Drama unfolded at the Sinkor residence of Grand Gedeh County Rep. Alexander Grant yesterday when people believed to be his bodyguards prevented court sheriff and officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) from entering the compound.
The officers had gone there to serve a “Writ of Summon by Attachment” against the Publisher of the Nation Times newspaper, Octavin Williams, whom the officers claimed had escaped arrest and entered the compound for protection.
Journalist Williams was accused of publishing a story on Wednesday, June 3, in the Nation Times newspaper under the caption, “Fugitive Cassell Kuoh Evades Justice -NSA Director Fumbah Sirleaf linked to Shedding Inductee,” of which Kouh has sued him for US$1.2 million damages.
Cassell Kuoh is the vice president for operations at the Liberia Football Association (LFA) and the chief executive officer of the Fassell Football Club.
Surprisingly, the writ stipulated that if defendant Williams is found anywhere, he needed to pay US$350,000 as a bond fee before the court could release him temporally to await his trial.
Apparently, it was based on the content of the writ that caused the journalist to seek refuge at the home of Rep. Grant.
It all started when the sheriff served the writ on defendant Williams, who refused to receive it and instead reportedly got in his car and drove directly to the home of the lawmaker.
The Court sheriffs and police officers, along with Mr. Kuoh went after him, but by then, he had forced his way into the Lawmaker’s compound, since the lawmaker is covered by “immunity or any of his immediate relatives from arrest.”
When the officers got to the home of Rep. Grant, his bodyguards refused to allow them to enter the compound.
Coincidentally, House Speaker Alex Tyler was in the compound.
When sheriffs informed Rep. Grant’s men about their mission, the men refused to listen to them or to allow them to enter the compound to enforce the court order.
It is not clear whether the bodyguards acted based on an instruction from their boss.
They also prevented journalists from entering the compound except for those they considered as supporters of defendant Williams.
Patiently, the sheriff and the police officers stood outside of the fence for over three hours, while Rep. Grant and others entered and exited the compound at will.
After over three hours of waiting outside the gate, the officers were able to enter the compound and served the writ on defendant Williams, immediately after Speaker Tyler and Rep. Grant left the compound.
Meanwhile sheriff and police officers managed to drive defendant Williams to court, after which he was held, because he could not produce the US$350,000 bond yesterday.
In his complaint, Kuoh argued that he was outside of the country, precisely in Accra, Ghana, where he had gone to arrange for a place for the Liberia National Football Team, Lone Star, to camp for the qualifier match of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) 2016 African Cup of Nations Tournament.
The defendant published the story, which according to him, damaged his good reputation built over the years and harmed his family, for which he was seeking the US$1.2 million in damages.