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Editorial: Ensuring Justice for the Police Officer

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Early during the morning of the Lord’s Day, Sunday, July 11, Liberians were again awakening by the news of another man-handling of another Liberian citizen and law enforcement officer by a very senior official of the Liberian Government. The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representative, Rep. Tokpa Mulbah reduced himself to a street fighter Saturday, when he physically attacked a police officer before ordering his thugs to brutalize him on the Roberts International Airport Highway.

Deputy Speaker Mulbah, who operates a fleet of sand-mining trucks along the RIA road, is said to have attacked Police Patrolman, Lexton Beh at the Zone-Eight Police Station within the ELWA Community for arresting one of his truck drivers for alleged traffic violations. “Yor flog him (officer) if anything I will answer,” the honorable deputy speaker is quoted as instructing his gangsters. This was after the police officer arrested the truck, which approached the check-point under the heavy down pour of rain without headlights.

According to an investigation by  the New Dawn, the officer had informed the Deputy Speaker that it was advisable that the truck spend the night at the station because of the danger it posed to other drivers, pedestrians and himself, and be released the morning, but the Speaker insisted that it be released. Angered by the fact that the police officer refused to follow his order,  Dep. Speaker Mulbah came with 7 thugs and allegedly led the attack by personally landing some slaps on the officer’s face, ordering that he be taught a lesson for failing to follow his instructions. Again, this is indicative of one of  the kinds of  uncivilized characters some of our compatriots, especially those in Bong County, chose to give us as representatives.

Unfortunately, this incidence is not the first, second or third, but the fourth of such unwholesome perpetrated by a most senior Liberian government official since his ascendancy to the position of Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives. Liberian Government officials must, at most times, be role models by exhibiting the highest degree of responsibility in the interactions with those they claim to represent, so that others may follow.

We are of the fervent belief that had Deputy Speaker Tokpa Mulbah actually known the essence of being in that position he occupies presently, he would have exercised absolute authority over the Zone Commander, Director of Police or even the Minister of Justice to have the police officer under control. Instead, he chose to exhibit ignorance. One who should be guiding us to adhere to the laws they make in the House of Representatives is the same person exhibiting disorderly conduct. How, then, does he expect ordinary Liberians respect him and others in his “shoes?”

Unfortunately again, at the residence of Tokpa Mulbah at Fish market in Sinkor, some members of the House of Representatives, including the Speaker himself, Alex Tyler, who many thought had gone to positively intervene, were seen wining and dining with the Deputy Speaker as if they had gone there to celebrate him for the brutality meted out against the “poor police officer” who was just performing his duty.

We think that was not proper on the part of the honorable members of the House at Mulbah’s house. What a pity for Liberia. Sand mining is posing a dangerous threat to the country’s coastline, but has become a huge profit-making business for the Law Maker and others. For the Deputy Speaker to even participate in the process of environmental degradation by engaging in such economic venture is very unpatriotic and undesirable.

For such an unbecoming attitude of a senior member of the Liberian Legislature to be turned into the business of the Congress For democratic Change or CDC  and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was the most  unfortunate situation anticipated from an institution we see as a formidable force to stand in the way of the ruling Unity party come 2011. Quite frankly in our mind, the leadership of the CDC had no “fish to fry” in Tokpa Mulbah’s mess himself created not be cognizant of the weight he has as Deputy Speaker.

We had actually thought that the CDC would have just followed the situation to its logical conclusion, other than making derogatory and sweeping statements to incite its partisans against law enforcement officers, who had intervened to bring the Deputy Speaker to book, on the basis on mere sentiments and blind loyalty. All we pray and hope for is JUSTICE for the poor Police man.

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