Police in Saclepea, Nimba County have arrested and detained 12 members of a secret society which parade around with a country devil in connection with the alleged flogging of two persons in Gbao Buanplay Town, Zoe-Geh, in District #4.
Country devil is a traditional masked dancer that operates in both Poro and Sande societies or bush schools, usually accompanied by several aides.
The victims, identified as Peterson Whapoe and his brother Madison Dahn, are being treated at a local clinic in Saclepea of wounds they reportedly sustained at the hands of the country devil.
According to report, they were beaten so badly that they have been unable to urinate or go to the toilet for the past three days.
The NewDawn correspondent in Nimba said the incident has claimed the attention of authorities in the county.
Speaking to The NewDawn, the victims narrated that they were tortured by the country devil and its followers on Friday, May 15, 2015 after someone complained to the country devil that Peterson Whapoe was indebted to one Walkie in the amount of 75,000 Liberian Dollars for medical bill.
Victim Peterson Whapoe explained to our correspondent that the head of the Nimba County Traditional Council, Gabriel Barlon instructed a delegation headed by one John Teage to go to the town where the incident occurred to settle the matter.
According to him, the delegates, who entered the town, immediately proceeded with the investigation.
He said the team of investigators found him guilty and mandated him to pay a fine of 10 goats and an undisclosed sum of Liberian dollars to the country devil.
Peterson Whapoe further narrated that he provided three goats along with 500 Liberian Dollars as part payment of the fine, but was asked to increase the said amount, which he failed to do.
He continued that after failing to increase the amount, both of them were brought down guilty and invited by the country devil into the Zoe bush where they were brutally flogged.
Peterson’s brother Madison also narrated how he was asked to stand for Peterson after the guilty verdict because he told the investigators to confiscate their house and rubber farms for the fine imposed.
“The head of the delegation John Teage got angry and ordered me tied. I was tied at my wrist, legs and hands and dragged into a house where I was tortured until I agreed to the payment of the money in question as anything short of that could not hold water”, he explained.
The victims told our Nimba County correspondent that the rest of the flogging took place inside the Zoe bush where non-members are not permitted.
The people of Nimba observe strong traditional and cultural practices, but the level of brutality in what is purely a civil matter has raised serious concern among the local population, including authorities in the county. Edited by Jonathan Browne
By Franklin Doloquee, Nimba