Tension is brewing in the border town of Buutuo in Nimba County after a man accused of being a murderer was discovered dead in a cell manned by officers of the Liberian National Police (LNP) in the area.
Buutuo is the town where the first shot that ignited the Liberian 14- year civil war was fired.
The victim, Chester Goanker, was reportedly mobbed to death in the police cell by some unidentified angry residents of the nearby town of Wea-Beeplay, after they learned that Goanker had stabbed a man identified as Emmanuel Boyah to death.
It all started when news reached his family in Beeplay Town in the same district, that “some alleged residents immediately mobilized and armed themselves with machetes, jumped on motorbikes and headed to the area.
Upon their arrival in Buutuo, an eyewitness told the Daily Observer, the aggrieved residents overpowered the only two police officers and broke into the police cell where it was believed that Goanker had been held for an investigation.
“When the officers saw the crowd, they fled into the nearby bushes for their personal safety and the angry crowd took the opportunity and allegedly mobbed Goanker to death,” the eyewitness said.
According to him, Goanker had reportedly left his home town, Payglay, on February 22 to visit a girlfriend in the nearby village of Farmeinplay, in the Buu-Yao Administrative District, when the incident occurred.
The source further explained that while Goanker was en route, he came across two men, one of them identified as Emmanuel Boyah, who allegedly drew him into a fight. During the scuffle Goanker reportedly stabbed Emmanuel Boyah, who later died of the wound he sustained.
Sources told this newspaper that Goanker, who had sustained a deep cut in his stomach, managed to escape from the scene and reported himself to police officers in Buutuo, while the late Emmanuel’s surviving friend fled to an unknown destination.
When the Daily Observer contacted the police in the county, they neither confirmed nor denied the report, and said they had dispatched officers of the Police Support Unit (PSU) to the area.
Up to press time last night, this newspaper could not establish whether or not the situation had been contained.
Lawless behavior around Buutuo is becoming alarming due to the lack of armed police officers to properly keep security at the border town, residents told the Daily Observer.
In mid January, a group of young men from Dinplay Town broke through a football field with cutlasses, sticks and guns in Frolay Town, (Ninkwea Chiefdom), vandalizing and beating players of the opposing team, accusing them of bewitching their players on the field of play. The opponent team came from Gblarlay Town.
Scores of spectators sustained serious injuries, ranging from fractures, while motorcycles and other valuables were set ablaze.