Mr. DakaiYouwatei, a nephew of Bong County representative aspirant Mr. Isaac Urey, who was arrested weeks ago in Marshall, Lower Margibi County after failed attempt by the Liberia National Police (LNP) to apprehend Mr. Urey himself for land dispute, has been released by the police without a formal charge.
Addressing journalists recently, Mr. Youwatei said while in police custody at the National Police Headquarters on Capitol Hill, he was taken to the Anti-Robbery department of the LNP for questioning when his case had nothing to do with robbery or arm conflict with anyone in Marshall.
He disclosed that he was told by the police that he would be detained among hardened criminals since the man wanted by the police, in this case Isaac Urey, could not be seen.
He further narrated that while in detention, lawyers representing Mr. Urey filed a writ of Habeas Corpus against the Liberia National Police, compelling the LNP to produce his living body at the Criminal Court “C” in the Temple of Justice.
Writ ofhabeas corpus is a legal procedure that keeps the government from holding a suspect indefinitely without showing cause.
Mr. Youwatei added that the writ which was signed for by the Liberia National Police, requested the Deputy Police Director for Operations Col. Abrahan B. Kromah to also appear before the court to explain why he (Mr. Youwatei) was detained beyond three days (72hours) statutory period as provided by law.
He indicated that instead of Col. Kromah appearing before the court, he sent the head of the police Ant-Robbery department to represent him. But the Judge demanded instead that he wanted the Deputy Police boss for operations to appear.
He further disclosed that the Judge of Criminal Court “C” told the representative of Col. Kromah that he wanted to know how the defendant was released from the LNP cell at central without any document.
According to Youwatei, prior to the issuance of the writ on Col. Kromah, he was signed for by a relative and when the court wanted his living body in court; he was nowhere to be found in the police cell.
He revealed that he was produced in court by his lawyers, who had earlier issued the writ on Col. Kromah to show cause why he (Kromah) should not be held in contempt for failure to produce Youwatei’s living body in court, but the representative of the deputy police boss pleaded with the Judge to reconsidered his decision.
Youwatei disclosed that the LNP could not produce a written charge sheet bearing his name, adding that he was held for five days at the police headquarters without any charge against him thus, violating his constitutional rights.
It may be recalled that while Mr. Isaac Urey was out of his residence on 20th January, some officers of the Police Emergency Response Unit (ERU), allegedly acting on order of Col. Kromah, fired two rounds of bullets in demand of Mr. Urey, who had at the time left for Gbarnga City, Bong County in Central Liberia.
Mr. Isaac Urey and representatives of Siaffa Bright namely Messrs. Philip Matthews and Zan George were involved in a land dispute with the latter claiming ownership of the disputed land.
Meanwhile, police spokesman Sam Collins at the time told this paper that the officers acted on a court order, but did not say which court.
Written by Emmanuel Mondaye