Liberia: Shots Fired by Immigration Officer among Civilians in Ganta

An aerial view of Ganta City, Nimba County.

An officer of the Liberia Immigration Service has caused alarm in Ganta City after discharging his firearm illegally. 

The incident, which happened near the Guinea–Liberia border in Nimba County, lasted about two minutes and caused many to think that their community was under attack by armed gangs. 

Instead, they were being scared by a state security officer, who has been identified as Lt. Cyrus Davies. 

According to Saa Tamba, the officer entered his home at about 3 am, claiming that he was in search of a criminal, and while leaving, he fired his arm twice, penetrating the ceiling and wall from the hallway of the four-bedroom house. 

Tamba disclosed that the officer entered his house without a warrant,  ordered all the occupants on their knees, and demanded, "that all the rooms' doors be opened so he could search for the criminal."

"I somehow managed to persuade him to calm down and brought in a ladder so that he could check in the ceiling as a means of convincing the officer that no one was hiding in the house," Tamba recalled the Feb. 17 incident. 

Tamba recalled that the officer in question drove to his home on a motorbike wearing plain clothes, and covered with a military jacket, along with the firearm. 

He then alleged that officer Cyrus has been a regular visitor to the area (every morning) to smoke marijuana before going to work, but was surprised to see him in his house at that hour in such a violent mood.

The residents expressed shock when they heard the gun sound at that late hour of the night and have since called on the city authority to investigate the matter without delay.

“We were afraid to hear the sound of a  gun and we want the city mayor to promptly intervene,” said Samuel Geh of the Guinea Road community. 

Meanwhile,  community dwellers including Geh have described Tamba's house,  as fearful because most of those living there are drug users.

When the Daily Observer visited the LIS Ganta Border office for clarity, authorities there confirmed the shooting but did not say much "the s investigation is still ongoing."

Accordingly, the authorities claimed that the officer in question has been interrogated and a statement was taken. 

However, unconfirmed reports from fellow officers say Cyrus has been disrobed, pending investigation.

The residents of Ganta have been raising concern over the involvement of state security officers in drug abuse.

In one of the city council meetings held in Ganta recently, some community members accused officers of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA) of abusing drugs, especially marijuana, something the LDEA denied.