-Police claim in 3 missing men’s case
The Deputy Inspector General of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Prince Mulbah says the families of the three young men who went missing last year have not been cooperative in the search for the victims. Appearing before the plenary of the Liberian Senate Tuesday, 23 February, Mr. Mulbah said police were protecting the St. Moses Funeral Parlor as part of their duties when the families threatened to burn down the place.
St. Moses Funeral Parlor proprietor Mr. Moses Ahoussouhe stands accused of hiring victims Robert Blamo, Jr., 29, Siafa Boimah, 33 and Blama from Monrovia since Saturday, 15 October to travel to Bong Mines to do technical work for him at his diamond creek when all three of them controversially went missing. It was claimed that the victims drowned in the St. Paul River.
Series of protests held by families and friends outside the St. Moses Funeral Parlor in demand of the missing men were greeted by police’s hard hands. However, Mr. Mulbah told the Liberian Senate that it was not officers’ intention to teargas the families or get them hurt.
He says since the incident happened, police have been investigating and are still conducting a search for the three missing persons, but alleges that the families are not helping in the process. According to him, they constituted a 26 – man search team, including the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) and the Police Support Unit (PSU).
Mr. Mulbah explains that a body was found around the same river in which the victims were alleged to have drowned and it was taken to the Samuel Stryker Funeral Parlor.
According to him, thereafter families of the missing men were called to identify the body for about one month, but they allegedly refused to appear on grounds that they were not looking for a dead body but living bodies of their children.
In November 2020 the victims’ family members said the three missing men were allegedly in the custody of their alleged kidnappers at an undisclosed location.
But Mr. Mulbah says it was through the intervention of the Liberian Council of Churches that the families went to see the body and identified it to be a corpse of an old person.Further, Mr. Mulbah states that they told the families to do a DNA on the body to ascertain if the body belonged to them, and they also refused.
“The families of the three missing people have always said that they know where their missing children are but have refused to come up to [tell] us and say it,” he indicates. “They have also been on air telling people to go to the funeral home and take their dead bodies from there because they will burn down the funeral home,” Mulbah notes.
According to Mr. Mulbah, a canoe was carrying six persons and water started to pull into the canoe.
Mulbah narrates that occupants of the canoe tried to get out, but the water overflowed it and it eventually capsized.
He notes that three persons survived and crossed to the other town, but the three men who went to work with St. Moses were the ones that got drowned and have not been found. For his part, Justice Minister Cllr. Frank Musa Dean says they had a meeting with the families and the family requested him to constitute a committee to investigate the matter.
He says the families wanted the Armed Forces of Liberia, the Liberia Immigration Service, among others to be involved in the investigation, but without the LNP’s involvement.
He says the families had suggested that the police had been compromised. Also speaking, Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon says there is no way for sentiments to be removed from this case while the families are not getting any information as to whether their children are dead or alive.
He also says up to now, the police cannot tell if the children are dead or not.
For his part, Nimba County Senator Prince Yormie Johnson states that the police are doing their best, saying that they should forget about autopsy because nobody will believe an autopsy report in Liberia.
By Ethel A Tweh–Edited Winston W. Parley