Police arrest several suspects
Following July 26 bloody attack on students
By Lincoln G. Peters
The Liberia National Police (LNP) has arrested the chairperson of the Coalition for Democracy Change Council of Patriots (CDC – COP), suspect Ben B. Togbah, along with several of his men who were accused of allegedly brutalizing protesting students.
The LNP in a statement issued Tuesday, 2 August 2022, pointed out that seven persons had been arrested in connection to the street violence of 26 July 2022 during the celebration of Liberia’s 175th Independence Day.
Those arrested by the LNP are Kendrick S. Pelenah, 30; Joshua S. Karr, 28; Pukar Roberts, 36; Ben B. Togbah, 25; Foday N. Massaquoi, 23; Aaron K. Chea, 26; and Abdurahman Barrie.
The statement under the signature of Police Spokesman Moses Carter disclosed that the police have also launched a manhunt for the remaining individuals.
The statement said police will shortly solicit the assistance of the public by releasing names and photographs of the wanted persons.
“Meanwhile, the LNP informs the public that it is still conducting [a] Professional Standards probe of its officers that were in charge of security for the July 26 celebration,” the statement said.
It continued that the public will be duly informed subsequently.
The arrest of the seven accused persons came after University of Liberia (UL) – based Students Unification Party (SUP) protesters and other concerned university students petitioned the United Nations’ head office in Monrovia on Monday.
The protesters complained that government supporters calling themselves CDC – COP brutally attacked them and wounded several of their colleagues last week.
During the incident on Independence Day, student protester Christopher Sivili Walters was attacked mercilessly and stripped naked on video by CDC – COP.
His video went viral on social media, reminding Liberians of the inhumane treatment and painful murder of then-sitting Liberian president Samuel Kanyon Doe by rebel fighters under the command of now Nimba County Senator Prince Yormi Johnson (PYJ).
Besides Sivili, several other members of SUP were badly injured when they were attacked by the CDC – COP outside the United States Embassy near Monrovia.
In a show of solidarity for their wounded colleagues following the Independence Day bloody protest, SUP and the Concern Students of the University of Liberia on Monday staged a march in Monrovia to call partners’ attention to their plights.
They alleged bad governance, police brutality and dehumanizing acts being carried out by the government.
The group of students marched to the United Nations headquarters on First Street, Sinkor, and read a petition calling for an immediate investigation and prosecution of culprits linked to the July 26 attack. –Edited by Winston W. Parley