Nine members of a local fraternity, United Brother Friendship or UBF in River Gee County, southeast Liberia are facing charges of “attempted murder and aggravated assault” for allegedly flogging a non-member who they accused of not recognizing them while sharing goat soup at a funeral service of one of their members.
At the funeral rite of a deceased UBF man who was also a member of the Palipo Lutheran Church in River Gee, County Attorney Wesseh A. Wesseh says the nine UBF men allegedly got angry and mercilessly attacked a Dweh-bo Community Youth member, Amos Pokar, for not recognizing them while distributing goat soup among family members, well-wishers and friends at the ceremony.
“The UBF men said the man [Pokar] did not recognize them in the sharing of the goat soup, so they got angry and attacked him. There were about nine of them, and they moved on the man. And there was tussle and this man was unmercifully flogged,” narrates Atty. Wesseh.
As at the time of speaking with The NewDawn via mobile phone Wednesday, 27 January Atty. Wesseh noted that victim Pokar was suffering internal bleeding as a result of the unmerciful flogging he received at the hands of the angry nine UBF men who claimed he failed to serve them part of the goat soup he was sharing at the funeral.
Tussle erupted subsequently between the UBF and Palipo Lutheran Church members at the funeral service where victim Pokar, who according to Atty. Wesseh, is not a UBF member, was attacked.
The victim is said to be still suffering internal bleeding at the Fish Town Central Hospital where he was admitted.
The County Attorney says options were being considered to take Pokar to the Jackson F. Doe Referral Hospital in Tappita, Nimba County for further medication. However, Atty. Wesseh says the nine UBF attackers were arrested by police in River Gee, investigated, charged and sent to court for attempted murder and aggravated assault.
He added that upon the arrest of the nine suspects, members of the UBF in River Gee dressed in their uniform and mobilized to move against the police station to demand the release of their arrested colleagues.
“So I immediately informed the police commander that I wanted to speak to their leader that was leading the group of UBF against the police station,” Atty. Wesseh narrated. The River Gee County Attorney said he told the UBF leader to allow police to investigate those members of the fraternity arrested, with warning that the UBF in the county would be held responsible should anything happen in the process of preventing police action.
Eventually, he said the UBF immediately withdrew and police have completed their investigation, charging the nine UBF suspects with “attempted murder and aggravated assault.” Attorney Wesseh has however warned that UBF or any other organization could not hide under the canopy of fraternity or brotherhood to commit crime.
They were sent to the Fish Town Magisterial Court for trial on Tuesday, 26 January; but he says the magistrate there has immediately committed the suspects at the Fish Town Central Prison,pending trial.
Atty. Wesseh says the suspects will be indicted in the February Term of Court 2016 to face prosecution.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Jonathan Browne