Promising footballer killed in Ganta in alleged armed robbery
By Thomas Domah in Nimba & Emmanuel wise Jipoh
Sabu Yenglee, a 21-year-old promising Liberian footballer, who recently played for Nimba County during the 2022-2023 National County Sports Meet, has been killed reportedly by angry mob during an alleged armed robbery in Ganta City, Nimba.
The alleged robbery occurred at the home of a local businessman identified as Harris Kerkula in Gleneyeeluu community late Tuesday, February 7th.
Victim Harris Kerkulah was a local staff of a water company, Mama-Liberia.
According to report, Sabu Yenglee was identified as one of three accomplices that forcibly entered the home of Mr. Kerkula with a single-barrel gun after an unidentified local forex bureau operator reportedly hinted to them that the deceased had huge sum of money. They subsequently attacked him.
According to Police, the attackers used 9 MM riffle and gunned down the victim.
Two of the accomplices absconded the scene, snatching away a bag of money belonging to the late Kerkula onboard a motorbike as they fired shots in the air to frighten the crowd that had gathered. But fate was not on the side of Sabus, who was suddenly grabbed by angry crowd and beaten to death.
News about the incident shocked football fans and Nimbians generally, who just celebrated victory from the 2022-2023 National County Sports Meet with a huge parade from Monrovia to every part of Nimba, as the mountaineers claimed what was their sixth trophy from 1978, 1979, 2010, 2011, 2022 and 2023, respectively.
Ganta City has been experiencing sporadic armed robbery incidents. A forex bureau operator, Matthew Yeanay, was shot in plain sight with a riffle on December 30, 2022, at 5 pm by suspected armed robbers, who made away with LD1,090,000.00 along with US$5,000.00.
Catherine Cooper, a petty trader was also hijacked barely a week ago by individuals believed to be armed robbers, who also made away with thousands of Liberian dollars.
‘Mob justice’ is a form of extrajudicial punishment or retribution in which a person suspected of wrongdoing is humiliated, beaten, and in many cases killed by angry mob.
Said killing clearly violates Article (1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which states that “Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her life.” it also violates the right to fair trial enshrined in Article 14 of the ICCPR.
Family sources, who spoke to the New Dawn via social media said the late Victor Sabu Yenglee, wasn’t known as an armed robber prior to his murder.
“We all came on the scene and we got there when brother Sabu was still breathing, but it was very difficult for me to identify him. I only recognized the person as my brother when I heard him saying – gentlemen, my name is Sabu Yenglee and I’m from Gor-gartuo. It’s my first time doing this thing. I was around when he made the statement. We were the people that even took him to the hospital.” Felton Lehwoan said.
The deceased lastly played for Wonta United Football Club in the Liberia Football Association (LFA) Nimba County Sub-Committee Third Division League. He previously played for Selehwon United, Karn United and was hugely linked with a big move to several topflight clubs in the Orange-LFA National first division League.
The death of Victor Sabu Yenglee brings to five, the number of persons who have reportedly been killed in mob violence.
Weeks ago, another man was mobbed to death in Sanniqullie City and Yekepa respectively, in alleged armed robberies. The victim in Yekepa was killed and his motorbike stolen.
Several residents of Ganta, who spoke to the NEW DAWN, describe the death of Victor Yenglee as unbelievable, for a young man who just returned to the county with a victory to have been involved in such practice. Editing by Jonathan Browne