Opinion

Liberia: Gangsters’ Paradise

WASHINGTON DC                                                               September 5, 2019

                                                PRESS STATEMENT

“The culture of impunity has emboldened criminals in government and in the corridors of power to new heights of violence and crime, fully aware that they will not face justice anytime soon under the Weah regime because the perverse President of Liberia champions impunity, supports injustice and will not bring his henchmen to justice…” Cllr Jerome J. Verdier, Sr (Cllr), Executive Director, IJG

Rising Crime and Impunity Condemned

In a midweek statement issued from Washington DC, the IJG condemns the rising tide of violence and heinous crimes occurring regularly in the Country and blames President Weah for the volatile situation because he is not doing much to address the situation and has not spoken out forcefully against these crimes committed by his hired hands or supporters.

This hypocrisy of a populist leader, now presiding over the systematic impoverishment of his people, and in a megalomaniacal fashion, basking in dictatorship and wreaking havoc, violence, and crime on his own unsuspecting people.  This is a distasteful betrayal in the least, with gory tendency to reverse the democratic gains of the Liberian nation brought about by the perseverance, sweat, pains, toil, and blood of the Liberian people.

Weah’s Indifference to Crime

President Weah, and Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee

The President’s indifference to pursuing justice and his nonchalant disposition to violent crimes against women points either to his acquiescence, tacit support for the crimes or that he sanctions the commission of these violent crimes.

The IJG Statement condemns these rising tides of violence and calls for swift investigations of these crimes to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The IJG Statement strongly condemns the brutal attacks on fellow politician Talia Urey, as an act of thuggery, political intimidation, and attempted murder much like the alleged rape, assault and attempted murder of Ms. Justina Taylor. 

The IJG Statement noted that violent interferences with the public space and free speech is a conscious threat to our notions of democracy and human rights, which must be stopped.

The IJG statement calls on President Weah to take progressive actions to arrest the situation which is eroding his credibility, undermining his authority and legitimacy as a leader and shattering his popular mandate as “man of the people”.

IJG Investigation: Charge, Prosecute Jefferson Koijee et al for Attempted Murder

CDC gangs

The IJG Statement disclosed that its investigation has revealed that Acting City Mayor, Jefferson Koijee in concert with the CDC Party Leadership and the entire top and middle-level staff of the National Security Agency (NSA) is coordinating serial attacks against innocent civilians and are encouraging President George Weah to purchase armor (war) tanks for use against his own people.

Jefferson Koijee, it is established, recruited Wolubah Kesselie, an inmate at the Monrovia Central Prison for armed robbery, released him and used him along with some agents of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) who tortured, viciously assaulted, raped and brutalized Justina Taylor, and left her to die from her physical and psychological wounds in that hapless, helpless state, the crime of attempted murder they have committed and for which they must be so prosecuted. For additional information https://www.liberianobserver.com/news/drugged-raped-and-left-for-dead/

The Strike Force

The Government of President Weah, it is learned, has instituted an ignoble body to supervise Mr. Jefferson Koijee and his group. The so-called Strike Force comprises CDC and Government stalwarts. Members of the Strike Force include:

  1. Hon Mulbah Morlu  – CDC Party Chairman
  2. Hon Peso Saydee Tarr – Minister for Gender
  3. Hon Acarious Gray   – Member, House of Representative
  4. Hon Jefferson Koijee – Acting Mayor, Monrovia City Government
  5. Hon Marcus Zehyoue – Deputy Director for Administration, DEA
  6. Hon Lorenzo Pelham Deputy Director for Operations, DEA
  7. Hon Gerald F Smith  – Deputy Director/Administration, NSA
  8. Hon Jones Blamo   –    Deputy Director/VIP Affairs, NSA
  9. Hon Sam Saryon     –   Deputy Director/Special Operations, NSA
  10. Hon Edward Sharpe – Deputy Director/Planning, Research, Analysis, NSA
  11. Hon Todd Garlo – Asst. Director for Administration, NSA
  12. Hon Nige Appleton – Asst. Director/ VIP Affairs, NSA
  13. Hon Emmanuel Jackson – Asst. Director/ Planning, Research & Analysis
  14. Hon Stephen Dolo – Director for Field Operations, NSA
  15. Hon Oforie Diah – Director for Leward Counties
  16. Augustine Nagbe (General Power) Leading Operatives of the NSA
  17. Sampson Nieger and others under his control – Leading Operatives of the NSA

Additional roles of the NSA – Re-arming Ex-Combatants and Money Laundering

Additionally, the top brass and leadership of the National Security Agency (NSA) is responsible for the recruitment, reactivation, and deployment of ex-combatants (former Rebel Generals) as employees and agents of the NSA for nebulous covert activities, against peaceful members of the civilian population.

The NSA coordinates their activities and maintains a payroll to keep them thriving. The Agency, in its current role, is also involved in money laundering and siphoning of funds from the public treasury to private foreign and local accounts for nonpublic use and disposal, in outright violation of the laws of the land and international conventions and laws, constituting a transnational crime.

Arms infestation – Weah’s Power Grip Play

The IJG says it has discovered that the CDC Government of Mr. Weah has got the country a washed with arms in the hands of mostly untrained and indiscipline supporters of President Weah outside the structures of the national security apparatuses and police.

The intent, the IJG says is to create a private militia to propagate and protect the long-term “power grip” agenda of Mr. Weah to remain in power till death.

Weah has a death wish – a dangerous power play!

The IJG statement asserted that most ranks and file members of the CDC have now transformed into armed supporters of the CDC and President Weah carrying semiautomatic machine guns illegally obtained from anywhere, the IJG suspects, neighboring Guniea Republic as the likely source.

Since last year, the beginning of 2018, firearms training at the Liberia National Police Training Academy has intensified with the training or irregulars outside the ranks and file of the police and the military and President Weah keeps increasing the arms buildup in Liberia.

Weah’s mistrust of the Army

President Weah’s “power grip” plans do not include a reliance on the army to execute just any orders of the Chief Executive against the unarmed civilian population.

The President demands heavy-handedness against protestors and the opposition but has realized the reluctance of the army and police leadership to revert to tyrannical rulership.  

Weah’s mistrust of Army and Police

President Weah’s mistrust of the Army and the Police has defined his reliance and propagation of a private militia. Illegal arms are flowing into the country, the regime is contemplating buying seven (7) war tanks, remobilized ex-combatants are armed and being deployed around the country, people are moving around in taxis and offices fully armed and the informal militia mentality is now popular with the regime as Former President Sirleaf is now under pressure to bring back the remaining portions of the stolen banknotes to infuse cash into the cash-strapped hands of President Weah.

While the police reform process may not have gone well, the Army Reform has progressed quite well with the enactment of the NEW DEFENSE ACT, and the experiences of the Army in serving UN Peacekeeping Missions overseas.

Besides, The Army has undergone and continues to undergo extensive training in International Humanitarian Law (IHL) by the UN, ICRC, and other interlocutors continue to reinforce the commitment of the Army to respect human rights and guarantee fundamental freedoms.   

Stroking Dictatorship

Apart from reactivating deactivated ex-combatants the Honorable President, His Excellency George M Weah has embarked on a long term strategy to consolidate power, undermine the independence of the other two coordinating and equal branches of government, suppressing free speech and political expression to ensuring his dominant rule by fear, intimidation and coercion of the opposition into submission to hold onto power for 27 years by any means necessary, not excluding the use of brute force.

Implementing All TRC Recommendations – War Crimes Court A Must!

Implementing all recommendations of the TRC, especially the establishment of the Extraordinary Criminal Tribunal for War and Economic Crimes in Liberia as emphasized by US House Resolution 1055 is the inescapable precondition for sustainable peace, unity, security, and reconciliation in Liberia.

The IJG statement is urging all officials of government, including both elected and appointed members of government to become seized of their responsibilities as servants of the people to read the TRC Report and become aware of the burning  issues confronting the people so that, rather than consolidating power for selfish gains, they will equate power to serve and lead the people to higher heights that we all can be proud of.

IJG Recommendation

  1. To the Government of Liberia THAT the government recommits itself to upholding the rights and freedoms of its people; recommits to strengthening the rule of law and make its position clear on the full implementation of the recommendations of the TRC of Liberia, especially the Establishment of The Extraordinary Criminal Tribunal for War & Economic Crimes in Liberia as recommended by the TRC
  2. To the International Community THAT the UN and the International Community considers the re-imposition of mandatory, compulsory and punitive arms embargo sanctions on the Government of Liberia to halt and reverse the build-up of arms in Liberia which may now be well above limits necessary for civil governance.

                      ISSUED BY AUTHORITY

Signed:

Jerome J. Verdier, Sr (Cllr)

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

“…WITH GOD ABOVE… WE WILL OVERALL PREVAIL…”

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