A Liberian Journalist, Winston Harmon, claiming to have been among seven alleged victims of a motor accident involving the convoy of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s in Sinkor, Monrovia is seeking the President’s intervention over claims that they are being abandoned by the Executive Protective Service or EPS, the elite presidential security unit.
Victim Harmon narrated that at about 9pm on Friday, March 1, 2013, the President’s convoy was driving towards Congo Town from her Foreign Ministry Office when the EPS were trying to get a motorcyclist off the convoy which resulted to the damaging of two cars, including a private jeep and a taxi cab on 11th Street, Sinkor, severely injuring six persons.
But when contacted via mobile phone Tuesday night, Presidential Press Secretary Jerolinmick M. Piah said he had no knowledge of the incident. “There’s nothing like that here. I’m speaking with the President’s security right now. I have no knowledge,” Piah said and hung off his phone. Also, Police spokesman Sam Collins, said, he was not informed of any incident neither was there an investigation by the police, involving the President’s convoy.
While struggling to get car from the 12th street area for Paynesville, Harmon told the New Dawn Tuesday that he saw an EPS jeep marked EPS 29, opening the door and hit a motorcyclist off the road.
“The motorbike then ran into me and knocked me down right side the National Investment Commission, and I lie down there, crying with severe pain in my chest; my leg sprang, my arm sprang, and I got scratched all on my leg,” said journalist Harmon.
He said one of the EPS Directors and bodyguard to President Sirleaf, Charles Carter, had explained to him and even to police investigators that they (EPS) had engaged the motorcyclist from 8th Street to 12th Street because it was intruding into the President’s convoy.
However, he said the EPS reported that the bike operator remained stubborn despite all efforts to get him off the road. As for the motorcyclist, journalist Harmon said he told investigators that he was escaping the 10pm curfew placed on motorbikes, thus, refusing to get off the VIP Convoy.
“So when they reached to 12th Street, the EPS twisted the jeep in the second link on the right side of the road at which time they were able to jam the bike off the road. When the jeep door hit the back, it subsequently ran into me and I sustained these injuries,” said Harmon.
Immediately after the incident, he said Charles Carter from the EPS went to rescue them. But he narrated that nurses at the government hospital John F. Kennedy (JFK) kept them seated for over four hours, disappointingly without treatment while they cried on their injuries.
Lately, he said nurses came and provided some medication after which each of them were offered about 12 to 15 tablets and discharged.
“I underwent some X-rays but the nurse claimed she saw nothing, while I’m still felling sever pain. We were given twelve to fifteen tablets each. How can you treat human like this?” questioned Harmon.
Besides, the journalist said when they appeared before police for investigation, the investigators shifted responsibility for their treatment and repair of the damaged vehicles on the motorcyclist, who according to him is also injured.
He termed the police investigation as a mockery on grounds that a bike rider unable to treat himself from the accident was asked to treat six other persons, suffering severe injuries.
“They said he had different intent on the President so they would turn him over to the NSA (National security Agency). They have abandoned us completely. We need to be given advance treatment,” journalists Harmon pleaded. He called on President Sirleaf to intervene in the matter, as their conditions were severe.