Senate Furious over Colleague’s ‘Arrest, Flogging’

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The Liberian Senate is furious over the arrest of Bomi County Senator Lahai G. Lansanah and his wife by police officers on allegation of electoral violence in the county.

Both were arrested on Wednesday morning December 24,  in Tubmanburg, Bomi County and later transported to police headquarters in Monrovia for further investigation.

According to Bomi County Senator Sando D. Johnson, Senator Lansanah and wife were picked-up from their home in Tubmanburg by police officers who claimed that “Lansanah masterminded a group of protestors, who gathered on the streets of Tubmanburg in protest of electoral fraud in favor of the official declared winner, Morris Saytumah.”

Police also said: “Senator Lansanah was charged with criminal facilitation and breach of peace.”

Lansanah is the incumbent who was defeated 8,857 to 6,837 votes in President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s native county.

Senator Johnson told newsmen over the weekend that his colleague was arrested and beaten upon the orders of President Sirleaf and House Speaker J. Alex Tyler.

“For a sitting senator to be disgraced and dragged to Monrovia such as what was done to Senator Lansanah tells anybody that the command came from higher up. In my mind, no police officer or commander can release such an order besides President Sirleaf, claimed Senator Johnson. That is why we’re not taking this lightly. This madness must stop in this country for once. Yesterday it was Nimba County Representative Prince Tokpah and today it is Senator Lansanah. I think the rivalry between the Executive and the Legislative branches of government has further deepened with this latest action of the police,” he said.

House Speaker Tyler has since refuted the allegation, terming it as baseless and unrealistic.

However, the Senate managed to secure the release of their colleague through the intervention of Maryland County Senator H. Dan Morais on the same day.

Speaking to journalists after his release, Senator Lansanah denied his involvement alleging that there are big hands behind his arrest.

 “My wife and I were sitting at home when a band of ERU officers arrived at our residence and informed me that I was under arrest on Executive Order.

 “When my wife questioned the police why I was ordered arrested, a police officer slapped her and immediately took us away in a police van.

“Upon arrival at the police Headquarters, I was never shown a charge sheet, contrary to claims by the police spokesman, Sam Collins.

“As a sitting lawmaker, it is unfortunate that I was treated in such a manner. However, my lawyers are handling the matter,” the defeated Senator indicated.

Meanwhile, the presiding officer of the Senate, Dan Morias, is expected to engage police authorities today in continuation of the case.

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