The Administrative Officer of the Zone Five Base in Joe Bar says he did not visit the scene of the incident, but charged journalist Bettie Johnson Mbayo, her husband Dr. Moses Mbayo and a relative with Felonious Restraint, Disorderly Conduct and Terroristic Threats.
He was subpoenaed by the Paynesville magisterial court on February 24, due to a plea made by the prosecution team to appear and testify to the multiple offenses as contained in his charge against the defendants.
But, taking the stand during the last trial on Friday, the investigator struggled to justify how he arrived at charging the defendants with the crimes of felonious restraint, disorderly conduct and terroristic threat when, in fact, he did not visit the scene during the day of the incident.
“I did not go on the scene. I was called by inspector Flomo that night that there were disturbances in the Harmon Field Community and that Representative Marvin Cole had called, but we all did not go on the scene,” he told the court when cross-examined by the defendants’ counsels.
According to him, he only got to know about the case at the level of the police station after he had been called by a junior officer (Inspector Flomo) who arrested the case.
“I only get to know about the case when both the complainant and the defendants appear before me at the police station.”
With this, the defense counsels believe that the officer acted on ‘hearsay’ and what he was told, hence, he charged the defendants with the above crimes.
According to him, the defendants were charged with terroristic threat because one of the defendants in person of Johnson Kerkukah admitted removing his waist belt during the incident, but said it was not intended for the lawmaker, but because same being a deadly weapon that poses threat to Representative Melvin Cole.
On the crime of felonious restrain, he said it was established that the defendants’ vehicle was parked in the driveway right in front of the fence of Cole, restraining his movement and depriving him of his privacy. Of the six persons’ statements taken, he also told the court that only four persons were charged, while the other two, including Cole’s wife and security, were released as they only arrived on the scene after the incident.
At the same time, Press union of Liberia, Vice President Daniel Nyakonah says the police officer is not a credible witness because he did not appear on the scene of crime to gather information to correspond with the arresting officer.
Nyakonah further said that the zone five head officer discharged the initial officer who investigated the case and analyzed to the point of making a conclusion that the lawmaker was never assaulted, evidenced by his clean white shirt.
“Being so conflicted at that point discredits him from making independent analysis as a police officer in this matter,” PUL Executive says. “In the absence of making an independent analysis, I think he was just purchased by the lawmaker to come and provide a wrong explanation."