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GeneralLiberia news

Patrick Sudue ordered arrested

By Lincoln G. Peters

A court in Monrovia has ordered Liberia’s police chief Col. Patrick Sudue arrested for allegedly refusing to avail himself to an ongoing inquiry by the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR).

The INCHR says it is investigating the role the Liberia National Police (LNP) played when violent rioters badly wounded protesting students on Liberia’s 175th Independence Day celebration on 26 July 2022.

However, the commission through its complaint before the Civil Law Court in Monrovia says Col. Sudue has refused to turn himself over for the inquiry.

Presiding Civil Law Court Judge Nancy Finda Sammy has Col. Sudue’s immediate arrest based on the commission’s complaint.

“To the sheriff or deputy, you are hereby commanded to arrest the living body of the Inspector General of the LNP defendant Patrick Sudue,” the Judge ordered.

She has instructed that Col. Sudue be brought before the court to show cause, if any, why he is refusing to appear before the INCHR.

On August 17, 2022, the INCHR through its chairperson, Cllr. T. Dempster Brown wrote the court complaining about the alleged refusal of the police Inspector General to appear before the commission for questioning.

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The office of Cllr. Brown said that the INCHR invited Col. Sudue to assist the commission, consistent with the mandate of the institution to know what role the LNP played during the incident.

The INCHR said the essence is to advise the government and stakeholders, but Col. Sudue allegedly refused.

The INCHR disclosed that the objective of the inquiry is to establish the scale, magnitude, and gravity of the situation as it relates to human rights violations, specifically the right to freedom of assembly, expression, association, and right to life and dignity.

The commission detailed that Col. Sudue again refused the second time when invited on grounds that the police internal procedure does not permit the LNP to submit to the INCHR public inquiry.

But the commission argued that Article 6 (1) of the INCHR Act of 2005 provides that the commission while investigating complaints under this Act, shall have all the powers of a civil court trying a suit under the Civil Procedure Law of Liberia.

He noted that the Act mandates that it shall have subpoena power to bring within its jurisdiction those accused of human rights violations based upon complaints from aggrieved parties, or on motu.

In Article 6 (4), the commission added, that the Act further states that in case any person refuses to appear before in the context of any inquiry or investigation, the commission may apply to any circuit court for a writ of arrest.

The court’s arrest order is to ensure that the accused appears before the commission, the INCHR continued.

The commission, therefore, prayed the court to issue the arrest order against Col. Sudue for his appearance before the INCHR public inquiry.

Judge Sammy agreed with the INCHR’s argument, saying he request is in line with its mandate to protect and promote human rights.

She said the request is also in line with the commission’s mandate to know the role of the Liberia National Police during the violent Independence Day celebration.

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