Monrovia, Liberia- Liberian journalists have almost always operated in unsafe environments. Their quests to report the truth are often met with threats, scandals and insults. For decades in Liberia, journalists have been imprisoned, beaten, maltreated, disrespected and often seen as enemies to society. This was nothing new when a Liberian Female journalist who reports for Frontpage Africa was threatened by a Lawyer known as Cllr. Charles Abdullai.
Mrs. Bettie Johnson-Mbayo said, she received a call from someone on a strange number telling her that she will be assassinated before the 15th of September if she does not stop reporting on his client. According to Mrs. Mbayo, few hours later, she received a call on a second number purportedly from the same person threatening her and saying, “Either one of your kid will get missing or you will be assassinated”. She said after the second call, she contacted her editor and a trace of the number through a mobile phone company led to Cllr. Charles Abdullai.
The Frontpage Africa reporter told The Liberian Billboard that after Cllr. Abdullai number was identified, her editor called him several times and he refused to pick up, but after they they called on a strange number, he picked up. Journalist Mbayo said that when Cllr. Abdullai was confronted, he told the Frontpage staffers on the line that he was joking.
In the meantime, Journalist Bettie Johnson-Mbayo said, she will not take the threat of Cllr. Charles Abdullai lightly. She said, nobody just joke with assassination and kidnappings like that and will seek redress through the relevant authorities. The client was however not identified by Cllr. Abdullai.
Efforts by The Liberian Billboard to contact Cllr. Charles Abdullai proved futile.