Liberia: Senate Cites LNP, Justice Ministry over Attack on Home of Former Chief Justice



Members of the Senate have described the  violent attack on the life of former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott as “barbaric” and unhealthy for Liberia as the country prepares for another round of democratic elections.

The Senate, after a lengthy debate, cited the Minister of Justice, Cllr. Frank Musah Dean and Inspector General of Police, Col. Patrick Sudue, to give a detailed account of the attack. 

The two witnesses are also requested to give a detailed listing of all Police Support Unit (PSU) and Emergency Response Unit (ERU) personnel assigned to all concession and mining areas. 

The Senate has with immediate effect demanded the provision of a 24  hour security service personnel to the home of Cllr. Scott, who is also a former Senator and a former Chief Justice of Liberia, and has demanded a comprehensive report of all other mysterious deaths.

Scott, who is currently under armed police protection, lost her niece, who was about to graduate from college, when her home came under attack by unknown men in the night hours of February 22. 

Charloe Musu, the niece of the former Chief Justice, was stabbed multiple times to death in the presence of her aunt and others in the house. 

Earlier this month, on two occasions, unknown individuals invaded Cllr. Scott's home in what appeared to be an attempt to harm her.

Meanwhile, the Senate debate followed an urgent call by Grand Bassa County Senator, Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence, on plenary to treat the issue as a special case that needs urgent intervention. 

Lawrence, whose verbal call on her colleagues for immediate action, did not play around her anger when she declared that the Senate had been compromised. 

Lawrence was fighting back tears as she spoke. "If a former Chief Justice cannot be secure, how do you expect the ordinary citizens down there to feel?”

“Today we are again asking the security sector for another hearing; what have we done after all of the hearings we have had? We asked for reports, but we don't even have the courage to ask for a list of police assigned to concession companies whose services are paid for directly to the police hierarchy?" she wondered. 

"This country is insecure; we can't be talking about our own security while the rest of the population remains vulnerable; it's even being selfish to call for the promulgation of a law to protect us when we know that it is the right of the government to protect the state.”

Do we need to make law to protect our people who are vulnerable to armed robbery? It is painful to say that our oversight has been compromised and we cannot do anything about it." 

Former chair of Senate Committee on Defense, Security, Intelligence and Veterans Affairs, Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson, suggested that  cameras be installed in the homes of lawmakers,  and called for a special law that will  allow present and lawmakers to carry a licensed firearm for self-protection.

Johnson said that the issue about security has been raised in the Senate many times, especially when there are attacks on the homes of current and former lawmakers. 

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He raised concern that the city ordinance prohibits the right to bear firearms, "but they are carrying illegal arms all over the place." 

An unpleasant drama then ensued when Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon argued that the issue of the attempt on the life of former Chief Justice and the subsequent murder of her niece, be discussed by plenary as an agenda item, instead any other business. 

At this juncture, Johnson got into the verbal arguments among with Lawrence and Dillon, as well as Pro-Tempore Albert Chie. 

Meanwhile, the Liberia Senate has taken a series of proactive measures aimed at not only bringing relief to the home of the former senator but also restoring sanctity to national security.