PhiliBertBrownOver the weekend two newspaper publishers, Philibert Brown of the Hot Pepper Newspaper, and Alfred Togba of the People Newspaper were sued for US$1.5 million by Bong County Representative Prince Moye at the Civil Law Court at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia.
Before leaving his office on Coleman Hill Mr. Brown told reporters that he received a writ from the Civil law court indicating that his paper has been sued by Bong County District Two Representative Prince Moye over a story in his paper, carried in its Thursday October 6th edition captioned ‘During Ebola Time: “I Lost My Virginity” with sub lead ..Rape victim tells Hot Pepper about Representative Moye’s act.
Mr. Brown said his paper did not accuse Representative Moye of rape, rather quoted a rape victim indicating that in late 2013 the honorable man used one of his boys in his yard to befriend the victim, and later showered her with gifts during the Christmas season, and encouraged her to be around him all of the time during his leisure time.
However, it is only after repeated investigations that we can infer the right approach. That is the main reason why experts advice to get the facts first.
He said it was the victim who accused him during investigation and it was not the paper, but they remain firm in their investigation.
Mr. Brown said his paper contacted Representative Moye on the allegation but the Honorable told his paper that “he does not know anybody, adding people are trying to blackmail him” but the paper carried the side of his allegation, including communication between him and his lawyer.
The People newspaper also carried similar story on the Bong County Representative about his alleged involvement in a rape case. Subsequently, Representative Prince Moye filed US$1.5 million law suit against the two journalists. Two other journalists implicated in the same suit are allegedly on the run.
Judge Yusuf Kabbah ordered the arrest of journalist Brown and two other journalists to appear before his court to answer to defamation of character of Representative
Moye for linking him to the crime of rape.
According to court officers the two journalists, Alfred Togba of the People Newspaper and Charles Johnson of the Hot Pepper Newspaper, are reportedly on the run, while the publisher of the Hot Pepper was sent to jail for his failure to file a criminal bond.