The Ministry of Justice has informed the families of the late Albert Peters and Victoria Asmah “Gifty” Lamah families of its intent to conduct an autopsy on the bodies to help investigators to determine the causes of death of the Liberian Revenue Authority (LRA) employees.
Albert Peters’ and Gifty Lamah’s lifeless bodies were found on October 2, 2020, on Broad Streets in a parked vehicle belonging to Peters, in front of the Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Eyewitness accounts indicate that the vehicles were brought to the scene and parked on the early morning of Friday, October 2, “by a huge man, wearing a cap”, eyewitnesses said.
Mr. Peters worked as an Assistant Commissioner for Internal Audit and Mrs. Lamah was a manager in the Tax Payer Services Division (TPSD). The pair were separately married; Albert Peters had Beatrice Andrews Peters as his wife while Victoria Asmah Lamah was married to Sylvester Saye Lamah.
Both Peters and Lamah were discovered in back seat of his vehicle. He was clad only in his underwear with one ear cut off skin peeled off his body according to his wife, while Lamah was discovered fully clothed, with even her makeup intact and with a broken neck.
The pending autopsy, according to a government release, came after authorities of Justice Ministries met the families of the deceased to update them on the state of the investigation which is accordingly still in an early stage.
“The Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Frank Musa Dean directed that representatives of the families be allowed at every stage of the autopsy exercise,” the release said. “Also, [the ministry] availed the option of bringing in pathologists of their choosing to participate in the examination of an independent examination as the government emphasizes its determination to conduct an open and impartial investigation in order to get to the cause of the unexplained deaths.”
Meanwhile, as the investigation unfolds, the government is urging the public to remain calm and refrain from conjectures that could serve no useful purpose, but to undermine the process.
Public opinion has it that the two were murdered and brought to the scene their bodies were discovered, but how they came together to be murdered at the same time and placed in the same vehicle is the mystery yet to understand.
Earlier, Beatrice Andrews Peters, wife of the late Albert Peters, has disclosed that it was unheard of fo rher husband to stay out late and that he has not slept out without her prior knowledge in the 25-year period the couple had lived together.
Both Peters and Lamah were ranking employees of the Liberia Revenue Authority, one of Liberia’s integrity institutions.
Mrs. Peters has also dispelled any concern that her husband and Madam Lamah may have been involved in an extra-marital affair, emphasizing that they have always treated Gifty as a daughter.
Mrs. Peters, who is also a branch manager of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) at Free Port of Monrovia, said she and her husband left that Thursday morning together, but when she tried calling her husband after hours without seeing him home in the evening, she could not get an answer.
“His phone is most of the time on silent, but when I called, he could not answer. Someone would ‘OK’ the phone but would not answer. Augustine Chenoweth (yet to be identified) and I talked and he said LRA’s staff were at the town hall where the President’s birthday was celebrated and he told me that we should pray,” said Mrs. Peters in an audio recording earlier.
Dispelling the presence of her husband at the birthday party, Madam Peters in that audio is heard saying, “My husband cannot be there because he does not stay out late. My husband never slept out one day for the time we have been together for 25 years.”
In the audio, Madam Peters is heard calling her daughter who also accounted that her father was arguing with his boss on the phone about preparing a report for submission but said he needed time to prepare the report and was on leave.
(Madam Peters) without seeing her husband throughout Thursday night woke up with the thought that she could pass through Snapper Hill, Broad Street to reach the International Bank (IB), where her husband had earlier said he was going for his money.
“Maybe he fell sick and is admitted. So I decided to take some of his briefs along with me, but while on Snapper Hill, my daughter who I was also carrying to school, saw my husband’s car and called my attention, ‘Mama, that’s daddy’s car,’ and that’s how we parked my car and the driver went to the car to check.
Opening the door, the driver saw Gifty (Victoria) well-dressed and lying with her neck believed to be broken while my husband was in a boxer with his arm broken and laid behind him,” she recounted. She also said her husband’s ear was cut, and he was skinned.
“The driver shouted and I ran to the car, and that’s how we started raising an alarm. People around there told us that the car was brought early Friday morning by a huge man with a cap on his head and he parked it (car) there, but we do not know him and did not know what was on the car,” she narrated in the audio.
Briefing the media on October 5, 2020, Police Inspector General Patrick Sudue said they would proceed with an autopsy when need be, and considering the circumstances of the incident, anyone that has credible information to provide the police “to aid the investigation can rest assured that he or she will be safe and protected, and all information provided will be treated confidentially.”
“We call on the public to remain calm as the Liberia National Police is doing everything to investigate the incident surrounding the death of the two persons. We are equally welcoming anyone who has useful information that can aid the investigation, and we will treat that information with confidentiality and the person will be fully protected,” the police IG said.