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GeneralLiberia news

‘We fought war together’

Varlee Telleh remembers his accuser during police probe

By Lincoln G Peters

Monrovia Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee and City Police Officer Varlee Telleh have jointly denied killing Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott’s daughter Charloe Musu, but Telleh says he and his accuser Sheikh Sackor fought in the Liberian civil war together.

“The man who tried to give my profile to Cllr. [James] Verdier is my friend since 1994. We fought war together: 1994, 1995, and April 6 war. He was the one who took me to Mayor Koijee,” Telleh said Wednesday, 1 March 2023.

On Wednesday, the ruling party Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Secretary General Mr. Koijee and Mr. Telleh faced Liberia National Police (LNP) authorities to answer questions over recent brutal attacks against Cllr. Scott and her family.

Led by their lawyer Cllr. Arthur T. Johnson, the duo said they did not have any link to assassination attempts against former Liberian Chief Justice Cllr. Scott and the brutal murder of her daughter Charloe last week.

Armed Criminals invaded Cllr. Scott’s Brewerville residence on 22 March 2022, murdered her daughter and wounded other inhabitants. Cllr. Scott said she managed to flee for her life after using pepper spray against her attacker.

She said she reported to the police and the Minister of Justice two successive armed robbery attacks at her residence, but authorities did not act to prevent the third attack that led to Charloe’s death. 

Over the weekend, she lamented about her daughter’s gruesome murder saying she raised the alarm about the deadly attacks and threats against her in vain.

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In the wake of the tragedy, Liberia’s former Truth and Reconciliation boss Cllr. Jerome Verdier last week accused Mr. Varlee Telleh of allegedly attacking the former Chief Justice. Verdier alleged that Monrovia Mayor Mr. Koijee ordered the attack.

But Koijee refuted the claim during a press conference held Friday, 24 February, saying he had no history of sharing blood in the country.

In addition to Cllr. Verdier’s claim, Mr. Sheikh Sackor gave lengthy narratives about Mr. Telleh’s alleged roles in previous murders in the country including the shocking death of Central Bank of Liberia official Mr. Matthew Innis.

Notwithstanding, Telleh and Koijee insisted that they are not involved with the attacks against Cllr. Scott and the murder of her daughter.

In a nervous voice, Telleh, a resident of Brewerville, told reporters that he neither know former Chief Justice Scott nor her residence in Brewerville. 

He also denied sending any threatening text message to a journalist identified as Aryouba Dukuly, and also rejected an account that was used to issue the threat as fake. 

Telleh only admitted to knowing Mr. Sheikh Sackor, identifying him as an alleged ‘black money businessman’ working in Guinea.

And Monrovia Mayor Jefferson Koijee has told reporters at the LNP headquarters that he does not know anything linking him to the recent attacks against former Chief Justice Scott.

He characterized the allegations as complete propaganda against his personality.

Speaking on behalf of Koijee and Telleh, Cllr. Arthur T. Johnson told reporters that Mayor Koijee believes in the professionalism of the Liberia National Police to investigate the matter.

Johnson urged every person of interest to avail themselves to the police for investigation.

He noted that the mayor is not above the law so he has availed himself to the police to give his side of the story.

“The mayor has no link to any act of assassination against the former Chief Justice,” Cllr. Johnson said.

At the same time, Cllr. Johnson expressed his sympathy to the former Chief Justice and condemned the act meted out against her as barbaric.

He called on all those who have information in connection with the investigation to assist the police’s investigation because it is an issue of national concern.

As it stands, Cllr. Johnson stated that the police did not provide any evidence linking Mayor Koijee to the allegations.

He said Koijee’s appearance at the headquarters of the LNP was to exonerate himself from the propaganda against him.

“When a crime is committed, it is committed against the state. As such, every person of interest must make themselves available to assist with the investigation.”

Additionally, Cllr. Johnson urged former Chief Justice Cllr. Scott to avail herself to the police to assist with the investigation.

According to him, the former Chief Justice’s statement that she is a target for assassination borders on national security.

“The attack on the former Chief Justice must be condemned …, criticized because it is bad. But there is a need for the former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott to avail herself to the police to assist with the investigation,” said Cllr. Johnson.

He further urged Cllr. Jerome Verdier to send to the police whatever evidence he has to assist with the investigation.

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