The Liberia National Police has arrested four persons in connection to the April 20 arson attack on a warehouse in Ganta, Nimba County.
Those arrested include Dutee Donzo, his wife Fanta Donzo, Mariam Fofana, and Dauda Jabateh.
Their arrest coincided with a protest action by people whose goods were burned in the attack. Those affected by the arson attack had marched to the Police station on Monday, April 26, to inquire from the authority what becomes of their goods that were damaged because of the arson attack.
The four suspects were charged with Criminal Conspiracy, Terroristic threats, criminal facilitation and arson, respectively, and they are taken to the Sanniquellie Central Prison, where they will be held, awaiting court trial.
During the attack, Police Inspector General Patrick Sudue and a host of officers went to Ganta to calm the situation to ensure that it does not escalate as some members of the Mandingo ethnic group had threatened to mete out violence in the wake of the eviction ordered by the 8th Judicial Circuit to release a parcel of land to the possession of Fred Suah and his extended family members.
IG Sudue told the Daily Observer earlier that they were concerned about putting the situation under control to restore peace before finding evidence through investigation to arrest the perpetrators.
The arrests on Monday took place after a week into the incident when affected parties in the arson attack had become impatient.
Police sources said the four suspects are the main people who are linked to the arson incident that occurred in the City.
Morgan Kerdiah, owner of the warehouse, said he was not in Ganta when the incident occurred. He, however, named those items that were destroyed during the attack as 25 bales of used clothes, 100 containers of red oil, 50 containers of cane juice, an engine of a used truck, two new sawing machines (power saws), a new motorbike engine and seven cartons of cigarettes.
Other items include 50 bags of gari (cassava product), 40 tins of vegetable oil and 114 pieces of handsaw and other assorted goods.
He put the value of the goods destroyed in the warehouse at LD $10,475,000.00 while the value of the building itself is put at USD$5,000.
Meanwhile, Mike Jabateh, the man who instigating tribal conflict in the land case and publicly threatening to kill Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, was yesterday invited to the Police Headquarters for questioning.
When police spokesperson, Moses Carter, was contacted yesterday concerning the status of Jabateh, he did not respond to the calls. However, Jabateh, who was accompanied by scores of his kinsmen to the Police Headquarters, is reported to have spent the night in police custody.
Before proceeding to the Police Headquarters, the Press Union of Liberia (UL) had released a statement disassociating itself with Jabateh who is known to have once been a freelance journalist. The stance by the PUL, according to the Union’s Vice President Daniel Nyankonah, was intended to reinforce previous decision by the Union to revoke the membership of Jabateh who, during the campaign period ahead of the December 8, 2020 senatorial election, joined the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), an action contrary to the PUL’s Code of Ethics and the conventional standard of Journalism that calls for impartiality.
Though Moses Carter had stated earlier that the Police was inviting Jabateh, the people of Lao Zao in Nimba County had also issued a statement demanding the government to ensure that Jabateh is held accountable for what they term as a “reckless” statement threatening the life of Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, who is the son of that town.
Zao people had warned that their respect for the rule of law and tolerance should not be misconstrued as weakness, and no one group of people should take them for granted as they are equally in the position to react to any threat against their kin.