By Edward D. Stemn in Maryland County
While an investigation is ongoing to arrest and prosecute those connected to the murder of Mordecai Nyemah in Maryland County, the Liberia National Police (LNP) has reportedly arrested 25 persons who were allegedly associated with the burning of the premises of Speaker Bhofal Chambers and vandalizing of prison center and police station in Pleebo and Harper.
The violent protest sparked up during the peaceful protest that called on the government to investigate and bring perpetrators to justice the murderers of Mordecai. The perpetrators of the violent protest were reported earlier to have acted on provocative actions by the police that led a protester to sustain injury.
In addition to the 25 arrested, Police Inspector General, Patrick Sudue disclosed in a meeting held with Marylanders on April 6 that they have also arrested Francis Clark, Moses Mlarmah, Daniel Wesseh and Roland Appleton (Open Zipper) in connection to the killing of Mordecai.
Col. Sudue said while the law permits demonstration or protest, it must be done peacefully without infringing on the rights of others.
“This government committed to bringing justice to victims of this case and all other cases that were unresolved. The President is concerned about this and he wants to have a positive result,” the IG Sudue disclosed. He then urged the people of Maryland to help the police with information that will help them move with the work speedily. “Violence is not the best option to seeking justice if we must succeed in this case; we need your cooperation, he added.
According to the Inspector General, the seriousness of the matter has led the President to request the extension of court term in order to adjudicate the case to get the needed result.
To show that this government is serious about this murder, Justice Minister Musa Dean has sent the Deputy Minister of Justice, Cllr. Nyenti Tuan with a team of prosecutors into the county to go through the case.
Meanwhile, the head of Civil Society Focal Group in Maryland County, Lucy Momo, says while the violent protest carried out by angry protesters in the county is condemnable; the Liberian Government needs to demonstrate equally its seriousness in bringing perpetrators of the murder case to justice to face the full weight of the law for their inhumane doing.
Ms. Momo whose attention is drawn to a number of killings in the county stressed that the act has a demeaning reflection on the county and has posed stigma on it for a long time. She, therefore, suggested that the Government uses justice to bring relief to survivors of victims, discourage those engaged into ritual killings and drive away fears in people in the county because of the prevalence of “Gboyo.”
Citing some incidents of the gruesome killing of citizens in Maryland County, Ms. Momo recalled that since 2010, there have been numerous of killings and the cases remain unresolved in the county, naming Tumuweahde Allison, a pregnant woman murdered along the bank of Lake Sheppard in Harper, and Bill Myers as cases in point.
In the town hall meeting bringing together people of the county, the citizens unanimously condemned all forms of violence but called on the government to do due diligence to the people of the county by ensuring that there is justice for them because ritual killings in the county has affected them for a long time.