KAKATA, – The Kakata Magisterial Court has issued a Writ of Arrest on several persons, including Weala Township Commissioner Roland S. Johnson, in connection with the Monday, April 1, riot in Weala Township,.
The alleged rioters have been charged with criminal conspiracy, terroristic threats, theft of property, criminal mischief, obstructing highway and public passage and disorderly conduct in violation of the new Penal Code of Liberia.
The writ indicated that “the defendants being highly criminal-minded with the intent to commit crime against the Republic of Liberia, agreed with one another to commit the crimes” and executed the said plan.
The writ also said the defendants perpetrated a violent demonstration and in Weala, Cinta Township/Community, by unlawfully erecting roadblocks with plum trees and sticks and burning tires in the main streets of Weala and its environs, thus impeding the free-flow of human and vehicular traffic.
It said despite the arrival of police officers who started to use their community policing problem-solving approach to calm the situation, the defendants refused to listen and turned violent and continued said illegal acts.
The writ further said that the defendants turned Weala and Baypolue communities into a ‘no- go- zone’ as the defendants were so violent and extreme that it led to the entire Weala and Baypolue communities, Monrovia highway being under siege, leaving businesses closed, while residents and passersby fled in different directions for safety and fear of being harmed and/or killed.
The writ said further that the defendants damaged and/or burnt down the Weala and Baypolue Police stations, Magisterial Court in Baypolu, the business center and compound of private businessman Stephen Tokpah and Dilla Briggs in Weala and Baypolue, respectively.
These public and private properties were all ransacked and looted before setting them ablaze by the defendants on the day of the incident.
The writ described the act of the defendants as “unlawful and criminal”.
Over 70 persons were picked up, preliminarily investigated and charged with the crimes and forwarded to court by the police and were subsequently issued a writ of arrest by the Kakata Magisterial Court.
The total damage incurred is put at US$220,760.00, plus L$662,100 respectively.