House Summons Army Captain Over “Gross Disrespect” To Lawmaker

The plenary of the House of Representatives has voted to summon Captain Esther Koon of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) on Monday, March 25, before the leadership of the House for allegations of “gross disrespect” to Grand Bassa Representative Vincent Willie.

In a communication to House Speaker Bhofal Chambers, Rep. Willie alleged that Captain Koon insulted him and issued threats to his life when she had gone to inspect [his] property located in the Sophie Community in Congo Town recently.

The two are said to be in a dispute over a parcel land, for which they fought a ‘war of words’.

“As much as, we, public officials, try to organize ourselves in a manner that we do not want to overstep the rights of others by using our offices, we will not also bend our attention on individuals who try to disrespect us,” Willie said in the complaint.

On her anticipated appearance to be quizzed by the membership of the House for her alleged actions, the AFL Captain is expected to be accompanied by the Minister of National Defense, (rtd,) General Daniel Ziankahn, and the Army Chief of Staff, Prince C. Johnson.

Members of the House overwhelmingly agreed for Capt. Koon to be summoned to show reasons for ‘disrespecting’ one of theirs.

She could appear before full plenary depending on the report that will come from the leadership following Monday’s meeting when the senior AFL officer would have narrated her side of the events.

A couple of lawmakers backing their colleague Wille, cited recent instances where they recalled being disrespected by state security personnel.

Representative Jay Nagbe Sloh of District #2 in Sinoe County said: “While on my way to my constituency an officer at the Liberia Immigration Service checkpoint between River Cess and Sinoe insisted that I got down from my vehicle for inspection. I presented my identification card but the officer refused to listen. I had to make a phone call to the Immigration boss before we could pass through.”

Similarly, Maryland’s District #1 Representative Isaac Roland recounted that a police officer had insulted him and said he (Roland) should go and file a complaint at central police headquarters. “I informed the Inspector General of Police and that resulted in the suspension of the officer.

Meanwhile, political pundits say apology from the Captain or contempt charges by members of the House of Representatives cannot be ruled out, as has been the case in such engagements at the Capitol.

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About Cholo Brooks 14438 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.