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Suspicious deaths!

The Government of Liberia has described the deaths of the managing director of the Guaranty Trust Bank (Liberia) Limited Mr. Dan Orogun on Sunday, 24 January and the ex-managing director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) Harry Greaves on Sunday, 31 January as suspicious.

Mr. Greaves reportedly went missing over the weekend from the RLJ Resort, an American-owned five star hotel in the former Kendeja cultural center along the Robertsfield Highway outside Monrovia, and subsequently “found dead on the shores behind the old Budget Bureau on Sunday morning, 31 January in bad state of decomposition.”

Addressing a news conference Monday, February 1, 2016 in Monrovia, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Liberia, Benedict F. Sannoh, said arrangements have been concluded with a Nigerian Pathologist Professor John Obatunwa who is expected in Monrovia today, Tuesday, accompanied by another Nigerian forensic pathologist to conduct an autopsy on the remains of the late Harry Greaves.
But President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has instead, called for the pathologist to either come from the United States of America or Great Britain to examine the body Mr. Greaves due to the mysterious circumstances under which he died.

The Government had earlier hired Professor Obatunwa to conduct an autopsy on the remains of the late managing director of Guaranty Trust bank (Liberia) Limited, Dan Orogun, who reportedly fell off a boat while on a ride with his wife, two children, and Liberian businessman George Kailondo, on Sunday, January 24, 2016. Findings of the autopsy have not been made public.

“Dr. Obatunwa is expected to arrive in Liberia on Tuesday, February 2, and will be accompanied by another forensic pathologist to assist in the examination”, Minister Sannoh told the press. The mysterious disappearance and subsequent death has sent shockwaves in the public here with many persons expressing fear of insecurity in the wake of ongoing drawdown by the United Nations Mission in Liberia, UNMIL.

The late Harry Greaves was dismissed from the LPRC in 2009 by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf following corruption allegation in his handling of the “Nigerian Oil Deal.” Since then he had quietly resided in the country until in the past one or two months when he went on the offensive, publicly challenging the government’s policy on electricity, and calling for privatization of power to allow other foreign companies to invest in the sector just as is being done in the telecommunications industry.

Making an analogy when he appeared before the Liberian Legislature recently on Capitol Hill, the late former LPRC managing director described the telecommunications sector as a “Su-su club” where the Government of Liberia did not invest a dime, but is reaping huge benefits thru taxes because of an open market, and wanted same to be done with electricity by liberalizing the market.

But Minister Sannoh said while Government is doing everything possible to investigate both deaths, which occurred in barely a week, it notes with concern that some Liberians here and abroad, with gross insensitivity and callous disregard of the agony of the bereaved family during this difficult period, and of the consequences on the country, have already reached conclusions as to the cause of death, especially of Mr. Harry Greaves.

“Let us be very clear on this. Any conclusion on the cause of death of Mr. Harry Greaves, in the absence of a thorough forensic examination, is at best speculative and grossly irresponsible, especially when made on the radio and posted on social media”, the Minister cautioned.

He assured that the death of Mr. Dan Orogun and Mr. Harry Greaves will be thoroughly investigated and if it is established that any one was responsible directly or indirectly, the Government will promptly charge, arrest, and prosecute any such person or persons without fear or favor.

“To the bereaved families, let me express on behalf of the Government of Liberia, our profound regrets for the death of your loved ones, and hereby extend our deepest sympathies. It is God who gives and it is God who takes away. We pray that in his infinite wisdom, God will give you the strength and courage to go through these difficult times”, the Attorney General concluded.

By Lewis S. Teh-Edited by Jonathan Browne

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