The visit was primarily to check on the status of SLPP National Women’s Leader Madam Lulu Sheriff and her co-accused Massah Banya. The two SLPP Women were detained by Police alongside their male counterparts during the incident of 27th April 2016. They were charged to court on Friday and after being refused bail, were remanded.
Following media reports of the alleged condition of the two SLPP Women in detention, Dr. Sylvia Blyden in her capacity as Minister responsible for gender issues and accompanied by her deputy, this afternoon paid an unscheduled, spontaneous visit to check on the two detained women.
The two ministers were accompanied by several ministry staff including the Deputy Director of Gender Madam Goodie Sowonie and Senior Social Services Officer in charge of Gender Policy, Mrs. Anita Momoh.
The two SLPP Women in detention readily agreed to meet with the visiting ministers.
Following a fruitful dialogue with Madam Lulu Sheriff who was healthy and in good and strong spirits but obviously desirous of her freedom and also with Massah Banya who was visibly bruised and emotionally downcast, the two female ministers proceeded to engage the other 75 female inmates.
The two ministers got a lot of information during the visit and action points were noted to be followed up on. These included the assignment of Mrs. Anita Momoh to cover the ongoing court case of the two SLPP Women with a mandate to ensure their gender rights were upheld.
Deputy Director of Gender Madam Goodie Sowonie has been assigned other related tasks including supervising Mrs. Anita Momoh on follow up actions such as paying the monetary fine of a certain pregnant woman who will deliver her baby in prison if no-one pays her fine.
Hon. Dr. Sylvia Blyden has immediately ensured the fine will be paid from her personal funds, first thing on Tuesday as Monday is a public holiday. Other issues surrounding mothers and children currently incarcerated were also assigned to Madam Sowonie and Mrs. Momoh to diligently follow up on.
The public will continue to be kept informed on pertinent activities of the ministry.