Liberia: ‘Court Delays Undermine Fight Against Drugs in Nimba’

A drug suspect arrested by the LDEA Ganta detachment recently. 

— LDEA Officers Say

The Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA), Nimba County Detachment has reported that the delay in ensuring speedy trial of suspected drug offenders and drug-related cases seriously undermines the fight against drugs in the county. 

“One of the key challenges we faced in the fight against drugs in Nimba County is the slowness of the court to speedily try the suspects we sent to court,” said George P. Kemukia, LDEA Commander for Nimba.

“We have sent lots of suspected drug traffickers and abusers with all the evidence to the court. We are yet to see those sent to court for prosecution, only to see them out the next days on bail,” he said.

He explained that despite other challenges of logistics, they continue to track down abusers daily, but noted that those caught in the act are sometimes later seen going freely about their normal businesses.

“Those very suspects, when they are freed on bail, turn against us and begin making threatening remarks,” he added.

Nimba County has had several drug-related cases where at some point a Nigerian was arrested with a huge consignment of cocaine sealed up in his pair of African slippers. 

However, the fellow was released on bail and the case remained in limbo in the county.

In a recent development, the LDEA said they have arrested a lady identified as Garmie Morris, with several parcels of heroin and other narcotics on her way to have them sold in Yekepa.

The lady in question was picked up in Ganta along with a motorcyclist who accompanied her. 

However, the LDEA reported that the lady was released on bail on June 6, and left the motorcyclist jailed.

“This is not the first or second time such an incident killed our efforts in the discharge of our duties,” Detective Kemokia said.

“Although we don’t have the equipment to detect carriers, we have arrested several traffickers and we make them defecate with the substances they have swallowed,” he said.

The LDEA complained that if the drug cases are bailable, then at least the perpetrators should be tried and, when found guilty, must be jailed for some time.

Meanwhile, the clerk of the 8th Judicial circuit court, Arthur Gaye, has disputed the DEA's claims about the delays by courts to try drug-related cases, adding that they have captured some drug-related cases. 

But this testimony is something that the Daily Observer could not verify because at the opening of the May term of court the docket was not available.

However, in the trial docket of the 2021 August term of court, one drug-related case was captured and committed on June 15, 2019, with the charge “Unlicensed Possession of Narcotic Drug (Marijuana).