Dozens of protesters have been charged in Margibi County following the April 1, 2019 riot in Weala, Margibi County, that left a police station other public facilities destroy.
Those charged includes, the Weala Township Commissioner, Roland S. Johnson for multiple crimes.
The Liberia News Agency quoting a copy of the writ of arrest dated April 4, 2019, says those arrested have been charged with criminal conspiracy, riot to disperse, terroristic threats, theft of property, criminal mischief, obstructing highway and public passage and disorderly conduct in violation of chapter 10, 15, 15 and 17, sections 10.4, 1.24, 15.1, 15.5, 15.51, 17.1, 17.3 and17.7 of the new penal code of Liberia.
“That the Republic of Liberia by and thru private prosecutors Stephen Tokpah, Dilla Briggs and others, plaintiffs, appeared in opened court along with police charge sheets and complained upon oath of and against the herein named defendants, Roland S. Johnson, Moses Tengbeh, McDixon Tokpah, et- al, to the effect that in Weala and Baypolue Communities, respectively, Margibi County, Liberia and on April 1, 2019, A.D., the herein named defendants being highly criminal minded with the intent to commit crime against the Republic of Liberia, the defendants agreed with one another to commit the above crimes against the Republic of Liberia, they executed the said plan by committing the above crimes”, the writ said.
The writ also notes that in Weala, Cinta Township, the defendants unlawfully erected roadblocks with plum trees and sticks and burning tires in the main street ways of Weala and its environs, thus, impeding free flow of human and vehicular traffic.
It adds that despite the arrival of police officers to calm the situation, the defendants refused to listened and they turned violent, rendering Weala and Baypolue communities into a ‘No- go- zone’ area.
They put the entire Weala and Baypolue communities, Monrovia highway under siege, leaving businesses closed, while residents and passers-by fled in various directions for safety.
The writ further details the defendants damaged and or burnt down the Weala and Baypolue Police stations, the Magisterial Court in Baypolu, the business center and compound of private businessman Stephen Tokpah and Dilla Briggs in Weala and Baypolue, respectively.
These public and private properties were all ransacked and looted before they were set ablaze by the defendants on the day of the incident.
Over seventy persons were picked up, preliminarily investigated and charged with the multiple crimes and forwarded to court by the police.
Meanwhile, the total damage incurred is put at two hundred and twenty thousand, seven hundred and sixty United States dollars plus six hundred and sixty-two thousand, one hundred Liberian dollars respectively. Editing by Jonathan Browne