Police authorities in Monrovia the safety of arresting officers was on the verge of being endangered in an alleged “hostile and violent conduct” demonstrated by suspect Praise Tony Lawal ‘in resisting arrest.”
Suspect Lawal- reported in the media here to have allegedly served in the erstwhile ECOMONG peacekeeping mission in Liberia as a Nigerian soldier in the 90s, has been running a road construction company, undertaking some government road projects.
The alleged ex-Nigerian soldier became a subject of police criminal investigation following a May 29 shoot-out in the Fish Market community of Sinkor, because police said, he had been linked as prime suspect.
Liberian businessman Samuel B. Cooper – CEO of the Westwood Construction Company – was allegedly shot, crashing the windshield of his vehicle.
“Mamadee Diakite and his sponsors must understand that the shooting incident involving Mr. Lawal and others was very serious and there were strong indicators as demonstrated by Mr. Lawal’s violent and hostile conduct in resisting arrest that he was on the verge of further endangering public safety, which had the potential to put at risk the lives of police officers at the scene,” Police Spokesman Sam Collins warned Monday.
Due to Mr. Lawa’s alleged resistance of police arrest, Mr. Collins claimed, “a swift and tactical deployment” of a squad from the Crime Services Division was ordered to bring the situation under control consistent with police ethics and practices under the law.
But in response to question as to whether or not Mr. Lawal was a registered arm carrier here, Mr. Collins said: “that is [what] the investigation will establish,” saying police have searched suspect Lawal’s residence because he was the man linked to the whole shooting incidence.
Following police questioning, Mr. Collins said, the suspect was released to his lawyer, while the LNP was conducting a robust investigation into the incident with the objective of locating the weapon used and the perpetrators brought to justice.
In a thorough examination of the crime scene, Mr. Collins added that all homes in the immediate vicinity of the area were also searched with a warrant issued by the Monrovia city court.
Several persons were additionally being questioned with respect to the incident to include the main suspect Mr. Lawal, the police said.
Meanwhile, the LNP has warned that it will not hesitate to arrest anyone who aids and abets a suspected criminal or engage in any conduct to erroneously misinform the public about its patriotic services to the state for financial gains at the expense of press freedom or under the pretext of being a journalist.
The police issued the warning, while accusing former Truth Fm Talk-show Host Mamadee Diakite of allegedly spreading lies and using invectives against the police, after allegedly attempting to prevent police from arresting suspect Lawal.
The police, however, commended the Crimes Services Division for the professional, swift and decisive actions taken in bringing the shooting incident involving Mr. Praise Tony Lawal, Mr. Cooper and others under control without any casualty, fear or favor. – By Winston W. Parley