Perhaps the incident would have been passed off as just another hit and run accident involving an unknown speeding vehicle had it not involved an individual linked to the ongoing investigation concerning the missing billions and the US$25m cash infusion into the economy.
The individual reportedly killed in what is alleged to be a hit and run accident has been identified as Mathew J. Innis, Deputy Director for Micro-finance in the Central Bank of Liberia’s Regulation and Supervision Department.
He is said to have been just about the only staff member of the CBL who had openly expressed opposition not only to the commanding role played by Finance Minister Samuel Tweah in the US$25 million infusion exercise, but also to the manner in which the exercise was being handled outside regular and conventional banking procedures and practices.
But barely 3 days since the release of the PIT and Kroll report on the missing billions and the US$25m infusion exercise, Mr. Innis has been reported killed in circumstances that security sources say bear close parallels to the mysterious deaths of Harry Greaves and the NOCAL whistleblower, Cllr. Michael Allison.
The FrontPage Africa newspaper quoting family members say the deceased left home saying he was going to work which according to them was unusual for him on a Saturday. The FrontPage report quoting family sources further says that Innis family had unsuccessfully tried all day Saturday to reach him by mobile phone but failed in their attempts, never having heard from him until they learned that he had been involved in a hit and run accident around 2:00 a.m. early Sunday morning. The accident is said to have occurred in his neighborhood around the 72nd Junction.
The Daily Observer, upon learning of the incident contacted the family of the deceased. Family members confirm that Innis did leave for work on that fateful Saturday but had remained unreachable by mobile phone until reports of his death reached them.
According to informed sources, it appears that Innis was killed elsewhere and his body dumped in the vicinity of his home near the 72nd Junction. He was found near his car in a pair of shorts and a muscle t-shirt, laying near his car. The family source remembers seeing bruises on Innis’ face and on one arm, though his car was undamaged. His laptop, mobile phone and other personal effects were later turned over to them by the police, they said.
The key questions being asked are: Why would Innis, being so close to home, get out his car at such an odd hour of the night? Were there witnesses at the scene when the incident took place? How long did it take between the incident and the time he was discovered by a group of young men who went to his home gate to inform his family members? Under what circumstances did the police decide to take Innis’ body to ELWA hospital?
Family members told the Daily Observer that, by the time they reached the scene where his body was found, the body had been removed by three police officers who took to the ELWA hospital. The family members followed the police officers there, where they saw Matthew Innis’ lifeless body for the first time.
The family members then took possession of the body and moved it to the Samuel A. Stryker Funeral Parlor for embalmment.
Family sources further say that they have since been informed by the Stryker Funeral Home that the Police had given instructions to refrain from embalming the body until an autopsy had been conducted.
Noting that such an exercise could take weeks, the family of the deceased told the Daily Observer that although the Police has since prevented them from taking delivery of the body for appropriate funeral rites and internment, the Police has made it clear that the family would have to shoulder the expenses involved for the prolonged stay of the body in the funeral parlor.
The family member who spoke to the Daily Observer declined to say whether or not their relative’s death might be linked to the just ended Presidential Investigation which has incriminated top officials of the Central Bank, the Justice Minister and the Finance Minister.
Meanwhile several attempts made by the Daily Observer to contact the Police through its spokes-person, Moses Carter, since Sunday, has proved futile.
However a former ranking Police officer (identity withheld) has told the Daily Observer that the Police account of the incident has just too many holes in it which leaves the public to rightly suspect that Mr. Innis may have been murdered by dark forces associated with some higher-ups.
The LNP officer observed that, in most cases, dead bodies found in the streets often remain there for days on end before removal by the Police, unless identified and claimed by a family member. He cited the case of the dead body of a man believed to have been a notorious armed robber which was left lying and decaying not far from the Bedell Funeral Parlor on the Airfield by-road for days before it was finally removed.
The family of the deceased for their part, has maintained that they do not have the kind of money required to keep their relative’s body for weeks pending an official autopsy by the government of Liberia although, the conduct of an autopsy to determine the actual cause of death is a step in the right direction.
It can be recalled that a few years back during the reign of President Sirleaf, Monrovia was gripped with shock and horror following the mysterious but brutal death, attributed to drowning, of Harry A. Greaves, who had begun to blow the whistle on some shady deals allegedly involving the former President.
In similar fashion too was the death of NOCAL whistleblower Cll. Michael Allison who had blown the whistle on deals involving Robert Sirleaf, son of the former President. Cllr. Allison’s death like that of Harry Greaves was attributed to drowning.
Meanwhile, investigation continues.