President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has with immediate effect relieved of duty the Deputy Director for Operations of the Executive Protection Service (EPS), Darlington George, and directed him to report to the Ministry of Justice for investigation in the case of assault on Ms. Varnester Maday Kiatamba. If found wanting, he shall be sent to court for prosecution.
An Executive Mansion release issued late Monday, September 14, ordered that others involved in the fracas that are not EPS agents should also report to the Ministry of Justice.
The Executive Mansion said it “will not condone such an act of sheer indiscipline and total lack of morals on the part of any member of State security institutions especially the EPS, which has been subject to thorough psychological reform in order to give a human face to the public service they are entrusted to perform.”
Meanwhile in an interview on Farbric Radio, Ms. Kiatamba explained that she was trying to settle a dispute between her friends who were fussing when Darlington George came very close to them with his vehicle, nearly hitting them. When she went to confront him about his offensive behavior, she said George began to use profane expressions at her and her friends, calling them “prostitutes”, sources say.
Eyewitnesses narrate that Kiatamba returned a similar expletive concerning his mother, which infuriated the EPS Deputy who started “punching and kicking her… and ordered his bodyguard to hit her with a bottle in his hand.”
She explained that Darlington George boasted that he is Ellen’s son and “nothing can be done” to him for assaulting her. Just as he had ordered, the bodyguard immediately threw the bottle at her which wounded her face and she fell to the ground and fainted. (The story did not report how Ms. Kiatamba was rescued and who and where she received assistance afterward.)
Meanwhile when an indentified journalist got in contact with Darlington George and raised the incident of the assault, George reportedly requested the journalist to meet him at his office on Tuesday to discuss it.
Facebook has been flooded with calls for Mr. George’s immediate dismissal. Some, however, are calling for George’s side of the story, suggesting that Ms. Kiatamba may have instigated his actions. “Let him tell his side to the court,” was the landslide verdict in the online court of public opinion.
It is not yet clear whether the Ms. Kiatamba has pressed charges against Darlington George but, as of yet, there has been no other legal or punitive action apart from the President’s order.