The merry-making that should have characterized day-two of the governing Unity Party’s (UP) National Convention in Gbarnga, Bong County, turned sour as delegates and well-wishers took to their heels when agent Prince Mawolo of the Executive Protective Service (EPS) assigned with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf allegedly shot one of his colleagues outside the convention hall.
Mawolo shot and injured his fellow EPS officer (yet to be identified) when they reportedly disagreed on who was entitled to a “certain woman.”
The wounded agent was meanwhile admitted at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Phebe Hospital in Suakoko, near Gbarnga, although there has not been an official statement about his condition, a hospital source told our reporter yesterday via mobile phone.
The situation, which nearly disrupted the holding of the second day of the convention on Friday, July 8, resulted in several other persons, including a radio journalist from Monrovia, sustaining injuries in the stampede.
Many of those who sustained injuries said they were frightened by both the gunfire and the scuffle that ensued while police and other EPS officers struggled to disarm the agent who reportedly discharged his firearm. He was meanwhile subdued.
A male victim, who nearly broke his hand in the rush to get as far away as possible from the sound of the gun, said the “unprofessional discharge of the firearm by the EPS agent took place a stone’s throw away from President Sirleaf’s convoy and other dignitaries.”
What the Daily Observer gathered shortly afterward, which was corroborated by what LNP sources later told this newspaper, was that Agent Mawolo and the injured officer had quarreled over who should enjoy the company of a prostitute who was on the lookout for a ‘john’ when his weapon went off. She was, however, not harmed.
Mawolo who had resisted arrest, was later subdued, disarmed, handcuffed and thrown in the back of a police pick-up that took him to the Gbarnga police station.
Some officers alleged that Agent Mawolo acted under the influence of alcohol, but EPS Director Frank Nyankan attributed the agent’s action to what he described as “an accidental discharge, which unfortunately wounded his colleague.”