The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) is calling for the immediate dismissal of the Inspector General of the Liberia National Police, Col. Patrick Sudue.
The Association says while there exist numerous issues at different levels of the Liberia criminal justice System, it strongly believes that Inspector Sudue’s dismissal for incompetence and administrative inefficiency would send the signal to Liberians the world over that the Liberian government is committed to protecting the lives and properties of all people within the territorial confines of the country.
The Association in a press release issued on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, maintains that under Inspector General Sudue’s watch as head of the Liberian National Police, the number of unsolved murders in the country has risen so much so that the public has lost trust and confidence in the ability of the police to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice. As a result, ALJA states, family members of the victims, who are seeking justice are left with a feeling of frustration and disillusionment.
ALJA says while it acknowledges that crime exists in every society and not every crime will be solved, it, however, believes that there exist trained officers in the LNP, who can address the current wave of murders in Liberia under new leadership.
According to recent media reports, Madam Maude Elliot, a former employee of the Liberia Immigration Services (LIS) and two prominent individuals including Liberia’s Peace Ambassador, Rev William R. Tolbert III, the youngest son to the country’s 20th President, Dr. William R. Tolbert, Jr and John Hilary Tubman, a son of another former President, William V. S. Tubman were all in recent times gruesomely murdered in their homes.
The death of these three individuals comes on the heel of a number of mutilated bodies found in different parts of the country amidst reports of an upsurge in ritualistic killings.
The Association said the Police Inspector General did further damage to his reputation with his recent bizarre and unsubstantiated claims that reports of widespread ritualistic killings in the country were fake and a ploy by opposition politicians to tarnish the image of the government.
ALJA stressed that while Col. Sudue is a political appointee, the office of the Inspector General needs to be apolitical and professional, continuously working to maintain the integrity and independence of the Liberia National Police.
ALJA says the fundamental responsibility of any government is to protect the lives and properties of its citizens, and it urged President George Weah and the Liberian government to take immediate actions to remedy this crisis as these unsolved murders suggest that the government is failing in meeting this responsibility.
The Association says most Liberians at home now live in fear, and they are unsure as to whether the Weah administration has the willpower or the capacity to bring the perpetrators of the reported murders to justice.
The US-based Liberian Journalists Association maintains that with the Christmas holidays just weeks away and the country’s Bi-Centennial celebrations or the Year of the Return on the horizon, the government must ensure that confidence is restored in the country’s criminal justice system if it intends to attract tourists, investors, and Liberians living abroad to the country.
ALJA is a conglomeration of current and retired Liberian journalists residing in the Americas. It is a 501c (3) non-profit organization. The Association was founded in 1998 with the objectives of advancing press freedom through media capacity building, and the fostering of good governance in Liberia through media advocacy.