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Police quiz Lawmaker, bodyguards

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One of the vocal planners of the June 7 protest Montserrado County District #10 Rep. YekehKolubah and four of his bodyguards are facing police investigation for allegedly flogging a man identified as Emmanuel Freeman.

Upon his temporary release from the Liberia National Police (LNP) headquarters Wednesday, 5 June, reports emerged immediately that state securities were searching Rep. Kolubah’s home in the Chugbor Community of Old Road.

But it is not clear why the government is searching Rep. Kolubah’s home.There was heavy joint security presence at the police headquarters as tension built on Capitol Hill amid Rep. Kolubah’s supporters’ demand for his release.

At the police headquarters supporters of Mr. Kolubah and the police had some tense encounters during which a man appeared to be helpless while a riot police officer was also said to be wounded in the process.

Police say they are treating Mr. Kolubah as a person of interest, alleging that he had been accused of ordering the flogging of victim Emmanuel, rendering the victim unconscious and hospitalized at the state – owned John F. Kennedy Medical Center.

Police say victim Emmanuel has come through and has begun speaking with investigators and doctors.It took the interventions of members of the House of Representatives and the four collaborating opposition political parties to get Rep. Kolubah signed for and temporarily released Wednesday.

The collaborating parties Chairman Mr. Benoni Urey told an interview at the police headquarters that Rep. Kolubah is being investigated, but the police were kind enough to release the lawmaker based on the intervention from the House of Representatives “and all of us.”

“Well, basically, Yekeh was signed for [by] Rep. [Marvin] Cole from Bong County on behalf of the House of Representatives,” says Mr. Urey in an interview at the Police Headquarters.

Mr. Urey explains further that it is alleged that someone was beaten “either around Yekeh’s house or very close to it,” and the police are claiming that the victim confessed Rep. YekehKolubah’s name.To protect the ongoing investigation, Mr. Urey indicates that they have been asked not to speak on it.He however reveals that Rep. Kolubah had over eight lawyers at the police investigation.

Additionally students from the University of Liberia (UL) campus – based Students Unification Party (SUP) held protest in demand of the release of their chairman Carlos Edison from police custody.

However Mr. Urey and made some intervention for the students to disembark from occupying the gate at the police headquarters.The students were suddenly pushed further away from the premises entirely by riot police.
They were carrying placards with different inscriptions and chanting militant slogans at the gate to the entrance of the police headquarters, saying “free our chairman.”

Some of their placards read: SUP will always remain peaceful; June 7th Save the State starts today; Cde [Cadet] Carlos Edison has done nothing wrong to be arrested; and Free Cde Carlos Edison now!” among others.

Meanwhile, Police Spokesman Moses Carter says Rep. Kolubah has not been charged, but he is treated as “a person of interest.”“An incident occurred in his compound in the Chugbor Community, Old Road where a resident of District #10 alleged that he was flogged massively at the orders of Honorable YekehKolubah,” says Mr. Carter.

Based on the allegation levied by the alleged victim only identified as Emmanuel, Carter says police are talking with Rep. Kolubah to get his side of the story.Further, he says police are speaking with Rep. Kolubah’s four bodyguards that were arrested on Tuesday, 4 June, including the victim.

Carter narrates that victim Emmanuel was hospitalized at the state – owned John F. Kennedy Medical Center unconscious, but he came through on Wednesday morning at 6AM before he started speaking to police and doctors.He says the individuals arrested were accused to be the ones who perpetrated the act against victim Emmanuel. By Winston W. Parley–Editing by Jonathan Browne

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