The acting chairman of a group calling itself the Council of Patriots (COP’s), Menipakei Dumoe could be getting undue attention at the expense of Liberian authorities following his social media post.
Mr. Dumoe in his post suggested that poor Liberians here need an AK47 riffle, a gun notorious here during the country’s nearly two decades of civil war to be taken seriously by the government instead of a promised rice that has been long overdue.“We don’t need free bags of rice. I say we the poor in Monrovia need AK47s so our leaders can take us seriously,” Mr. Dumoe wrote on Facebook.
Although Mr. Dumoe, a young promising political activist has said that his statement was metaphoric, state securities here on Tuesday invited him for a conference to enable him provide them a better understanding of his statement, but he was soon arrested and a search warrant issued to search his home for arms or related documentation.
Under the previous regime of former president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, his comment would have been described as someone seeking an “undue attention,” but not under this regime.Police searched Mr. Dumoe’s home Tuesday, 12 May after he posted on social media that “… we the poor in Monrovia need AK47s so our leaders can take us seriously.”
Mr. Dumoe did not deny making the post, but he claims he was being metaphoric, saying he is not talking about using a physical weapon.His lawyer Cllr. Finley Karnga complained Tuesday that his client was arrested, contrary to police’s assurance that he should accompany his client to the police headquarters in Monrovia for a conference.
Cllr. Karnga says he felt extremely betrayed and belittled on grounds that the “police – lawyer relationship” which he had relied upon to carry his client for the conference had been abused by the authorities whose real plan to arrest his client was hidden.
He notes that the police had an intention to have his client arrested, but what they did was to put him (Karnga) under the pretense that they were going for a meeting after which Dumoe would have gone home.
Cllr. Karnga narrates that this has affected both his relationship with the police and his client, especially given the way Dumoe was allegedly treated like a mere criminal when he got arrested, handcuffed and taken in the back of a police truck.The lawyer insists that the metaphor that his client used cannot be attributed to anything that is inflammatory, adding that Dumoe did not mean the use of a physical weapon.
He calls on the police to ensure that all Dumoe’s rights are accorded him under the Constitution, urging that he be treated as a political prisoner, but not as a criminal.
Meanwhile Nimba County Rep. Samuel Kogar phoned in to a local radio station Tuesday evening, condemning the police’s action and said that as a law enforcement officer, you can be courteous and enforce your law.
Rep. Kogar contends that what happened between Dumoe, his lawyer and the police was a form of entrapment because the lawyer never knew the plan of the police and had gone along with his client based on the police’s assurance.The Nimba lawmaker states that everyone can be presumed innocent under the law until something culpable is found which would then be the ground for their arrest.
Kogar warns that if the police continue with these missteps, they will damage the image of the government, thereby calling on them to desist because this is a democratic state.Additionally, COP member Mr. Mo Ali says the statement on social media clearly was Dumoe’s personal statement, and not the Council of Patriots.
But he argues that he does not see any capacity in Dumoe to carry out a threat of such nature, saying the government has got the right to do what it wants to do, but it should be done in the confines of the law.
By Winston W. Parley