By Dr. G. E. Saigbe Boley, Sr.
June 7, 2021, Smartnews Liberia, an online publication, carried a write-up by John H. T. Stewart with the headline: “John H. T. Stewart, Former TRC Commissioner Response to Ex-Warlords George Boley & Prince Y. Johnson’s Threats.” His story was carried verbatim in local dailies: Women Voice, June 9, 2021, The New Dawn and of course FrontPage Africa. John Stewart began his incoherent and senseless accusation by saying I “castigated” his “character” and “issued veiled threats against” him previously and on the Ashford Garley (Radio) Show. He failed to state specifically the threats I supposedly made against him. John H. T. Stewart thrives on hatred, envy, gossips and jealousy, vices that will not lead anyone out of abject poverty and destitution.
I understand there is concerted effort by some in Liberia to falsely stain my character; and, John H. T. Stewart, as always, is willing to take the lead. A non-entity seeking relevance, John Stewart is fond of telling lies about me. Let me state categorically that at no time, in the past or while on the Ashford Garley Show early last year, did I issue any threats against John H. T. Stewart. For nearly two decades John Stewart has been telling lies about me at any opportunity.
Before I delve into John Stewart’s senseless accusations of unspecified threats against him by me, let me state that the criminality of John H. T, Stewart as a Commissioner of the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has brought disgrace to Liberia.
Rather than state the specific threats John H. T. Stewart claims I made against him, he continues to peddle outright lies and baseless accusations about me. In his diatribe John Stewart claims that “according to sources, including LPC fighters,” I bought two compounds in Communities 9 and 10 in Tema, Ghana; that I “bought properties all in cash in the US including a mansion allegedly valued at about US$1m situated on a 10-acre spread in the City of Clarkson, upstate New York after serving as Vice Head of State in the Transitional Government; that I looted logs at the ports of Buchanan, Greenville and Harper and sold them to France; that former National Investment Commission (NIC) Chairman Trohoe Kpargahai and Liberian Ambassador Aaron George arranged the illegal sale of timber from Liberia to France; that I looted state properties in Liberia during the war; and, that I looted the home of assassinated President Tolbert after the coup of 1980; that 1985 I did nothing to stop the execution of my brother-in-law Charles Gbenyon; that I continue to “rubbish the TRC Report;” and, that I recruited child soldiers and led the LPC which committed atrocities during the civil war.
These are old stories John Stewart has been peddling around the world about me for nearly twenty years—as TRC Commissioner, in false affidavit (perjurious) testimony against me the in United States Federal Court in the State of Minnesota, false testimony against me in the United States Immigration Court in Batavia, New York; and, now these old stories are being recycled to rouse sentiments in Liberia against me.
For the benefit of the new generation of Liberians I will debunk John Stewart’s lies and false allegations against me and expose the criminal that he is. John Stewart’s allegation that I “bought two compounds in Community 9 and Community 10 in Tema, Ghana’ is a lie. The Tema Development Corporation (TDC) in Tema, Ghana, will confirm the falsehood of John Stewart’s baseless accusations. Only a moron like John Stewart will believe that in the United States a person can buy properties by paying “all in cash.” The Monroe County Clerk in Rochester, New York, should be contacted to expose John Stewart’s lies.
I am accused of selling logs to France, according John Stewart’s sources. John Stewart has conveniently forgotten that ECOMOG controlled all the seaports in Liberia during the war. George Boley did not sell a twig out of Liberia for financial gain as such transaction can be tracked. The onus is on John Stewart to produce the evidence.
John Stewart hates the Krahn people so such much that he will jump at any opportunity to blemish their character falsely. To recklessly defame the character of descent individuals like the late Liberian Ambassador Aaron George and former NIC Chairman Trohoe Kpargahai, as John Stewart did in his baseless accusations, is criminal.
I began this piece by saying that John H. T. Stewart thrives on hatred, envy, gossips and jealousy. He is fuming that I am in the House of Representatives and my wife is Vice President of the University of Liberia. This is what the moron wrote:
“Today, George Boley, a recruiter of child soldiers and former leader of the notorious LPC warring faction whose bloody footprints litter the landscapes of Bong, Grand Bassa, Sinoe, Grand Kru, River Gee and Maryland Counties, sits in the Liberian Parliament while his former LPC Secretary-General, now his wife, Weade Kobbah Boley is Vice President of the University of Liberia. Neither of them has been held to account for their roles and participation in the civil war…”
John Stewart can huff and puff from now to kingdom come. He has to live with the FACT that I was ELECTED Representative of a people who are part and parcel of Liberia. I added value to myself through EDUCATION and the people who elected me know my value to Liberia. My wife, Weade, earned an education; she studied at one of best universities in the world. She added value to herself and is reaping the benefit of her hard earned education. She is Vice President of the University of Liberia on merit not cronyism. John Stewart decided not to go to school, not even to study the journalism he claims as a career.
Before I delve into the John Stewart nonsense with me let me tell the world here and now the criminal act of John Stewart, the mass murderer. John Stewart is a mass murderer and will be held to account for the thousands of people he and others of like mind killed during the Liberia civil war.
The NPFL war into Liberia was against the Krahn and Mandigo tribes. At the height of the civil war ECOMOG, the West African peacekeeping force landed in Monrovia. Doe was killed and Amos Sawyer was appointed President of Liberia’s Interim Government of National Unity (IGNU) in The Gambia. Ronald Diggs, Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Liberia, was Sawyer’s Vice President. President Sawyer came to Liberia with his MOJA cronies, including John H. T, Stewart, who had never had a job of any kink in his life.
Ms. Dorothea Diggs (deceased), sister of Vice President Bishop Ronald Diggs (Deceased), was Director of SELF food program. Food was unavailable and people were dying of hunger. Dorothea Digg, John Stewart and others were responsible to serve food to victims of the war holed up in various communities in Monrovia including the Buzzi Quarter Community, Camp Johnson Road Community, Central Monrovoa and the Barclay Training Center (BTC), home of the men and women of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and many others of various tribal origins.
At the start of the war, the Lutheran Church in Sinkor was the scene of a massacre attributed to the AFL. Dorothea Diggs, John Stewart and others returned to Liberia with hatred and vengeance for the Krahn people and people presumed to have associated with the Krahn and Mandigoes though not everyone who sought refuge or holed up at the BTC or Buzzi Quarter Community was a party to any alleged misdeeds of the AFL.
Ms. Dorothea Diggs, instructed John Stewart and others not to deliver life-saving food to war victims in the Buzzi Quarter Community, Camp Johnson Road Community and the BTC not because these locations were inaccessible or unsafe but because she had the power, and she used it, to kill people in these communities by starvation, denying them food. John Stewart executed Dorothea’s Digg’s death sentence of those people and they died, daily by the hundreds at BTC in central Monrovia. John Stewart carried out this criminal act.
The dead were dumped in the Atlantic Ocean. The only crime these people committed was that they were considered the wrong kind of Liberians; they lived in BTC; took refuge in BTC or found themselves holed up in the BTC in central Monrovia in the heat of the NPFL-led armed incursion into Liberia. To deliberately starve the innocent children, the elderly and victims of war to death is a criminal act and a war crime perpetrated here in Monrovia by John H, T. Stewart.
Many people in this country, certainly, many people in Monrovia in 1990, probably some of you reading this story today, can attest to this act of inhumanity by Dorothea Diggs and John Stewart. Somehow, this colossal act of inhumanity committed by John Stewart and others, many of whom I know are still alive, seems not to qualify as a violation of international humanitarian law nor a violation of the human rights of those innocent people who lost their lives by starvation due to deliberate denial of food by John Stewart.
It is interesting that this generation of so-called Advocates for Justice and Human Rights as well as their international human rights colleagues are woefully uninformed of the crimes perpetrated by the likes of John Stewart against the hundreds of innocent people murdered at the BTC.
Death by starvation is more painful than death by bullet. Hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent people died here in Monrovia on the directives of Dorothea Diggs, executed by John Stewart.
I must also mention there were a few descent people of conscience in Liberia then as there are now. Not everyone who worked for Dorothea Diggs participated in her acts of criminality, cruelty and inhumanity. Some members of her staff, at considerable risk to their lives and the lives of their family members, courageously disregarded Ms. Diggs’ death orders and eventually delivered desperately-needed food to the BTC, thereby saving some lives. Some of these unsung heroes survived the war in Monrovia. I see them around town each day as well as those whose lives were saved—those who survived Dorothy Diggs’ death sentence—because of the heroism of these few persons of conscience. John Stewart’s bogus allegation of threats against him by me is a result of his fear of the inevitable.
John Stewart is so shallow his recollection and account of events regarding periods of governance and transitions of the Cllr. David Kpormakpor’s transitional government and the Wilton Sankawolo’s Council of State are fraught with lies and disinformation.
There were at least a dozen factions during the Liberia civil war: the NPFL, NPFL-CRC, INPFL, ULIMO-K, ULIMO-J, Lofa Defense Force, Movement in Defense of Muslims, Nimba Defense Force, LPC, LPC-Coalition, MODEL, LURD. The LPC is John Stewart’s fascination. In his disjointed narrative, John Stewart described the Liberia Peace Council (LPC) as the “George Boley led rebel Liberia Peace Council faction…) Many Liberians, including John Stewart, use the word “rebel” out of ignorance.
The LPC was not a gang of trigger-happy hoodlums and “rebels” as John Stewart and some members of the international community, including some self-styled human rights groups, prejudiced by ignorance and pre-conceived notion of events and developments in Liberia, would have the world to believe. To the contrary, the LPC and Coalition of parties to the Liberia conflict were respectable, focused organizations of individuals committed to restoring peace to Liberia and succeeded.
A “rebel” is one who “takes arms against a government or ruler,” “one who rebels or takes part in a rebellion.” (Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary). Black’s Law Dictionary (Tenth Edition) defines rebellion as: “open, organized, and armed resistance to an established government or ruler, especially an organized attempt to change the government or leader of a country usually through violence.”
By these definitions only a daft will refer to the Liberia Peace Council (LPC) as a rebel faction. George Boley and the LPC did not raise arms “against an established government or ruler.” NPFL Ex-combatant John H. T. Stewart and his NPFL took arms against an “established government and ruler” with the objective of changing the government through violence.
The decade of 1970 radicalized a generation of Liberians clamoring for political change. At the University of Liberia was a cult-like organization styled the Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA) whose conscripts considered themselves progressives and revolutionaries. Professors Amos Sawyer, Togba Nah Tipoteh and other instructors at the University of Liberia made up the leadership of MOJA. In 1980 political change came in an unexpected manner—through a military coup. The coup leader was identified as Samuel Doe of the Krahn ethnic group.
The military government known as People’s Redemption Council (PRC) co-opted civilians in the government, including the academicians and so-called revolutionaries and progressives at the University of Liberia. The military-civilians-academicians marriage was short-lived. By 1985 some members of the MOJA leadership and their revolutionary cadres had been in and out of prison a few times under the military regime. Dr. Amos Sawyer, student John H. T. Stewart and other MOJA militants had fallen out with the PRC. December, 1989 the war to remove Doe, led by Charles Taylor, the freedom fighter, began in Liberia.
When the Doe government collapsed and Dr. Amos Sawyer was appointed interim President of Liberia, the MOJA revolutionaries, including John Stewart, had gain state power. When the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was constituted John Stewart was one of eight persons appointed Commissioner.
Three of the eight Commissioners, including the Commission’s chairman, Jerome Verdier, John.T. Stewart and Massa Washington, were inexperienced and unknown quantities, nationally and internationally until seconded to the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Jerome Verdier is an accountant-turn lawyer who, until his appointment to the TRC, managed a failed law office in Monrovia. Massa Washington had no memorable work experience. John H.T. Stewart’s brief attendance at the University of Liberia was spent dabbling in radical student politics and superficially ingratiating himself to the leadership of the University of Liberia-based Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA), a political organization led by UL professors Amos Sawyer, Togba Nah Tipoteh and H. Boima Fahnbulleh, Jr. in the late 1970s.
The other five members of the TRC (Sheik Kafumba Konneh, Counseller Pearl Bull-Brown, Bishop Arthur Kulah, Dede Dolopei and Jerald Coleman) were sound, credible individuals, including a renowned attorney, Mrs. Pearl Bull-Brown. Interestingly, the three least experienced and least qualified members of the TRC ascended to positions of leadership of the TRC. John Stewart chaired the TRC sub-committee responsible to write the TRC report for Liberia while Massa Washington coordinated international affairs of the TRC with Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, implementing partner of the TRC in the Diaspora. Such was the quality of the leadership of the Liberia TRC.
John Stewart was born April 13, 1954. Not particularly the academic type, Stewart dropped out of the University of Liberia for unspecified reasons. A conscript of MOJA at the University of Liberia, John Stewart’s brief experience in college gave him an opportunity to dabble in left-wing student politics. With barely a high school education and no training in a particular discipline John Stewart became a self-proclaimed journalist—known in Liberia as “join-the-list”—individuals with no formal training in the journalism profession—practitioners of “pocket book journalism or yellow journalism.”
2008 I sued the Minnesota Advocates, implementing partners of the TRC, in federal court in Minnesota for defamation. As Commissioner of the TRC, John Stewart issued an affidavit in favor of the Minnesota Advocate, accusing me of human rights violation in Liberia, nearly two years before the TRC produced its report December, 2009.
February 5, 2009 when I testified before the TRC in Liberia I demanded John Stewart recused himself from TRC hearings because he withheld information from the public which would have disqualified him from being appointed to the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation` Commission because he was an ex-combatant and paid agent of then NPFL rebel leader Charles Taylor.
When I sued the United States Government July 2009 for violating my civil liberty, the Department of Homeland Security falsely charged me with entering the United States without documentation; violating human rights in Liberia, extrajudicial killings in Liberia; and. recruiting and use of child soldiers in Liberia. John Stewart was one of the key witnesses for the U.S. Government, telling the same lies he had been telling about me, the LPC and my alleged role in the Liberia war for the last twenty years.
On direct examination, government attorney, Denise Hochul, asked witness Stewart:
Q. Mr. Stewart, what is your educational background?
A. University and I also did training in Business Management with the World Bank that was some long time ago.
Q. What is your profession?
A. I’m a journalist.
Q. Have you held any other positions in your lifetime?
A. Other than that uhm, not really.
In his testimony at my Immigration trial, John Stewart described his entire lifetime work experience prior to being appointed to the TRC Commission:
“I worked as Regional Coordinator for the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission; I worked as an Associate Editor of the New Democrat; I worked as a Reporter for the South African external broadcast; I worked as a Media Consultant for the Media Foundation for West Africa; I also worked as a Correspondent for the West Africa Magazine which is now defunct and I worked for the Catholic Radio as a Radio presenter Talk Show…”
As Regional Coordinator for the Catholic Justice and Peace commission, John Stewart was assigned to Gbarnga, Bong County in central Liberia, by attorney Kofi Woods, Stewart’s one-time school mate at the University of Liberia. Gbarnga is John Stewart’s home town, he lived in Gbarnga until April, 1990, when Charles Taylor’s NPFL rebel forces seized Gbarnga and declared it capital of “Greater Liberia.” Stewart moved to Monrovia where the West African Peacekeeping troops (ECOMOG), considered an occupation force by Charles Taylor, were based.
In Monrovia, John Stewart found a perfect cover as a paid agent for Charles Taylor, reporting to Gbarnga the activities of ECOMOG in Monrovia, including ECOMOG’s planned deployment throughout Liberia—to evict Charles Taylor from Gbarnga and reunite Taylor’s “greater Liberia” and Monrovia. Tom Kamara’s New Democrat newspaper based in Monrovia was the institution which knowingly or otherwise conferred upon John Stewart the title of Associate Editor, a disguise for the NPFL paid agent. That is the story of the associate editor of the New Democrat. Asked whether he was familiar with the political history of Liberia and how is he familiar with the political history of Liberia, Stewart told the Court : “…I studied our history, I was a political activist first as a student activist at the University in the 1970s…as a journalist all the way through up to the present.” John Stewart has not taken a single course in journalism nor has he acquired a college degree or diploma in any discipline at any institution in Liberia or anywhere in the world. His answer regarding his educational background made no reference to studying journalism at the University.
The TRC Report
The initial report of the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was actually written by the Minnesota Advocates, implementing partners of the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission. John Stewart, the Commissioner of the TRC responsible to write the TRC report did not write the report. When the report was written, Jerome Verdier, Chairman of the TRC, Massa Washington and John Stewart took the report to Ghana and altered the report including names of individuals for prosecution not in the original report. They were accommodated by the late Dr. Thomas Jaye. Not a single one of their MOJA benefactors was included in the TRC report.
Following the release of the TRC final report, a member of the International Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC), Dr. Jeremy Levitt, points to “irregularities” and “anomalies.” Two respectably members of the TRC, Sheik Kafumba Konneh (deceased) and Counselor Pearl Brown-Bull dis-associated themselves from the findings of the TRC report and refused to endorse it or affix their signatures to the TRC report on constitutional and legal grounds.
“I am concerned that corruption and plum-picking may have played a role in the selection of these persons for public sanction,” Jeremy Levitt wrote. That is the untold story of John Sewart, Massa Washingon and Jerome Verdier’s wildly publicized TRC report.
Every imaginable lie has been shamelessly told about me by TRC Chairman Jerome Verdier, TRC Commissioners, Massa Washington and John H. T. Stewart for nearly two decades.
“Looting” of Bentol Residence of Slain President William R. Tolbert
In addition to claims by the TRC accusing me of refusal to appear for public hearings, a claim I believe I have sufficiently dispelled, I will briefly dispel two other specific instances where the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its members have been most irresponsible in the conduct of this important national task. The TRC publication of June 12, 2008, captioned “George Boley Looted Tolbert’s House in Bentol…Hugh amount of Cash and Valuables were taken away.”
This was the testimony of a Kalongo Luo, a Liberian residing in the State of Minnesota, during the TRC’s staged hearings in the United States in the City of St. Paul, Minnesota, arranged by the same Minnesota Advocates that in November 2006 declared me guilty of human rights violation in Liberia. Kalongo Luo claimed I ordered soldiers to hold Patrick Tuazama, butler to the assassinated president, at gunpoint “to provide the combination numbers to the safe.” This shameless lie is being circulated around the world, courtesy of the TRC.
As much I would prefer not to dignify these lies with a comment, I have a responsibility to provide my children, family, associates and the world truthful information as to what exactly happened the morning of the coup of April 12, 1980, including the role of Captain Samuel Kalongo Luo of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) regarding his accusation that I looted President Tolbert’s Bentol residence.
On the morning of April 12, 1980 following my release from detention at the Post Stockade, I was brought to the Executive Mansion and assumed the duties of Minister of State. As the PRC was consolidating control rumors circulated that a counter coup was being planned in Bentol City by troops loyal to the late President. At the same time, credible sources informed that a Major Jarbo of the Armed Forces Liberia was also affecting a counter coup. Based on available information and the source of the information, members of the PRC dispatched a team of soldiers to pursue Major Jarbo. Though not a professional soldier, I was instructed to proceed to Bentol to check out rumors of a counter coup. About half a dozen soldiers were ordered to accompany me to Bentol. Captain Kalongo Luo was one the soldiers ordered by the late PRC Commanding General Thomas Quiwonkpa to accompany me to Bentol. Kalongo Luo was an officer prior to the coup. Since the coup was a non-commission officer (NCO) affair, Captain Kalong Luo’s life line was PRC General Thomas Quiwonkpa, a fellow tribesman from Nimba. The late David Q. Nimely, also an officer in the AFL at the time, was designated by PRC Chairman Doe to accompany me to Bentol. I suspected Quiwonkpa and Doe each had a reason for designating a representative to accompany me to Bentol.
I will offer an explanation never before revealed. I was instructed to proceed to Bentol to ensure the safety of two elders of the leadership of Grand Gedeh County about whom PRC Chairman Doe was concern—namely, Mr. Harry Fabor Nayou and Major Johnny Garley of the AFL. I knew both gentlemen. Mr. Nayou, a renowned educator in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, was at the time of the coup Principal of the Bentol City School System. Major Johnny Garley, on the other hand, was Commander of the Presidential Guard Unit of the Armed Forces of Liberia assigned to Bentol City.
I proceeded directly to Bentol from the Executive Mansion where we met a few NCOs of the AFL in a celebratory mood and no sign of a counter coup. In Bentol, I also found both Mr. Nayou and Major Garley in protective custody, detained by the NCOs but unharmed. I promptly ordered the release of both Mr. Nayou and Major Garley and arranged their transport to the relative safety of Monrovia.
Touring the City of Bentol I observed the residence of the slain President was ransacked and vandalized. Leading the tour of the President’s residence was Patrick Tuazama, butler to the slain president, whom we met at Bentol (the President, I learned later was scheduled to have traveled out of the country). Captain Kalongo Luo, Captain David Q. Nimely and a few of the soldiers we met in Bentol joined the soldiers who accompanied me from Monrovia on a tour of the vandalized home of the slain president.
In the closet, in the president’s bedroom we found two leather brief cases, one black and one brown. The brown brief case had the initial WRT, the black briefcase was unmarked. Approximate demission of the two brief cases was 3.5 inches by 18 inches by 13 inches. Do the math and you will appreciate the size of each brief case. In the presence of Patrick Tuazama, David Q. Nimely and the soldiers who accompanied me from the Executive Mansion, I instructed Captain Kalongo Luo, General Quiwonkpa’s designee, to take the two brief cases and bring them to the car in which he and I rode to Bentol.
There were no combinations or keys forced from anyone as there were no safes to be opened. The two briefcases as I stated were found in the closet in the late president’s bedroom which was completely vandalized, not a single piece of clothing was found in the closet or in the home at the time I arrived in Bentol on the day of coup.
The brief cases were never opened nor did I let them out of my sight. With Captain Kalongo Luo riding in the same vehicle with me, we returned to the Executive Mansion where the PRC leadership, including late General Thomas Quiwonkpa, was awaiting the news from Bentol. In the presence of the team of soldiers that accompanied me to Bentol, including Kalongo Luo, I delivered the two brief cases to PRC Chairman Doe in the parlor of the Executive Mansion.
I never heard of the issue of the assassinated President’s brief cases until sometime in 2005 when Dr. Emmanuel Dolo (deceased) called me from Minnesota (I was in the U.S. at the time) and mentioned, among other things, that Kalongo Luo had circulated information in the Liberian Community in Minnesota that I took tons of money from Tolbert’s grave (Tolbert’s tomb) at the family cemetery in Bentol.
I dismissed the accusation as ridiculous as I did not believe President Tolbert kept money in the cemetery. I, however, told Dr. Dolo the allegation was untrue. By June 2008, Kalongo Luo’s story changed from taking money from Tolbert’s grave at the family cemetery in Bentol to looting Tolbert’s house in Bentol.
According to TRC witness Captain Kalongo Luo, in his June 2008 testimony in St. Paul, Minnesota, PRC Chairman Doe’s refusal to inform his colleagues of the amount of money in the briefcases retrieved from President Tolbert’s house caused the conflict between PRC Chairman Doe and members of the PRC.
Captain Kalongo Luo, five other soldiers and I went to Bentol on the orders of the PRC. Captain Kalongo Luo, in the presence of the team dispatched to Bentol, retrieved two briefcases from the slain president’s house which were turned over to the PRC. How does this translate into looting of Tolbert’s residence by Boley as published by the TRC?
I believe in always telling the truth about people who tell lies about me. Here are some facts about TRC witness Captain Kalongo Luo. Kalongo Luo is a notorious criminal who engaged in series of criminal activities including harassment of civilians, looting and extortion in the immediate aftermath of the April 12, 1980 coup. On one specific occasion after the coup, Kalongo Luo led a band of criminals to the home of Mrs. Clavena Parker at about 2:00 A.M. to evict her from her home. Dr. Peter Naigow (deceased), a respected colleague, summoned me that early morning to assist Mrs. Parker. I met Kalongo Luo at Mrs. Parker residence and ordered his detention at the Barclay Training Center (BTC). Of course, AFL Commanding General Thomas Quiwonkpa and Colonel John Nuah, both of whom were Captain Kalongo Luo’s lifeline, always found a reason to release this menace from detention.
A consummate liar, Kalongo Luo served as Assistant Minister of Agriculture in the PRC government. In 1983 he fabricated stories of a coup plot against the PRC resulting to the death of two of his compatriots from Nimba County. Though many people have short memory and others have no memory at all, there are people out there who remember the Kalongo Luo confession of the fabricated plot on national television. This is the truth about TRC witness, Captain Samuel Kalongo Luo. This is the person whose testimony was circulated world-wide by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia.
Charles Gbenyon Incident
On Tuesday, November 12, 1985, after the Quiwonkpa-led invasion was repelled I was driving toward Sinkor in a red Toyota Jeep. The shooting had subsided in my neighborhood where the fighting had been intense at the government-owned ELBC radio station in Paynesville.
Approaching the Congotown police depot across from the old German Embassy in Sinkor, I saw, sitting on the ground on the sidewalk, someone whom I recognized as Charles Gbenyon and another employee of ELBC. The two were guarded by three AFL soldiers. As I slowed to stop one of the soldiers approached the jeep and said, pointing at Charles Gbenyon: “Chief, this man came to the mansion this morning with the rebels. He was taking pictures.” I descended the jeep, taking precaution from possible snapper fire, I asked the young officer, a Lieutenant, if anyone saw Mr. Gbenyon with arms. “No,” replied one of the soldiers, “but he came with the rebels, he had a TV camera taking pictures at the mansion.”
I told the soldiers that journalists are people who report news stories and that we all know Charles Gbenyon to be a journalist; and, because he was at the mansion grounds with the rebels and a TV camera does not mean he is a rebel. The soldiers, understandably, were angry having being in a gun battle with the rebel forces a few hours earlier. With rank of Major in the AFL, I ordered the junior officers to release the two men immediately. They did.
I instructed the two junior officers riding with me in the jeep to put Charles Gbenyon and his colleague into my red Toyota jeep. In the wake of the uncertainty in Monrovia, I drove toward central Monrovia and drove both Charles Gbenyon and the other ELBC employee to their respective homes. I drove Charles Gbenyon to the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Gbenyon, in Saye Town, across the bridge. This was on Tuesday, November 12, 1985, the day of the failed Quiwonkpa coup in Monrovia.
I delivered Charles Gbenyon to his mother, Mrs. L. V. Gbenyon, now deceased. I told Mrs. Gbenyon to make sure Charles Gbenyon does not leave the house until I say it was safe for him to do so. “If anybody comes here looking for Charles, please call me,” I adviced Mrs. L.V. Gbenyon, Charles’ mother. My parting words to Charles Gbenyon as I left his mother’s house were: “Do not leave this house until you hear from me.” These were my exact words to Charles Gbenyon as I left his parent’s home Tuesday, November 12, 1985.
For several days thereafter, Liberia, especially Monrovia was tense while General Quiwonkpa and his retreating National Patriotic forces remained at large. On Friday, November 15, 1985, General Quiwonkpa was captured and killed. On Saturday morning, November 16, 1985, after the capture of General Quiwonkpa, President Doe, until the capture of General Quiwonkpa confined to the Executive Mansion, decided to tour the ELBC radio and TV station, site of the fiercest battle between government and rebel patriotic forces.
I learned later that Saturday afternoon (November 16, 1985), at about 5:00 P.M., from Charles Gbenyon’s sister, mother of one of my children, that Charles Gbenyon was arrested earlier in the day at the ELBC radio station during President Doe’s tour of the facility and killed. Until his sister told me what happened, no member of the Gbenyon family ever contacted me despite my advise to Charles Gbenyon himself and his mother, four days earlier on Tuesday, November 12, 1985, not to venture out of the house without hearing from me.
I repeat, from the day I delivered Charles Gbenyon’s living body to his mother, Mrs. L. V. Gbenyon, at the home of his parents in Saye Town, Bushrod Island, on Tuesday, November 12, 1985 and cautioned him not to venture out of the house without first contacting me, no member of the Gbenyon family ever contacted me until Saturday, November 16, 1985 at about 5:00 P.M. when his sister informed me that her brother was arrested earlier in the day at ELBC and was reportedly killed.
I have survived many adversities that have come my way in life, partly because I have always maintained an open mind relative to any situation despite the circumstance. In any given situation I have always deferred to my better judgment
The disinformation and slander disseminated around the world about me by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are horrific and damaging, to say the least. I am at a loss as to why, safe for speculation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission would compromise the integrity and credibility of this national establishment in a bid to destroy George Boley.