Liberia National Bar Association President Claims
Counselor Tiawan Gongloe, President of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA), has claimed that the recent arrest and subsequent release of Menipakei Dumoe for a comment he had made on his Facebook page against the government’s proposed food distribution process manifests a glaring picture that the George Weah Administration is gradually sneaking into the practice of selective justice.
Gongloe made the assertions recently when he spoke to journalists at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia.
Referencing some much more grave statements made last year by a former Rebel General Augustine Nagbe, notoriously known as “General Power”, who hails from President George Weah’s home county of Grand Kru County, Cllr. Gongloe, a rights advocate, recalls that Nagbe “was never arrested”.
Gongloe added that General Power, now a member of the Liberia National Police (LNP), some time ago threatened to form a Kru Defense Force to be a private militia group to protect President Weah. The former rebel general in October last year was seen executing operations with the assistance of state security in the closure and subsequent seizure of a transmitter and other broadcast devices belonging to Roots FM of the popular talk show host, Henry Costa.
“General Power was never arrested for that statement he made in the presence of the hierarchy of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and other constituted national security apparatus,” Gongloe said, wondering,” Why is it that he has not been arrested for questioning? That statement undermines the Constitution and the peace, stability, and security of this nation and absolutely nothing happened to him and nobody ever calls him to account for his utterances.”
Gongloe continued, “General Power’s statement was far more threatening to the peace and security of this nation than what Dumoe wrote on his Facebook page for which he was arrested and awaiting prosecution. This is selective justice that must stop immediately.”
Menipakei Dumoe was arrested on May 12 after he posted on his Facebook page that “poor people in Liberia don’t need rice we need AK-47 so that government can take us seriously.”
However, Dumoe was later released upon the order of Justice Minister Musa Dean, who had just recovered and was discharged from the 14 Military Hospital after he was tested positive for COVID-19.
Shortly afterward, Minister Dean in a press statement said though Dumoe was released, there is a continuous investigation to be conducted by the joint security which includes the examination of materials seized from his home when the Monrovia City Court issued a writ of search and seizure against him.
In complete disagreement with Minister Dean’s press statement, Cllr. Gongloe said the investigation showed the selective nature of the state security handling of national security issues.
Cllr. Gongle emphasized that Dumoe, who is not a member of any warring faction and has no record of being recruited by any of the defunct factions, is now forwarded to court for a post on his Facebook page.
“Dumoe did not fight any of our wars. He does not know how to assemble an M1 gun before AK-47, and he does not have any record of violent crime,” Gongloe said.
According to Gongloe, for the Weah led government to ensure that human rights and other international laws are credible, respected and effective, it means that every letter of the laws needs to be applied consistently and fairly against all those who violate its principles and not just against a very few like Dumoe who was arrested and not General Power who was never arrested.