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UP rejects Fire Service report

Claims arson attack against its Chairman’s residence

By Lincoln G. Peters 

The former ruling Unity Party (UP) over the weekend rubbished the Liberia National Fire Service’s (LNFS’) investigative report surrounding a fire disaster that destroyed UP’s new Chairman Dr. J. Luther Tarpeh’s home.

The fire incident occurred at Dr. Tarpeh’s home just after he had been elected chairman of the major opposition party.

The Fire Service is said to have concluded that Dr. Tarpeh’s home got burnt due to fire from an extension cord.

However, UP claimed that the National Fire Service lacks independence and technical capabilities to write any credible report.

“As predicted, the Liberia National Fire Service on August 26, 2022, without the knowledge of the affected family, released what they considered as “fire incident investigation report,” UP said in a statement. 

In the report read by LNFS Director General Col. Alex Dickson at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, the authorities said Chairman Tarpeh’s home was gutted by fire as the result of the burning of an extension cord.

“This report is open to be challenged and if anyone thinks that this investigation finding is not true, they can conduct their own investigation. We took our time conducting this investigation and what we are giving the public here is nothing but the truth,” said Col. Dickson.

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But the Unity Party rubbished the report and termed it as a false narrative written by the regime to brazenly extricate the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) operatives of being the masterminds behind the reported arson attack. 

Unity Party insisted that eyewitnesses’ accounts on the morning of the incident attest that prior to the attack, a certain black jeep was seen slowly driving at the edge of the Chairman’s fence.

The opposition party narrated that the alleged black jeep parked at the fence for a while and later two men disembarked it and walked slowly toward the middle of the fence. 

UP alleged that as the men entered the vehicle and drove off, the account revealed that it did not take any long when smoke sprouted from the fence which later grew into wildfire.

“It is sad that so-called Fire Service personnel who lack the elementary sense to keep water in fire trucks would want to hoodwink Liberians into believing that they have the technical capabilities to investigate the cause of a fire that was started in the garage where there is no wall-circuit for an extension cord,” UP argued.

The former ruling party wondered where in the world would professional investigators arrogantly brag and threaten to resign should anybody prove their ridiculous report erroneous if such crooked elements are not backed by a failed regime.

“Nowhere else but Liberia, a nation where the suspended sanctioned Minister of State still enjoys state security protection through EPS (Executive Protection Service) and commands the same level of influence as if he is still Minister of State,” the party alleged.

UP noted that this government earlier prejudiced the outcome of this investigative report when it denied that chairman Tarpeh’s home was attacked by thugs, which is why the report was written to justify this conclusion.

“The Unity Party strongly rejects the attempt by the GoL to downplay the scale of physical damage caused on the properties of its chairman as a result of the reported attack and requests an independent forensic investigation which it may consider credible,” the party said. 

“While we empathize with the LNFS for the huge technical capacity gap due to the lack of support from GoL, the party urges Fire Service to refrain from being used as pawn in the CDC coverup shenanigans,” it concluded.

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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