to blackmail them.
Mr. Dodoo said, as part of their scheme, they presented a forged ID card bearing his name and picture via WhatsApp to validate to their ‘victims’ that they were indeed Lennart Dodoo.
He said this action on their part has brought his reputation, the reputation of his reporters and the institution to public disrepute.
“As journalists, all we have is our reputation and must guard it jealously by remaining professional in our work. It is therefore troubling for us when unscrupulous individuals to ruin our character through a scheme designed by them to solicit money from people. I am happy that they have been arrested and now the entire country would know who they are,” Dodoo said.
The Monrovia City Court described the defendant’s action as unlawful, wicked, criminal, and intentional and that it violates Sections 15.70,10.2 and 10.3 of the New Penal Law of Liberia, for which they were sentenced.
Meanwhile, Defendant Cyrus Jackson Doe and Junior V. Folley are currently serving detention at the Monrovia Central Prison, also known as South Beach.