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Crime & PunishmentGeneralLiberia news

Lawmaker demands investigation into LEC killing

The killing of an alleged power thief by men believed to be from the anti-power theft taskforce has prompted the Montserrado District #15 Representative to demand an investigation.

By Lincoln G. Peters 

Monday, March 24- Montserrado County Electoral District #15 Representative Abu B. Kamara has demanded the Liberia National Police and the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) to investigate all those connected with the alleged killing of Mr. Josephus S. Tukpeh, a resident of the Caldwell community.

Kamara, an opposition lawmaker has given the authorities 72 hours to investigate the incident or they will face an unspecified citizens’ action.

The deceased widow at the LNP Headquarters over the weekend

“Based upon that, we are giving the joint team 72 house ultimatum. If we don’t get readdress, you will see what’s going to happen to the citizens. All we need is justice,” Kamara said over the weekend. 

“We believe that his death was reckless, wicked, and careless because they should have worked with the community leadership to do so,” he noted. 

Mr. Tukpeh was allegedly murdered over the weekend by some members of the Power Theft Division of the LEC and the Liberia National Police for alleged power theft. 

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The Joint LNP-LEC team has alleged that it observed that Mr. Tukpeh was engaged in power theft.

It also accused the deceased of preventing the team from having access to his house to disconnect his power line. That allegedly resulted in a conflict and the unfortunate killing of Mr. Tukpeh.

Following a meeting with the LNP and LEC on Saturday at the LNP headquarters, Representative Kamara told journalists that they are demanding justice, adding that it’s the only thing that can make his district and people happy. 

He expressed frustration over the government’s alleged disrespect towards the family and the district by taking the body of the deceased from the Stockton Creek Clinic without the concern and approval of the family. 

The Liberia Electricity Corporation for its part has condemned the violence resulting in a customer’s demise in Caldwell, Bushrod Island. 

” The Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) expresses deep regret and sadness over the tragic incident that occurred in the New Georgia Town Center, Caldwell, involving assigned police officers and our anti-power theft team, which resulted in the demise of one Mr. Josephus S. Tukpeh, a resident of the community,” the LEC said.

In a press release dated 2 March 2024, the LEC unequivocally denounced any form of violence and assured the public of its unwavering support for the police investigation to ensure that justice is served. 

In response to this unfortunate event, the Liberia Electricity Corporation stated that it is collaborating with law enforcement authorities, who have launched an investigation to ascertain the facts surrounding the incident.

The management of LEC further pledges its fullest cooperation and support to ensure a thorough and transparent investigation.

LEC stated that it immediately dispatched a team Friday evening, at 7:00 pm, and met with the immediate family of the deceased, including parents and other relatives at the victim’s residence in Caldwell.

“The management as well convened this morning at about 11:00 am with the entire family present and will continue to engage with the family and all stakeholders to gather further information and offer support during this challenging time,” the release said. 

“With heartfelt sympathy, the management of LEC extends its deepest condolences to the bereaved family. The corporation assures the family of its unwavering support throughout the investigation process and during this period of mourning.”

Meanwhile, Police Inspector General Col. Geogry Coleman in a press conference over the weekend expressed sadness over the situation, assuring that the LNP will do all it takes to investigate the matter.

” About what occurred in Caldwell that led to the death of one…, we are also investigating every member that was on the Power Theft Team. They are here at the Police headquarters undergoing investigation,” said Col. Coleman. 

According to him, they were able to have physical contact with the wife and other family members and they expressed their condolences to the wife and assured them that the investigation would be void of interference and influence.

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