The Special Independent Presidential Inquiry Panel appointed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to the January 9, 2016 tussle between some officers of the Liberia National Police and agents of the Executive Protection Service or EPS has attributed the fracas that saw both security agencies advancing live arms at each other to prevailing animosity between some officers of the LNP and some agents of the EPS deeply rooted in past events, which surfaced on that day as a result of lapses on both sides that culminated in the confrontation.
According to the report, some of the lapses included the absence of radio communication between the two security entities on the 9th of January at the First United Methodist Church on Ashmum Street in Monrovia where President Sirleaf and her officials had gone to attend a state funeral; the emotional outbursts from both officers and agents that led to increased tension; the refusal to pay attention to the directive from the agents of the EPS with regard to the specific formation of the convoy on the day; and the lack of respect shown to the Director of Police Col. Chris Massaquoi once he had disembarked from his damaged vehicle.
The Executive Mansion in a press release says President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the National Security Council of Liberia on Friday, March 4, 2016 reviewed the report and have accordingly, endorsed ommendations contained in it.
The Special Presidential Inquiry Panel advanced five recommendations, among them that, “the drivers of all the vehicles involved in the ramming ‘should be dismissed”; that some agents from the EPS counter assault team and some officers from the LNP backup team “be suspended and made to undergo training before returning to work”; that “…Since the buck stops with the heads of the EPS and the LNP, the damage to vehicle EPS-70, vehicle RL-100 and vehicle LNP-180 should be appraised and paid for equally by EPS Director Nyekan and Police Inspector General Massaquoi”; that civilian personnel of the Ministry of State who took unauthorized action by blocking vehicles in the convoy “should be reprimanded for this action”; and finally, “That President Sirleaf takes such other punitive measures as deemed proper under the cumstances.”
The release says several other recommendations aimed at improving and enhancing the functions and operations of both the EPS and LNP were also advanced by the Panel.
Members of the Panel include Counselor T. Max Duncan, chair; Sister Mary Laurene Browne and Atty. Alvin T. Jalloh. Press Release