The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pealat Construction Company was on Tuesday invited by officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) to help with investigations into the alleged assassination attempt on Westwood Manager, Samuel B. Cooper.
Police had invited Praise Tony Lawal for his alleged link to the recent assassination attempt on the life of the Westwood Construction Company manager, Samuel B. Cooper.
Mr. Lawal, a former Nigerian ECOMOG soldier, according to police spokesman Sam Collins, spent Wednesday night behind bars at the LNP Headquarters where he was questioned in connection to the assassination attempt.
Unknown gunmen in the wee hours of last Saturday morning reportedly opened fire on Mr. Cooper’s vehicle while he was returning to his Fish Market Community residence.
Mr. Cooper, owner of Westwood Construction Company, escaped unharmed because the bullets that riddled the front windshield of his car did not hit him.
An associate of Mr. Cooper, Eric L. Bracewell, said the Liberian businessman was fired at twice by the unknown men.
According to Mr. Bracewell, the windshield of Mr. Cooper’s vehicle was damaged by shots fired at him, noting, “We have been assured that the perpetrators of this barbaric act will be brought to justice.”
Mr. Bracewell, owner of Mandee Construction Company, disclosed that prior to the incident, Mr. Cooper, received threats on his life from an anonymous text message.
“Prior to the shooting incident, Mr. Lawal had launched stern media attacks on Mr. Cooper,” Bracewell disclosed.
He said the Nigerian was behind negative propaganda falsely linking Westwood Construction Company to incomplete projects in Lofa County, thereby trying to defame Mr. Cooper’s character.
Mr. Bracewell stated that to frustrate or eliminate Westwood Corporation from competing for road paving jobs, which have been dominated by foreign owned companies, the asphalt plant recently imported by Mr. Cooper was reportedly tampered with and the electrical wires were cut up.
The president of the Association of Liberian Construction Contractors (ALCC), Foday Kamara, confirmed that there is disagreement among some Liberian companies and foreign-owned companies vying for government contracts.
He disclosed that rival companies are fussing over the awarding of contracts by the government.
Informed sources say Mr. Lawal had failed to execute the Belleh Yalla Road, which he at first estimated at US$5 million, and later increased the amount to US$18 million.
The sources say that at the time Mr. Lawal’s company was awarded the contract, his company was not registered in the country, nor did he have any construction equipment or machinery here.
As a result, according to authoritative sources, the job has not been completed and the road is a complete mess. The residents are compelled to walk far distances due to vehicles avoiding the deplorable road.
Mr. Lawal has come under criticisms from several members of the public and the Liberian Contractor Association for being awarded four lucrative contracts without completing any road contract in the Republic of Liberia.