A two-man team from the Nebraska Institute of Forensic Sciences Inc. arrived in Liberia yesterday from the United States to carry out an investigation into the cause of death of former LPRC Managing Director Harry Greaves Jr.
Names of the team from Nebraska are not yet released because the Ministry of Justice will want to make an official announcement, the Daily Observer was told.
But credible information said the two pathologists came from the Nebraska Institute of Forensic Sciences Inc. Established in 2003, the Institute, in cooperation with Nebraska Forensic Medical Services, P.C., operates as the Forensic Pathology division of the Coroner’s Office of Lancaster County in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The Americans’ presence was due to the decision by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for “experts from either the United Kingdom or the United States”, she said, to handle autopsy investigations into what the government described as the ‘mysterious death’ of Mr. Greaves.
The death of Greaves, whose body was discovered on Sunday, January 31 behind Ministry of Planning in Monrovia, has created what many Liberians call a “significant fear” among government’s political opponents, as well as the general public, many of whom are worried about their future.
Though President Sirleaf, upon her return from abroad, told journalists that her government does not have enemies, only “critics,” one of whom was the late Harry Greaves Jr., she insisted that international experts should handle the autopsy.
“The Americans’ involvement will create the confidence the people are waiting to hear about how Mr. Greaves died,” is an observation heard on the streets of Monrovia. However, pundits are cautioning that the pathologists’ investigation might still not name the culprit.
An earlier decision to bring back Nigerian eminent pathologist, Professor Dr. John Oladapo Obafunwa, to perform the Greaves autopsy was shelved because arrangements did not “go through,” according to sources. Dr. Obafunwa recently completed an autopsy on the drowned GT Bank Liberia manager, Dan Orogun just days before Greaves was announced missing. Interestingly, the Nigerian pathologist is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Nebraska Institute of Forensic Sciences.
A source at the Ministry of Justice told the Daily Observer that the two pathologists will begin their work soon, though he could not be specific.
According to the NIFS website, the Institute is affiliated with the Department of Pathology, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, Nebraska; The Cyril Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and the Law at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA; Chadron State College, Chadron, NE.; Albany State University, Albany, GA and the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science at the University of New Haven, Connecticut, CT.
The Institute is currently establishing two one–year certificate programs in forensic sciences – one at the Albany State University, Albany, GA., and the other at Chadron State College, at Chadron, Nebraska is to provide educational training in forensic sciences to law enforcement and health care professionals and especially to recruit members of the ethnic minorities and females and train them in the fields of forensic sciences and medicine.
“I hope Liberia can strike a deal to train our professionals there so that we can have at least some pathologists – so that we don’t run to other countries for experts when they are needed,” said a retired police officer, who was interviewed for this story.