Lawmakers Ponder Over Who’s The ‘Drug Dealer’ In Their Midst

L/R: Montserrado County District 11, Richard Koon and Montserrado County District 13, Edward Flomo

Recently the Commander of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA), Martha Massaley who was rush to an unknown hospital last Tuesday from the Chambers of the House of Representatives after being quizzed to name the lawmaker who she alleged involved in illicit drug trafficking dropped during questioning period.

Prior to this unfortunate incident, the LDEA Commander told the Plenary of the House of Representatives that one of them who a direct representative who she did not name said this lawmaker lives in Gardnerviile was involve in illicit drug trafficking, an allegation that annoyed the entire membership of the House of Representatives for not disclosing the alleged drug traffickers.

She, along with the Director General of the LDEA, Marcus Zehyoue was summoned by the Lower House for her statement she made to a gathering of high school students at a forum in observance of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on Friday, June 25, 2021.

Serving as one of the panelists during the event, she was asked to speak on the challenges grappling the LDEA in its fight against illicit drug and what the agency was doing to address these challenges as it strives to reduce the trafficking of narcotics in Liberia.

In her deliberations, she lamented that the war against illicit drug in Liberia was a tough task owing to the involvement of top VIPs like the unnamed lawmaker, who she claimed was caught with bags of marijuana and cocaine powder at a checkpoint and he got away with them.

She said: “I won’t call his name before I be held in contempt, and for security reasons. He came driving in his big car. And the female officer stopped the car and said ‘Sir, can I just look in that car. She did not know him, but I know him and some of my colleagues know him. And he said even if you search my car and see anything there, you can’t do anything about it. So, no need for you to search my car. So, she said yes Chief, but please give me the benefit of the doubt let me just look in the car. When she opened the car, see the bag of drugs, marijuana one bag, the cocaine parlor (powder) there, the heroin parlor (powder) there. when I saw it, I got up, in an attempt to approach him, already we had bitter blood… he pulled off the car.”

This sparked outrage among members of the House of Representatives and a day after FrontPage Africa broke the story, Massaley and her boss, Director Zehyoue found themselves in the midst of a very charged Plenary and being bombarded with questions from all angles of the ‘sacred’ chambers.

However, Massaley admitted to making the allegation but said that she was not referring to any member of the current 54th Legislature; rather to a member who served the legislature during ‘previous administration.” She openly apologized to the lawmakers and begs for pardon.

She said: “I was invited at a school program commemorating the drug week… Unfortunately, FrontPage Africa did not capture what I said previously.  FrontPage Africa only captured the scenario I was giving to the students; something that happened as far back in the previous administration. It has nothing to do with this 54th Legislature. I was giving a scenario to the students to make them to understand what I was saying … So, I am again appealing to this Honorable body for the ugly message that was captured by FrontPage Africa. I extend my sincere apology as we are all human and we can err… so I will again say I am sorry. I am sorry for whatever embarrassment.”

Despite her apologies, majority of the lawmakers were not convinced with her clarity. They kept interrogating her to identify the lawmaker in question.

LDEA Special Agent Martha Massaley was rushed out of the Chambers by LDEA officers to a waiting SUV and taken to an unknown hospital, leading the hearing to an abrupt and indecisive end.

And based on the request of majority members on the floor, House Speaker Bhofal Chambers ordered the tape to be played during the hearing.

Rep. George Samah (District #12, Montserrado County), who was also present at the event when Massaley made the accusation, suggested that the hearing be held behind closed doors to allow her to speak out freely, adding, she might be afraid to speak in open session.

However, some Liberians who spoke to the GNN are wondering which one of the lawmakers (Representative Edward P. Flomo of District 13 in Gardnersville, Richard Nagbe Koon, (UP, District #11, Montserrado County,)

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