By Lincoln G. Peters
Serious internal wrangling is reported to be intensifying among top officials at the Liberia National Police (LNP).
This reported development follows the recent suspension of four top LNP officials, including Spokesman Moses Carter, Unit 122; Godfred Kollie, Unit 112; John Saah, Unit 116; and Walter B. Wray, Unit 105 in connection to the July 26 pro-government rioters’ brutal attack against protesting university students.
According to information in the corridors of the LNP and other sources, the internal wrangling is due to the immediate suspension of the LNP officials by Police Inspector General Col. Patrick T. Sudue.
Information reaching this paper suggests that the four suspended police officials are claiming that they were allegedly targeted by their boss, Col. Sudue.
They claimed that they were never subjected to any investigation, nor were they informed of their crimes before being suspended.
The suspended LNP officers claimed that the action of Col. Sudue suspending them allegedly without investigation is unethical and breaches best international practice and the LNP Code.
Publicly venting his anger, police spokesman Moses Carter wrote on his Facebook page on 8 August 2022 confirming that he has received a call from the LNP’s Human Resource (HR) official, Fritgerald Biago, announcing his suspension.
“I have just received a call from the HR of the LNP of my suspension. When asked, he didn’t tell me any reason for my suspension,” Carter wrote on his social media Facebook account.
“I assured him that I will receive my letter tomorrow and I will decide my next course of action in line with the Police Act and Duty Manual,’’ Carter noted.
According to him, he was never subjected to a Professional Standards Investigation and was never told of any wrong that he committed that led to his suspension.
Carter disclosed that the Minister of Justice will receive his communication for a redress and he remains focused.
Carter said he will never be distracted in the discharge of his duties as Spokesman of the Liberia National Police.
On Liberia’s 175th Independence Day celebrated on 26 July, the Coalition for Democratic Change Council of Patriots (CDC – CoP) members mercilessly attacked and badly wounded members of the Students Unification Party (SUP).
The University of Liberia – based students had assembled outside the United States Embassy to stage a ‘Fix The Country’ protest against the regime.
Following the brutal attack against the students, the Liberia National Police last week charged and forwarded to court seven ringleaders of the attack.
The defendants charged are Ben B. Togbah, 25; Kendrick S. Pelenah, 30; Joshua S. Karr, 28; Pukar Roberts, 36; Foday N. Massaquoi, 23; Aaron K. Chea, 26; Abdurahman Barrie, and others to be identified.
They face charges including criminal attempt to commit murder, aggravated assault, criminal mischief, theft of property, rioting, failure to disperse and disorderly conduct.
In addition, the LNP has with immediate effect suspended four of its top officers.
In a related development, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters of Liberia (EFFL) Emmanuel Gonquoi has termed the suspension of the four LNP executives a breach of the Labor Law of Liberia.
Gonquoi alleged in a conversation with our reporter on 8 August that the accused were never given due process.
“The Labor Law is clear about issuing warning letters to internal policies violators,” said Gonquoi.
He said it is even more worrisome for the law enforcement institution to proceed the way it did.
“Our citizens were almost killed for [exercising] their constitutional rights and the shameless thing the Government can do is to suspend officers who barely await instructions from higher-ups [for] fear of being dismissed before acting,” Gonquoi continued.
He said this is purely a comical movie and shouldn’t be bought.
The EFFL leader believes that Col. Sudue’s action is belated because under his leadership, the police have lost public trust and international recognition.
He claimed that the police are no longer regarded as a viable part of Liberia’s [justice system] and it has been reduced to a paramilitary structure of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
“Since the inception of the government, the police have never been accurate in any given situation because of poor leadership,” Gonquoi claimed.