Following inquiries as to why the House of Representatives is yet to probe into complaints put forward by District #10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah and supporters concerning police brutal acts in recent days, the Daily Observer has reliably learned that the House’s Committee on National Security is the cause of the procrastination presenting the House as being insensitive to what affects citizens.
According to legislative sources, the Committee on National Security seems to be exerting less effort in investigating the matter to inform plenary what its findings are and how to proceed from there with the issue.
On Thursday, February 20, 2020, the Acting Chairman on the House’s Committee on National Security, Representative Samuel Kogar of Nimba County District #5 said, “The Committee has again written House’s Plenary for a one-week extension to finalize its reports.”
Unlike the past administration wherein the Liberia National Police (LNP) was accused of extortion of money from drivers most often, this time now is brutal approaches that have left a lot of people victimized.
The firing of live bullets and teargas and the use of hot water cannons are at the core of complaints against the LNP in recent times.
It can be recalled that on June 24, 2019, the Police shot an innocent child dead in Kingsville and wounded another, and on January 6, 2020, the Police used teargas and hot water to disperse peaceful protesters who converged at the Capitol to exercise their constitutional rights.
The recent ordering of an investigation into Police brutal acts came following the use of force against protestors on the grounds of Capitol Building on Thursday, January 16, 2020.
The Committee on National Security, however, has stressed its own challenge in meeting up with the task it was charged to carry out.
“Some of the witnesses we wrote for the investigation sent us formal excuses and appealed that we defer it, and because of that, we were not able to finalize the report up to now,” said Representative Kogar.
Kogar further said that “the letter for the one-week extension has already been presented to the Chief Clerk for subsequent placement on the agenda for approval.”
It can be recalled that on January 20, 2020, Montserrado County District #10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah wrote the Plenary of the House complaining about the excessive force used by the LNP on peaceful citizens.
“I think the LNP overstepped its bounds by grossly inconveniencing our peaceful staffers who were in their various offices executing their professional duties. The atmosphere created for them by the Liberia National Police did not just create panic but flimsy smells of the poisonous tear gas. This action amounts to disruption of normal work activities!”
The Montserrado County District #10 Representative at the time of his complaint added: “In view of the above, I pray Plenary to invite the Minister of Justice, Frank Musa Dean, and the Inspector General of Police, Col. Patrick Sudue to explain the legality of their action to use tear gas at the Capitol.”
“Speaker Chambers and distinguished colleagues, I believe we must begin to take the needed actions to ensure the safety of our staffers and help prevent recurrence of such an action by the Police that has the propensity to stir up strife among our people.”