Police Inspector General Col. Patrick Sudue on Sunday, 15 April made a swift intervention in resolving a lasting conflict that existed between the Management of Sime Darby and residents of Damah Town and other surroundings in the company’s concession area in Bomi County.
Speaking to scores of citizens and top level managers of Sime Darby, Col. Sudue in the strongest term condemned brutal actions on the parts of the company’s security on peaceful citizens in the concession area.
He made specific reference to a 32 – old victim Mike Gibson who was allegedly brutalized by private security officers of Sime Darby. Inspector General Sudue pledged to ensure that perpetrators of the brutal act will be made to face the full weight of the law. He warns that it is not the work of private security officers to brutalize any peaceful citizen.
“If you grab anyone stealing your palm or engaged in any unlawful acts, it is your duty to turn them over to the Liberia National Police for investigation,” said Col. Sudue.
Additionally, Col. Sudue called on the Sime Darby Management to close down its withholding cell, clarifying that no private security firm under Liberian laws is permitted to operate a withholding cell to detain citizens besides the Liberia National Police.
In furtherance of his commitment to assure citizens of their protection, Col. Sudue urged them to always take advantage of contacting the Police in case of any acts in gross violation of their rights.
He called on them to carry themselves peacefully and desist from destroying the company’s palms and stealing the company’s properties.
Addressing the Sime Darby Management, Col. Sudue mandated them to turn over all those who allegedly perpetrated the brutal flogging of Mike Gibson whom the company alleged was caught stealing their palm.
He condemned the action of the company for failing to immediately seek medical attention of the victim. He indicated that it was unfair for Liberians to have been treated in such form and manner.
Col. Sudue provided transportation to the uncle of the victim, Raymond Johnson to ensure that he is brought to Monrovia on Monday, 16 April and given good medical treatment at the expense of the Liberia National Police.
For his part, the county’s Superintendent, Samuel Brown called on the management of Sime Darby to create an enabling working environment for its employees. He urged the company to ensure cordial relations between them and the people in its concession area.
Presenting a petition to Col. Sudue on behalf of the people of Damah Town, the town’s spokesman, Mr. Varney Johnson emphasized the need to build good relations between them and the company. Speaking further, the town’s spokesman called on the company to provide them a health facility.
Addressing the citizens’ claims, Sime Darby’s Head of Operation, Ali Kamal expressed his company’s willingness to work with the people in his company’s concession area in fostering a good relationship.
In confirmation of the alleged brutalization of Mike Gibson, 32, and Bendu Nannah, Mr. Kamal disclosed that the company has taken immediate step by suspending its Chief of Security, Thomas Walker.
He confirmed that Boimah Feikai, one of the alleged perpetrators of the brutal flogging of citizens will tomorrow turn himself over to Police.–Press release