In a direct attempt to dissociate her government from any implication in the mysterious death of former LPRC Managing Director and recent critic of the Sirleaf Administration, Harry A. Greaves, Jr., President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said yesterday that her government has never considered anyone as an enemy, but rather critics who are part of the country’s political process.
The deceased was a former strong political ally and confidant of President Sirleaf’s during her first term and she appointed him to head one of the nation’s most lucrative State Owned Enterprises, the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC). He was dismissed in 2009 and later became a crusader for the enlightenment of the Liberian masses, critiquing this administration’s handling of key social, political and economic issues.
Speaking at the Roberts International Airport upon her arrival from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she attended an African Union heads of state conference, the President said she was saddened by the news of Greaves’ demise.
Expressing her deepest condolences to the widow and daughters of the fallen former LPRC boss, President Sirleaf said, “Let me make this clear, this government has no enemy. We have many critics but critics are not enemies.”
President Sirleaf told reporters in a brief interview that her government will do all it can to get to the bottom of the death of Mr. Greaves.
President Sirleaf disclosed that she has therefore commissioned the Ministry of Justice to contract experts either from the United Kingdom or the United States to conduct a thorough investigation that will ascertain the cause of death of Mr. Greaves.
Minister Sannoh told the Daily Observer via telephone last night that the Government has already made contact with the Forensics Department of the University of Nebraska (USA), which has offered to assist with the investigation. “It was not the autopsy she was talking about,” the Minister clarified, adding that the Nebraska investigation will entail other elements of the case, such as the “circumstances leading to the death of Mr. Geaves. The autopsy will support their investigation.”
The autopsy itself will be conducted by two Nigerian pathologists, including Professor John Obafunwa, who are expected in country today to investigate Greaves’ corpse. Prof. Obafunwa was in Liberia just last week to conduct the autopsy on the corpse of the late Dan Orogun, Managing director of Guaranty Trust Bank, who died a week earlier, in a boating accident at a resort along the Robertsfield Highway.
“A full investigation of an independent body is required,” President Sirleaf said. “We all want to get to the bottom of this.”
She called on Liberians to be patient as the experts carry out their duties to unravel the cause of Mr. Greaves’ death. “I want to ask my people [to] let’s wait. Let’s get the best investigators who are independent of the government and the country and then after that on the basis of the results we can be able to say something about it.”
“The University of Nebraska is ranked number one in the world in forensics studies,” Minister Sannoh said, adding that they were the same experts used in the Angel Togba case.
In addition to assistance with the Greaves investigation, he said the Government of Liberia is discussing details of a relationship between the University and the Justice Ministry, the A. M. Dogliotti Medical School, and other possible areas of engagement.
The undressed body of the former LPRC boss was found on the beach on Sunday morning, behind the former Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs on Capitol Hill, just hours after he was reported missing.