Fear has reportedly gripped residents of the 72nd community along the SKD Boulevard over the shocking death of Mr. Matthew Innis, a resident of the community and a top official at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL).
Mr. Innis was a resident of the Army Camp field area of the community—and the residents, many of whom appeared shocked and in grief-stricken, told the Daily Observer that they are wondering as to what actually might have gone wrong.
A supervisor at the CBL, Innis was reported to have been killed by a hit-and-run vehicle that smashed him during the early hours (probably around 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 3, 2019. But some residents are finding it very difficult, if not impossible to accept this narrative—thereby raising more questions.
The CBL is currently at the center of the most incriminating corruption saga that has ever engrossed the country. A weak internal control system and massive discrepancies uncovered in two major, separate investigative reports, have placed executives of the Bank at the center of illegalities including criminal conspiracy, economic sabotage and potential money laundering.
The government has since begun arresting those believed to be directly connected to these fraudulent activities. Deputy CBL Governor for Operations, Charles Sirleaf, former Governor Milton Weeks and Director Dorbor Hagba have so far been arrested and forwarded to court for prosecution.
The trio has been accused of conniving and conspiring with other CBL officials by authorizing, and intentionally caused the printing of excess Liberian Dollar banknotes (L$1.4) for which US$401,469.58 cents was paid to Crane Currency by the CBL of the 5 billion Liberian Dollar Banknotes’ printing, and US$433,898.14 for the excess Liberian Dollars printed (L$3.5) on the 10 billion transactions.
Additionally, they failed to account for L$2.645 billion which the defendants out of deception, “criminally converted to their personal, use and benefit with the intent to deprive the government and its citizens thereof.”
“The actions on the part of the defendants have the propensity to cause serious economic instability, undermine the government and caused its citizens to rise up against it,” the government said.
Many of those the Daily Observer interviewed in the 72nd Community, harbored the belief that Mr. Innis’ death is connected to the saga that is unfolding at the CBL.
Family members and community residents say they are yet to get a clear picture of what transpired during the early hours of Sunday.
A visit by the Daily Observer met a crowd of mourners at the home of the deceased, though none were willing to speak to the press.
A young man, who is believed to be the brother of the deceased, who only identified himself as Darlington said that the family will speak to the public through the press shortly.
“We cannot speak to the press now. The family is preparing and will speak to the public through the press shortly,” he said.
It is being said that Innis, who reportedly worked in the Department of Monitoring and Supervision at the CBL had earlier registered his disapproval of the methodology used to do the US$25 million mop-up of excess Liberian Dollars, as a way of addressing the spiraling exchange rate problem in 2018.
“His death is as shocking as it is mysterious, coming on the heels of the release of the Kroll and PIT reports that indicted the economic management team,” Alex Dorbor, 42, who is a friend of the deceased noted.
“We don’t want to accept that this was a hit-and-run accident. Some of us strongly believe that Matthew was murdered and his lifeless body was brought here as a cover-up,” Dorbor said.
Some residents told the Daily Observer that the deceased did not drink alcohol or smoke; he never came home late; according to family sources, his body had lots of scratches on it, concluding that he may have been involved in a scuffle with those who allegedly murdered him. The narrative that he was hit by a car while he was crossing the street at 2:00 a.m. is untrue as his lifeless body was found near his car.
“This country is becoming so terrible and the death of Matthew has exposed further how far people can go to conceal their clandestine deeds. This is barbaric and must be investigated. All those involved in this incident must be brought to justice,” a neighbor, Angie Korvah, said.
She said he was a kind man, who loved people. “He hardly frowned at people. He was a good man who joked with everyone.”