His unexplained death and the discovery of his body on the beach on 4th Street in Monrovia last Thursday morning set off a wave of speculations with many convinced that Cllr. Michael Allison did not drown but was murdered.
His family in Monrovia now believes that Atty. Allison’s death was not due to natural causes but that someone could be behind it. But who? Though the family and many others have strong suspicions of foul play, none has been able to hint at anyone who wanted Cllr. Allison dead.
Informed sources told the Daily Observer that Atty. Allison was contracted by the House of Representatives to provide legal services for the nationwide oil consultation. “Everything relating to the contract and the nationwide oil consultation was published,” declared the source. And this eliminates the claim that Atty. Allison was a whistleblower in the US$25,000, part of the US$1.2m for the entire project that the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission (LACC) is interested in how the money was spent.
But family members, including his half brother, Max Dennis, former Youth & Sports Minister, told this newspaper that Atty. Allison’s death reminded them of the fate of their parents, Major General Gray D. Allison and Mrs. Watta Allison, who, he said, “were lied on and plotted against to die in disgrace by their enemies.” The family’s pain since the death of General Allison, one of the most powerful men in the late Samuel K. Doe’s government in the 1980s, has torn the family apart, another family member said.
He Did Not Feel Safe
“Twenty five years since our parents died,” Dennis reflected sadly, “my brother is now dead in such confusing circumstances.” True, while Atty. Allison’s death demonstrated the confused nature of the tragedy, he always told his friend, Francis Dunbar, former deputy managing director at the Liberia Produce Marketing Corporation (LPMC) during Doe’s administration, that he did not feel safe.
“Anytime he complained that he did not feel safe I would talk him out of it. But one thing that Atty. Allison was fascinated about was taking evening walks on the beach, and he always asked me to join him.
I always refused to go along with him,” Dunbar told the Daily Observer.
Although there is no confirmation that Atty. Allison was a good swimmer, his fascination with visits to the beach, as indicated by Dunbar, suggests that he might have had some experience as a swimmer.
Immediate reports after Atty. Allison’s remains were found said he had been with a ‘female friend.’ And neither Dunbar nor Dennis could say much about his private or family life.
“He was single,” Dunbar could only say. He demonstrated the kind of good character that his half brother Dennis believed he got from their late father, Maj/Gen. Allison. Though Dennis and Dunbar raised questions about the ‘female friend’ and could only make an appeal.
“I’m appealing to our President to ensure that there is justice for my family,” Dennis said. “Michael was a good man who possessed much of the goodness of our father.” Michael was Allison’s son and his mother currently lives in Florida, United States.
Dennis said his brother grew up in Sierra Leone, England and later went to the United States and was once a district attorney in New York.
He said Michael had complained about some of his family members who felt that he had returned to Liberia to contest for properties belonging to their father.
“He did not come for that,” said older brother Dennis, who confirmed he had told him that they were brothers a week before his tragic death. “I spoke to him on the phone about it.”
Residents on Payne Avenue who knew the victim spoke highly of him.
“He was not mean, always willing to help you out,” one said.
Meanwhile the investigation into the cause of Atty. Allison’s death is taking place, with the arrival in the country of a Sierra Leonean pathologist to conduct an autopsy. The family, friends and the general public are anxiously awaiting the autopsy report of the cause of death which may bring closure for them or the pursuit of justice if murder is confirmed.