By Edward D. Stemn in Pleebo
The 33 persons that are arrested for vandalizing public and private properties in Maryland County were on last week transferred to the Zwedru correction palace in Grand Gedeh County.
Of the 33 arrested, six of them are linked with the death of Mordecial Nyema, who was murdered in cold blood on March 25, 2021, in Besseken, Gbolobo, and Pleebo Sodoken Statutory District.
Those 31 persons that included Moses Mlarmah, Roland Appleton (Open Zipper), Daniel Wesseh and Francis Clark where charged with murder, criminal facilitation and criminal mischief, among others. Seven escaped inmates were re-arrested.
Speaking to the people of Maryland County on a community Radio Station, Voice Truth 95.5 recently, at 9:00 p.m., the Police Inspector General Col. Patrick Sudue said the transfer of the 33 persons to Zwedru Correctional Palace is due to the detention facilities in Maryland County having been damaged by the very rioters.
“There will be an investigation within fifteen days period to establish a probable course as to whether they are guilty of those crimes they have been accused of, so sending them to the Zwedru Correctional Palace does not imply guilt on their part. He, therefore, called on the citizens and family members of those thirty-one persons to remain calm and look up to the government to carry on the investigation,” the police boss added.
Meanwhile, the Police IG said the arrest of those thirty-33 persons was due to their alleged involvement of the damage of private and public properties, and there are evidences comprising both photos and videos that led to the police arresting the suspects.
The Inspector-General further dispelled rumors that security was sent to the House speaker Dr. Chambers to get rioters off the streets, but it was the President of Liberia through the Ministry of Justice. He said Dr. Chambers, as speaker of the legislature, does not control the movement of the security, but the president does.
IG also disclosed that arrest of the Morris Sinneh, the District President of the Motorcyclists and Thomas Kumar, President of the Maryland Youth Association, is due to their roles played during the demonstration of protest. According to him, there is video footage of both men giving instructions to and directing the movement of protesters. “The arrests that we are carrying is not targeting special people but those involved in the riot,” Sudue said.
The IG assured the citizens that are plans underway to lift the curfew but depends on reports that will be made by to police to the Justice Minister on the going curfew in the county. He also called on the citizens to remain law-abiding as they are currently doing.
“We know that this curfew has brought a lot of setbacks to the schools, markets and many others, and we will make all efforts to ensure that total calm is restored to the county,” Sudue told the citizens. He then called on them to focus on getting a resolution to the impasse instead of wanting to hear the names of perpetrators. “Someone can be named today and later be acquitted based on investigation, and we do not want to create stigma on people that are innocent.”
The IG pleaded with the public to provide information leading to the arrest of alleged murderers, rioters and re-arrest of the 91 inmates that broke jail during the riot. “If the citizens can feed us with information, I think we will be making more significant efforts to ensuring the total stability of the county.
He then urged the citizens to strengthen their relationship with the police, which is key to eradicating or minimizing crime from the community.
The Police Inspector General lauded the efforts of the women who demonstrated peacefully and demanded justice for the death of Mordecial Nyema.
Col. Sudue promised to come back to Maryland for the conduct of a community policing forum to ascertain why ritualistic killings are highly associated with Maryland County and what can be done to bring to an end to such a heinous crime.