The Bong County Civil Society Council has called on officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) through its forensic department to thoroughly investigate as to how Othello Saye was killed.
Madam Marline T. Jarwoe, chairperson of the Bong Civil Society Council told a news conference in Gbarnga on Wednesday, November 21, that there were conflicting accounts on Mr. Saye’s death as his body was found on MNG-Gold’s premises.
One account revealed that Saye died as a result of a bullet wounds which he might have sustained after the police allegedly discharged a firearm in an attempt to disband an angry mob that reportedly vandalized MNG-Gold’s facility in the wake of the death of four persons that were reportedly killed by a Toyota pick-up belonging to CGGC, a Chinese company hired by MNG-Gold, through accident.
But John Kelenso Flomo, Commander of the Crime Services Division (CSD) of the Bong County Police Detachment, on a recent local radio phone-in show, denied the discharge any firearm by the police, as was being speculated. Flomo maintained that Saye died as a result of ‘heart failure.’
However, there are no medical reports confirming the cause of Saye’s death, let alone to substantiate Commander Flomo’s claim that the man died of heart failure.
“From the civil society standpoint, we want to know what really killed Saye, because the people of Sayeweh Town are telling us different accounts of his death, while the Police, on the other hand, are also giving us a different version of the story. The only thing that will make us believe what both parties are saying is through an autopsy or forensic investigation,” Mrs. Jarwoe said.
Mrs. Jarwoe added, “the situation that ensued in Sayeweh and David Dean towns (Gold Camp) is scary, and we do not want any re-occurrence; therefore the Bong County Civil Society Council is calling on the leadership of the county, including the members of the Legislative Caucus to exert efforts to improve relations between the locals and the concessionaires in the spirit of solidifying peace and stability.”
Saye’s corpse was discovered on Tuesday, November 6, following the previous day’s mob violence that resulted from a pick-up truck accident that killed four persons. The pick-up, owned by a Chinese company hired by Turkish Mining Company MNG-Gold, was set ablaze by the angry mob.
“Those that were killed have since been buried by family members except for Saye, whose body is still at a funeral home in Gbarnga, pending an investigation,” Mrs. Jarwoe said.
The CSOs in their recommendations, called on the Police to respond timely to any conflict situation. Jarwoe therefore pleaded with the government to fast track the investigation of those arrested in the aftermath of melee that resulted to vandalizing and looting of MNG-Gold’s facilities.
“On the other hand, we also appeal to our citizens to always seek redress through legal means whenever they are disenchanted as a means of helping the state maintain peace and order and create a conducive investor-friendly environment,” Mrs. Jarwoe said.
Meanwhile, the police in Gbarnga, Bong County, have formally charged 67 persons with multiple crimes for allegedly vandalizing and looting MNG-Gold facilities following the pick-up accident that resulted into the death of four persons in Sayeweh Town, Kokoyah Statutory District.