Edward K. Weah, the pastor on trial for allegedly using his tooth to cut piece of the nose of a neighbor’s wife, took the witness stand on Monday and denied the allegation.Defendant Weah is the senior pastor of Christ the King Church, in the Voice of America (VOA) community, on the Robertsfield’s Highway.He and his wife, Marthaline Weah were indicted by the government with the commission of the crime aggravated assault, after Madam Lucia Garmai Oberly claimed she was beaten and the defendant used his tooth to cut piece of her nose.However, testifying as the defense team’s first witness at Criminal Court ‘A,’ Defendant Weah admitted fighting Madam Oberly, stressing that he did it in self defense.“I did not bite her nose. I fought back after Garmai and her children engaged me in a serious tussle. Both of us got wounded badly and the community advised each of us to treat our wounds,” Pastor Weah told the court.“After I slipped and felt, Garmai and her brothers sat over me and they began to beat and I struggled to free myself,” Defendant Weah further alleged.In his testimony, Pastor Weah alleged that the incident happened on May 16, after his school’s teachers prevented two of Garmai’s children, Emmanuel Peters and Emmanuel Cooper from entering their classes.He said, the reason was that they came to school late that morning. “When they were stopped from entering their classes, Emmanuel Peters, the younger boy, attempted sneaking his way into his class. He was immediately stopped by my wife, Mother Weah,” Weah explained.When Peters was prevented from entering the class, his older brother, Emmanuel Cooper began to abuse my wife, claiming “my wife touched him during the process.”He also quoted Cooper by saying, “This woman is ready again to act stupid. The other day, we were at the church and she pushed me again. Today I will not allow her act stupid this time. I will deal with this foolish woman.”“While he was still using abusive language on the school’s campus,” defendant Weah further alleged, “I decided to ask him, what was happening?”“I also asked him, what he was depending on to abuse my wife.”After that Pastor Weah explained that he was advised by some of his teachers to leave the boy and he did.“While on my way home, I met Garmai and she asked me what I said to her children. And, I explained everything to her; I even referred her to one of my teachers to confirm what I have explained to her.”The defense first witness added, “She came back to me and told me that the remarked I made against her children was sarcastic and I was not a good Pastor.”The defendant claimed that he replied Garmai by saying, “I will not allow you approaching me like this anymore.”That response, Pastor Weah claimed, annoyed Garmai to the extent that she began to demand him to immediately give her the children’s school’s documents.“I told her that I was not going to give her the documents. Then she started abusing me,” he further alleged.He also quoted some of Garmai’s insulting words like “dirty man, witchcraft pastor and witchcraft church. Today, I will breakdown your church and school and your wife is a prostitute.”“After she used this abusive language, my wife replied and said that she was one of those disgraced women in the community who was in the habit of running away from her creditors.”Following those exchanges, defendant Weah alleged that Garmai instructed her children to abuse Mother Weah and him.After that I was advised to leave the school’s campus and I did.“When I returned in the evening, Garmai and her children again came back to my yard and they started insulting me and my family. I came outside and asked them to leave my premises,” defendant Weah told the court.In the process, Pastor Weah further alleged that “one of her sons, Emmanuel Cooper, punched me on my face. By the time I came to myself, I saw myself on the ground. Immediately, Garmai and her children came over me and they started beating me. But, I struggled and freed myself from their hands.” “It was during the fight that both of us sustained serious injured and we were advised by members of our community to treat ourselves,” Pastor Weah further alleged.The case continues tomorrow with the defense team producing witnesses to testify. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
In a public notice issued on Saturday, February 2, 2019, the Office of the Integrity Commission published the names of 66 persons who are required by law to declare their assets but failed to submit their declarations. Among the names of the identified defaulters whom the Integrity Commission publicly called out were 20 of Guyana’s diplomats. The published names were in accordance with Section 19 of the Integrity Commission Act, the Integrity Commission and the deadline was listed as January 25, 2019.The diplomats included Guyana’s Ambassador to Brazil, George Talbot, Ambassador to Belgium, David Hales; Ambassador to Cuba, Halim Majeed; Ambassador to Kuwait, Dr Shamir Ally; Ambassador to Suriname, Keith George; Ambassador/Permanent Representative to United Nations, Michael Ten-Pow; Ambassador/Permanent Representative to Switzerland, John Ronald Deep Ford; Venezuelan Ambassador Cheryl Miles, and Ambassador to the United States of America, Dr Riyad Insanally. Meanwhile, the High Commissioners named were Clarissa Riehl (Canada); Hamley Case (London); Dr Kenneth Hunte (South Africa); Bishwaishwar Ramsaroop (Trinidad & Tobago). Other Counsel Generals were also identified as defaulters. Within the Legal Affairs Ministry, former Solicitor General Joycelin Kim Kyte-Thomas and Deputy Permanent Secretary (DPS), Tamika Barkoye were named by the Integrity Commission. There was one official each from the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry, Education Ministry and Social Protection Ministry identified while six Ministry of the Presidency (MOTP) defaulters were named including Head of Political Division, Fredrick McWilfred and Political Assistant Ronald Backer.Six Public Infrastructure Ministry officials secured places on the list while four from the MOTP’s Department of Social Cohesion, Culture, Youth and Sport garnered places. The Director of Dance at the National Dance School and the acting Administrator of the National Cultural Centre were identified. Additionally, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Small Business Bureau, Lowell Porter made the list.There were 14 officials from the Communities Ministry who did not submit declarations to the Integrity Commission while one of the largest Ministries, the Agriculture Ministry, had six officials failing to meet the January 25 deadline.This included former Permanent Secretary George Jervis who now functions as Director of the Agricultural Sector Development Unit. Chairman of Guyana Fisheries Limited, Mohamed Khan was also named as a defaulter.In the past, Members of Parliament (MPs) including Government Ministers had been listed among those who did not honour obligations as set out in Section 19 of the Integrity Commission Act. The law, in fact, states: “Where a person who is required to do so fails to file a declaration in accordance with this Act or to furnish particulars under section 18, the Commission or the President, as the case may be, shall publish the fact in the Gazette and in a daily newspaper.”The Commission has the mandate to improve public confidence in the integrity of persons in public office by ensuring that they submit their declarations in compliance with the Integrity Commission Act.The Commission is responsible for the accountability of persons holding public office but prior to February 2018, the Body had been reportedly functioning with skeletal staff after the resignation of the Commission’s Chairman, Bishop Randolph George in 2006. Its current Commissioners are Chairman Kumar Doraisami, Rabindranauth Persaud, Rosemary Benjamin-Nobel and Thandi McAllister.