Immigration authorities in Monrovia have concluded deportation procedures to expel Ojima I. Davies, a Nigerian journalist working with the independent DC TV.
Ojima is facing deportation without the benefit of a court trial. He was expected to be deported today, May 22. Ojima has been in detention for the past two weeks at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), following his arrest on Tuesday May 7, for interpreting the word “Dahkpannah” to a religious group. “Dahkpannah” is the middle name of President Charles Taylor, which, in the local Kpelleh dialect, means “Chief Zoe.”
Ojima reportedly interpreted “Dahkpannah” to mean “Dark Zoe”; which interpretation President Taylor apparently considered indecorous and offensive. According to Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) Liberia sources, Ojima’s equipment was confiscated and his family barred from visiting him.
The MFWA condemns the government action, which is only the latest of President Taylor’s relentless acts of intimidation and harassment of journalists and civil society advocates in Liberia. We urge you to protest the persistent acts of abuse of freedom of expression in Liberia and in particular, the planned deportation of Ojima.