According to FPA, the Ministry of Justice has ordered an immediate investigation into the recent attack on the Deputy Inspector General of the Liberia National Police Mr. Marvin Sackor, who came under attack Wednesday after a speech by the Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee riled partisans of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change to raid a by-elections victory celebration of Mr. Abraham Darius Dillon in this week’s Montserrado County Senatorial By-elections.
In a statement released late Friday, the Ministry of Justice declined to name the Monrovia City Mayor under whose authority allegedly gave rise to the attack on the Deputy Police Chief , interestingly, it categorically condemns and denounces the deteriorating trend of lawlessness in the country heightened by attacks against the persons of police officers.
In the statement the Justice Ministry noted, “While the MOU has consistently cautioned the police to respect the rights of the citizenry and refrain from the use of unreasonable force, the recent wave of attacks against the police is unacceptable.”
Speaking to reporters, the Chairman of the four collaborating political parties, Mr. Benoni Urey, alleged that the police fired live bullets which allegedly resulted into one person being shot in the leg by the riot police officers, who tried to restore calm between the rioters.
According to FPA, the Deputy Inspector General of Police for Operations, Sackor was allegedly beaten by CDCians based on his intervention that CDC partisans should remain in the premises of the party to avoid a clash with partisans of the Liberty Party who had gone to celebrate the victory of Mr. Dillon. The partisans reportedly refused and marched on to the LP headquarters to disrupt Mr. Dillon’s celebration.
After the raid on the LP headquarters this week, Mr. Urey accused partisans of the CDC for instigating the violence. “We were here at our party headquarters jubilating and merry making when some thugs of the CDC came and started throwing stones and fighting our partisans, when the violence broke out, the riot police came and fired live bullets and some of our people got wounded, 11 of them while one of our partisans got shot in the leg,” he explained.
This week, Mayor Koijee who is also head of the ruling party’s youth league addressing partisans made a statement threatening the opposition political parties that his group will resist any attempt by the opposition to celebrate, noting on Wednesday of this week that his party will trade fire for fire with anyone staging protest against the government.
Speaking further, Mayor Koijee aggressively said, “The youth league will protect our democracy, we will be on the front burner, we will lead our people like we led them before. Any day that would be announced here by anyone, we want to say to you that similar day would be announced by us. And wheresoever they are, we would also be there and we would meet in flesh and blood.”
Mr. Koijee explained that the decision has met the consensus of the party’s youth league. “Make no mistake to think that because we bear certain titles or bear certain space in government, that position has taken from us our true identity. What we fought for, we will not sit here as spectators and watch it come under attack. Those who believed that nothing good could ever come under our watch, we want to say moving forward when there is any called demonstration – as lawmakers lead, we want to say in our official capacity, whether you call me mayor or you call me youth chair person, we want to assure the public and the international community that we will be protectors of our democracy, we would lead such forces also.”
He said no one person or group has monopoly over violence, adding, “Unless we are not in this corridor. We have the capacity to rubble the peace of this country.”
Although Police spokesman Mr. Moses Carter rubbished the claims by Mr. Benoni Urey that shooting occurred during the clashes between partisans of the CDC and the opposition collaborating parties, some observers are beginning to draw comparison to an attack on the District No. 15 headquarters of Telia Urey at the weekend during which no arrests were made by the LNP.
The MOJ says it views with disdain recent attacks against the persons of the Deputy Inspector General of Police for Operations, Marvin Sackor, while in the process of separating stone throwing supporters of the Collaborating Opposition Political parties and the Coalition for Democratic Change, during the violence which ensured on Wednesday, July 31, 2019.
The MOJ warns that anyone attacking the police and/or inciting individuals to attack the police will be arrested and duly prosecuted. “Consistent with the above, the MOJ has ordered the Liberia National Police to launch an immediate investigation into the violent incident of Wednesday, July 31, 2019, including attacks on the person of Deputy Inspector General Sackor. All Parties and person and persons of interest are urged to cooperate with the investigation.”