The Commissioner General of the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), Cllr. Lemuel E. A. Reeves, Sr. has died. Although the cause of his death is yet to be announced, he is the first senior official of the President George M. Weah’s led government to have died in office.
According to sources at LIS and from the Reeves family, Cllr. Reeves expired on Sunday, September 30, 2018 at a local health center on 24th street Sinkor.
“We regret to announce the death of Cllr. Lemuel E.A. Reeves, Sr., Commissioner-General, LIS. This sad event occurred on the September 30 at the Fidelity Hospital on 20th Street adjacent the J.F.K Memorial Hospital,” the LIS said in an official statement on its social media page.
His death news on social media shocked many, who have expressed condolences and deepest sympathy to the bereaved family and the State.
Commissioner Reeves was a dedicated professional with extensive experience in law enforcement and providing access to justice in rural and marginalized persons; an effective team builder who performs well in multi-ethnic, multi-cultural environments, his profile reads on the LIS website.
His work in law enforcement spans more than 30 years; working with the Liberia National Police where we worked extensively as a criminal investigator holding various senior positions in the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and serving as senior instructor at the Liberian National Police Training Academy and chief legal officer of the LNP.
He was appointed as Deputy Commissioner for Naturalization at the then Bureau of Immigration & Naturalization (BIN) in September 2012, and then in January 2014, he was appointed as Commissioner General of the BIN, which later became the LIS, following he passage of the New Immigration Law, under under his leadership.
Before assuming the position of Commissioner General, he was one of those who was very instrumental in the revision of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization Act that established the Liberia Immigration Services.
The former Immigration boss was reappointed by President George M. Weah in January 2018 as head of LIS.
As a Lawyer, Commissioner Reeves has worked to bring justice to deprived and underrepresented communities across Liberia. He served as senior legal associate for The Carter Center’s Access to Justice project in Liberia. At the Carter Center, he worked to strengthen the legal foundation of civil society partners, traditional leaders, and prepared legal education training materials.
Prior to joining the Center in 2008, Cllr. Reeves served as a judicial affairs officer with the UN Mission In Liberia (UNMIL) and contributed to the consolidation of peace while monitoring the judicial system in Liberia. Cllr. Reeves was a member of the Supreme Court Bar of Liberia, and a member of the Liberia National Bar Association.
He was one of the founders and senior partners at the Prestige Law Firm and also became one of the Senior Partners at the Gbehzon Legal Associates, wherein he represented clients before the various judicial fora within the country; the drafting of legal documents such as, but not limited to, leases, agreements, Memoranda of Understanding, and articles of incorporation; Providing legal advice to clients; Legal consultancy work; among others.
Cllr. Reeves was a trainer/facilitator at the James A.A. Pierre Judicial Institute.
Details on his funeral rites are expected to be announced soon.