LIBERIA: Publisher Uncovers Plan To Assassinate Him, Accuses Presidential Guards

The Publisher of the Hot Pepper newspaper has disclosed that a plan is underway to assassinate him linking the presidential guards’ service, the Executive Protective Services of being behind the alleged plot to destroy his life.

According to the paper’s lead story captioned, “Plan To Assassinate Philipbert Browne Revealed – EPS Linked,” said on Wednesday, August 12, 2015, between 6:45 to 7:00 pm, a vehicle marked EPS-7 and driven by a personnel named, George, pulled over at the former Camp Ramrod, commonly called 72nd Barracks, to meet with some former killers of the defunct National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL). This medium is not certain if George is his actual or pseudo-name.  According to the Hot Pepper’s security sources, George met with Emmanuel King, Zamitay Zami and two others yet to be identified. The meeting was held in the house of Emmanuel King, house #8.

The paper quoting sources disclosed that, during the meeting, George gave the four would-be assassins the diagram of the home of Mr. Philipbert Browne, Publisher of the Hot Pepper, located on Du-Port Road. Then, ha, gave them US$100.00 and told them he would return to conclude the plan. Not in agreement with this plan, some security personnel cited Mr. Browne to two different meetings on Thursday, August 13, 2015 and briefed him of the wicked plan.

The Hot Pepper contacted the Director of the Executive Protection Service (EPS), Frank Nyakan, through a source and inquired about EPS-7, not mentioning the alleged plot. Nyakan said that EPS-7 was assigned to the motorcade of the Vice President. Mr. Browne then called the National Security Advisor, Dr. Henry Boimah Fahnbulleh, and informed him of the alleged plot to assassinate him. Dr. Fahnbulleh said that this was serious, and he would conduct an immediate investigation.

When Browne called the EPS Director, Nyakan, and told him of the plot, he was heard shouting on the phone to a subordinate to find out who rides EPS-7 and its assignment. When told about the alleged plot, he said that he was briefed by the National Security Advisor and he was launching an immediate investigation into the matter. He further said that no one would be assassinated under his watch because he has to account for his deeds tomorrow.

After about thirty minutes, the EPS boss returned the call and said that they did not print any EPS-7 license plate, after telling the Hot Pepper that EPS-7 was assigned to the motorcade of the Vice President. "Maybe someone is playing games," the director said. Both Dr. Fahnbulleh and Nyakan have invited Browne to the Foreign Ministry so they could conduct an investigation.

Last year, 2014, before the office of the National Chronicle was stormed by men of the Liberia National Police, Mr. Philipbert Browne called the same National Security Advisor, Dr. Fahnbulleh, and told him that he had information that his office was about to be stormed. The very Dr. Fahnbulleh replied that it would never happen under his watch, but it did happen on August 14. 2014. After the incident when Dr. Fahnbulleh was called by Publisher Browne to state his dissatisfaction about the matter and Dr. Fahnbulleh’s assurance of “nothing would happen under his watch”, he was very polite and apologized. Again, there is another plot now on a greater magnitude that borders on life and death, but again the National Security Advisor is promising a speedy investigation. It is hoped that it does not turn out to be like the Chronicle’s closure case.

This time around, this is a matter of life and death. When life is taken, it cannot be replaced. Doors, windows, chairs can be replaced, but when the breath leaves the body it's gone. The EPS boss, Nyakan, also told Mr. Browne that he could never be a part of anything like this because he will have to account for whatever he does as EPS Director.

Looking back on hindsight, this is not the first time the government of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has been accused of assassination plots. During the first term of President Sirleaf, General Charles Julu, the former Executive Mansion Guard Battalion (EMG) commander under President Samuel Doe, was accused of plotting a coup d'etat against the government. According to sources, behind the scene, House Speaker Edwin Snowe was secretly accused by higher-ups of being part of the plot. The source said that some unscrupulous operatives of the security forces had planned to assassinate Snowe, but he was informed by well-meaning men in the service, thus aborting the plan.

Also, during the 2011 presidential and general elections, scrupulous security sources informed Mr. Benoni Urey that a Joint Security meeting was held at the Crystal Ocean View Hotel in Mamba Point. Present at that meeting were topmost security personnel of the government, including some top government officials as well. They, the sources said, discussed the assassination of Mr. Urey because he was supporting the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) of George Weah. Urey was informed while the meeting was ongoing and called each one of the plotters and told them what he had heard. That was how the plot died.

During the midterm senatorial elections in 2014, President Sirleaf came out with an Executive Order that contravened the organic law of the land, the Constitution. The CDC planned a march to the National Legislature to petition their legislators not to honor such an order. Security sources called Weah and informed him not to be a part of any demonstration because that would be his last. "There is a plan to assassinate you during the march," they told Weah. Until today, Weah still suffers from the trauma of being targeted for assassination.

Just recently, the Managing Director of the Voice FM Radio Station, Mr. Henry Costa, was informed, again, by well-meaning personnel of the National Security that he was a target for assassination by wicked men in the government security apparatus. For this and some other reasons, since he left for his wedding in the US, Costa has not returned.

Some security experts told the Hot Pepper that it will be foolhardy, at this time, when Mr. Browne enjoys such favor from the Liberian people, to eliminate him.

The paper said it is only warning that the Liberian people have gone through too much and cannot go through anymore. Please desist from your sinister motive because the people are tired. If you do not desist and plan to continue, the flames of your own hatred and stupidity will engulf you and consume you. Meanwhile, the Publisher of the Hot Pepper/National Chronicle Newspapers, Mr. Philipbert Browne, will honor the EPS Director an invitation to attend the called meeting tomorrow at the headquarters of the EPS.

Effort to contact the Minister of Information, Lewis Brown regarding the alleged assassination attempt on the life of the Publisher of the Hot Pepper and National Chronicle newspapers, Philipbert Browne proved unsuccessful as his mobile phone rang endlessly.

However, Investigation continues.


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