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GeneralLiberia news

Noise at LDEA

--As Officers accuse Abe Kromah of tribalizing agency

This paper has heard aggrieved, anonymous LDEA Agents accusing LDEA Chief Col. Kromah of allegedly demonstrating a high level of brutality, dictatorship, and unauthorized recruitment.

By Lincoln G. Peters

Monrovia, June 4, 2024: Things seem to be going bad for some officers at the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA), as they have begun speaking anonymously against the alleged dictatorial acts of their head, Col. Abraham Kromah.

Col. Kromah, a former police chief, assumed leadership at the LDEA this year under President Joseph Nyumah Boakai’s regime.

Based on assertions from grieving LDEA personnel, this paper began investigating claims of alleged replacement of senior officers, tribalizing of the agency’s officers’ recruitment process, and other vices within the LDEA in late May.

All efforts have been made to hear from Col. Kromah, but he has declined to respond to our inquiries, both via phone call and text message.

One aggrieved LDEA personnel told an investigation by the NewDawn newspaper’s investigative team that LDEA Director General Col. Kromah has been implementing alleged unauthorized administrative proceedings and unwritten policy.

According to the anonymous source, since taking over as head of the LDEA, Col. Kromah has continued to demonstrate a high level of brutality, dictatorship, and unauthorized recruitment.

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The LDEA Administrative Policies and laws provide that recruitment must be headed by the Deputy Director for Administration.  

Contrary to this, our sources lamented that Col. Kromah has, through the help of several alleged ex-soldiers, trained and unilaterally recruited in high-profile positions dozens of supporters of the All-Liberian Coalition Party (ALCOP) and his kinsmen.

ALCOP, under the leadership of Mr. Lusinee F. Kamara, is one of the political parties that supported President Joseph Nyumah Boakai’s presidential bid in 2023.

ALCOP massively enjoys the solidarity of Liberians from the Muslim community as well as the Mandigo tribe, among others.

Sources said supporters of ALCOP, some of whom are Col. Kromah’s kinsmen, were allegedly recruited unilaterally and placed in high-profile positions, leaving out over 700 LDEA Voluntary Action Agents who had hoped to get formally recruited after years of volunteerism.

“Mr. Kromah has removed the Chief for Operation, the first uniformed officer, and replaced him with his son, Jabbateh, who he claimed is his sister’s son,” one of our sources claimed.

“Jabbateh was in the LNP [Liberia National Police] but was dismissed. It is against the DEA Duty Manual to have a senior ranking officer who does not understand its function,” the source continued.

“This provides for a section head to have ten years of experience – Five years in service, and five years in operation,” the source argued.

While taking over as the new head of the LDEA, Col. Kromah assured Liberians that he would work with those he met on the ground within the LDEA to enable him to understand the operation of the Agency.

Contrary to that commitment, the LDEA Chief, upon taking office, was alleged to have demanded that the LDEA’s three United States-trained Class One and Class Two officers reapply for positions they were already occupying.

He is alleged to have engaged in a background check because there were people that were misplaced.

Our sources narrated that Col. Kromah did not implement this strategy by going through the record system of the Human Resource Officer at the LDEA.

While awaiting the process requiring officers to reapply, Col. Kromah was alleged to have begun appointing his kinsmen in strategic positions.

It is alleged that ex-soldiers helped to train some of these alleged recruits in one of Col. Kromah’s compounds.

Aggrieved officers alleged that Col. Kromah has also been engaged in making unauthorized decisions with no consultation with his two deputies whenever there is a decision to be made.

“Promotion should come from the two deputies [who] will make recommendations with him as Director. Mr. Kromah has reversed his deputies’ recommendations and is engaging in his own activities which brings them [into]conflict,” sources have told the NewDawn.

Additionally, Col. Kromah is accused of implementing an unwritten policy that is not approved by the Minister of Justice as prescribed and mandated by the LDEA Duty Manual.   

He is alleged to have begun appointing LDEA Regional Commanders and Assistant Directors.

”Mr. Kromah has appointed Mr. James Larky as Assistant Director, who was dismissed from the United States Embassy,” said one LDEA source.

“Mr. Kromah has also brought in a consultant and given him a letter of employment unilaterally. Consultant, by LDEA policy, can not be employed [but] rather hired on contract,” the officer complained.

Meanwhile, he declined to respond when this paper contacted Col. Kromah through calls and text messages. 

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