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House summons Defense officials

Lawmakers say citizens have accused some armed personnel of the Armed Forces of Liberia led by Col. Roland T. Murphy of demolishing their properties along the Robert International Airport highway.

By Bridgett Milton 

Monrovia, June 7, 2024: The House of Representatives has summoned the Minister of Defense and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) following complaints that AFL personnel have demolished several properties in the Duazon area.

It is reported that the AFL personnel allegedly demolished the properties on the order of the Minister of National Defense.

The House summoned the Defense officials on Thursday, June 6, 2024, following a communication sent to the plenary by Representative Roland O. Cooper and Representative Thomas Romeo Quioh.

According to the lawmakers, citizens in the Duazon community of Margibi County have complained that on 30 May 2024, some armed AFL personnel led by Col. Roland T. Murphy demolished many properties.

According to them, the demolished properties were located on the land where the Millennium Construction Company is situated.

Also, a lawmaker from Sinoe County said on 30 May  2024, while in session at 1:38 pm, he received a call from his construction engineer on the site of his project.

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According to the lawmaker, his engineer informed him that armed soldiers under Major Col. Davidson T. Forleh, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia, pulled out of the Edward Beyan Kesselly Military’s Barrack.

He alleged that the soldiers came out on the order of Defense Minister Geraldine George and marched on his four-bedroom, state-of-the-art residential building under construction.

He said the building is currently under construction on one acre of land, situated at the back of the Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) Headquarters.

He added that it is adjacent to the commercial complex (Millennium Group of Companies), opposite the Edward Beyan Kesselly Military Barracks on the RIA High Way, owned by a Ghanaian Businessman.

He claimed that the Ghanaian businessman Mohammed Abdullah is allegedly a friend of the Chief of Staff and Mr. Joe Dorah, the former Land Commissioner of Margibi County.

Rep. Quioh said he acquired the property through all legal means before erecting his house.

“My land was purchased on February 27, 2024, probated on March 18, 2024, and registered with the Liberia Land Authority on March 19, 2024, Vol.3-2024, Page 0300005039”.

He noted that the land was bought from one Mr. J. Robert Johnson, Administrator, E. John Jaywheh, and Youmonyou P. Shideryou, and Mr. Roland Opee Cooper, Representative of Margibi County District 1, Emmett Rose, Konah Peter and Saybah Saryon witnessed the process.

“Hon. Speaker and Distinguished Colleagues, the demolition of my house and a warehouse, stocked with building materials cost is put at $121,943.00 USD,” he lamented.

“When the warehouse was demolished, the soldiers that went with a yellow machine for the demolition exercise were seeing looting the materials and taking them away in pickups,” he alleged.

“My construction engineer who was videotaping the event’s phone was seized by the armed soldiers. As we speak, they are still in possession of the phone,” he explained further.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives voted to have the Defense Minister and the Chief of Staff appear in plenary next Tuesday, June 11.

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