LIBERIA: “Country Devil” Tortures Two On Critical List

According to a Daily Observer Newspaper Correspondent in Nimba County, a “country devil” and its attendants have reportedly beat and tortured two persons in Saclepea, Nimba County, leaving both victims in critical condition.

The victims are being treated at a clinic in Saclepea City for wounds they reportedly sustained at the hands of the “country devil”.  It is reported that the victims were beaten so badly that they have not attended to nature since Monday.

The reports say police have arrested and detained about 12 persons in connection with the incident. The detainees are said to be the devil’s men who reportedly beat and tortured the victims.

The incident which, according to our correspondent, has already claimed the attention of county authorities was reported in Gbao Boanplay Town.

The victims are identified as Peterson Whapoe and his half brother Madison Dahn.

 In their respective accounts of what took place, they alleged that on Tuesday May 12, they were severely tortured by the “country devil” and its followers after someone complained to the “country devil” that he (Peterson) was indebted to one Walkie in the amount of LD75,000 for Walkie’s traditional medical bill.

Victim Peterson explained that Walkie had earlier complained about him to Peter Barlon, head of the Traditional Council in Nimba about the LD75,000 debt.

“When the matter reached Mr. Barlon, he instructed John Teage, one of his messengers, to go to Gbao Boanplay and settle the matter.”

According to Peterson, when Teage and his group arrived in Gbao Boanplay, they immediately proceeded with the investigation.  Peterson was found guilty and mandated to pay a fine of ten goats and some undisclosed amount of Liberian dollars immediately and without the least delay.

“Peterson gave three goats with LD500 as part payment of our fine, and we also asked him to give some part payment of the amount in question, but he failed to do so,” Teage said.

Immediately Peterson was given the guilty verdict, Teage was allegedly quoted as ordering the “country devil” and his followers to tie Peterson’s legs and hands and put him into a bag. Then they began beating on him while they squeezed the sticks that were tied to his legs.

“They tied my mouth, my eyes and began beating on me severely at the same time stepping over me while I was in the bag,” he said.

As for Madison, he narrated how he was made to stand for Peterson after the guilty verdict, “but because I told the people to seize their house and rubber farms for the fine imposed on them, John Teage got angry and ordered me tied.

“I was tied at my wrist, legs and hands and dragged into a house where I was tortured until I agreed to the payment of the money in question and anything short of that could not hold water.”

Thereafter, he said they beat on him to the extent that he could not up to yesterday move his legs or even sit up.

All of these activities happened in the “Zoe Bush” where those who are not members of the “Country Devil” were not allowed to enter, according to the report.

When contacted John Teage denied putting the victims in bags, but confirmed that Peterson was tied and beaten because he failed to comply with the rules of the “Zoe Bush.”

He had earlier complained to Mr. Barlor that his victim, Peterson, poisoned him (Teage) to the extent that he spent over US$800, and that Peterson had refused to pay back the expenses he incurred while he was ill.

Meanwhile, police in Saclepea have arrested and detained Teage and 11 accomplices undergoing preliminary investigation for their alleged roles in the “Country Devil” incident.

When contacted Mr. Barlon admitted sending John Teage to settle the matter with Walkie and Peterson and report to him the findings, but said he regretted the action that led to the beating of the men allegedly by the “devils.”

It can be recalled that a man recently died from a similar torture in Doe Zuaplay Town, Tappita District, Lower Nimba County, upon the instructions of a “country devil.” That case is yet to be investigated

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