By Hannah N. Geterminah & Alvin Worzi
Abu Keita, the man believed to be the bodyguard of Montserrado County District #10 representative Yekeh Kolubah, on yesterday, January 22, appeared at the Monrovia City Court to answer to the charge of aggravated assault that the government brought against him.
Keita allegedly bit off a piece of the left ear of one Mohammed Bah, while attempting to seize his cell phone, during the children’s honoring program organized by Rep. Kolubah, which occurred on the Ford-Madden Christian Academy campus on Smythe Road, Old Road community on Sunday, January 20, 2019.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Keita sat on the prisoner’s bench while Rep. Kolubah was seen on the premises of the Temple of Justice negotiating with lawyers to secure a criminal bond for the release of Keita Up to press time this newspaper could not establish whether Kolubah secured the bond for Keita’s release.
According to the LNP investigation, the situation occurred while defendant Keita was attempting to seize victim Bah’s cellphone during the children’s party hosted by his boss, Rep. Kolubah.
The LNP said its investigations established that while the children’s party was ongoing at the FMCA School, “some individuals to include Mohammed Bah (victim), Saah Cooper and Kollie S. Kamara made their way into the fence where the program was held and began to take pictures. In the process, they were noticed by the personal bodyguard of Hon. Yekeh Y. Kolubah who was hosting the program, who walked to them and demanded their cell phones they were using to photograph, which they refused to submit to. While the personal body guard in person of Abu Keita was attempting to seize victim Mohammed Bah’s cell phone, a tussle ensued, which led to defendant Keita grabbing the left ear of victim Bah with his teeth and bit it off. Suddenly it degenerated into a riot, through which other people began throwing stones and participants of the program began running helter-skelter to avoid being injured.”
According to the police report, video footage from the crime scene showed a piece of victim Bah’s ear was cut off as a result of the commotion with Rep. Kolubah’s bodyguard.
Victim Bah told the police that in the process of defending himself against Keita’s forceful seizure of his cell phone after biting his ear, the defendant also reached into the victim’s pocket and took away his US$3,500.
The LNP investigation established that the re-enforcement team of officers of LNP was sent to calm down the situation and the victim (Bah) was rushed to the hospital for medical attention.
According to the police report, defendant Keita, when contacted about the allegation, chose to remain silent in the wave of allegations levied against him.
It can be recalled that Rep. Kolubah had accused the ruling establishment of disrupting the children’s party because they were describing President Weah as a tyrant and dictator who is purporting to be a good leader.
Rep. Kolubah alleged that he called the Director of Police Patrick Sudue on nine different occasions during the riot but he (Sudue) refused to come. “Director Sudue told me that President George Weah has given him instructions not to arrest anyone on the scene because those who were disrupting the party were CDCcians,” he said.
In a statement about the incident, posted on the Liberia National Police website on Monday, January 21, the LNP paints a rather different picture from the claims made by Rep. Kolubah’s about his calls to IG Sudue and the incident in general.
“As a result of the cut on the ear of the complainant, some residents of the District went on the rampage in avenging the action of Hon. Kolubah’s aide,” the LNP online statement says. “The Zone 3 officers along with a host of PSU officers swiftly intervened and brought the situation under control. Some of the aggrieved residents of the district even branded the Police as a Yekeh Kolubah Police due to our officers’ efforts in rescuing Hon. Kolubah and his security aide.
“Unfortunately, instead of Hon. Kolubah appreciating the efforts of the Police for restore calm in his district, he chose to make unfounded statements denigrating the Liberia National Police and its Inspector General, Hon. Patrick Sudue.
“Contrary to allegations from Hon. Kolubah that Hon. Sudue told him that he was instructed by the President of Liberia, His Excellency Dr. George Weah not to send Police officers to the violent scene, officer visibility was highly felt yesterday; something which helped greatly to restore calm to the area. The LNP therefore clarifies that at no point in time did President Weah order IG Sudue not to send officers to District # 10.
“Also, contrary to claims from Hon. Kolubah that no single resident was arrested besides his Security aide, eleven other residents were also arrested and are being investigated in connection with the violent protest in the district. Those arrested include: Boima Jones, 29; Richard Dolo, 26; Alieu Jalloh, 25; Samuel Kollie, 17; Alvin Kennedy, 32; Clarence E. Josiah, 18; Lincoln Moses, 21. Others include: Lorenzo L. Johnson, 21; Moses Ross, 17; John William, 27; Andrew Wonah, 17 and Prince T. Waiwor, 18 years respectively.
“Moreover, the LNP also clarifies that at no point in time did Hon. Kolubah call IG Sudue and no response was made. From call records available to us, IG Sudue called Hon. Kolubah more than four times in order to check on him and ensure that the situation was brought under control.
“On reports of shooting at the home of Hon. Kolubah, the LNP has launched a full scale investigation into the matter. The outcome of said investigation will be made available as soon as possible.
“The LNP also confirms that as a result of the riot, three children were taken to the Catholic hospital yesterday evening and one of them has been discharged. The other two are currently being treated. Parents who spoke to the LNP, Emmanuel Suah, father of victim Lucky Suah and Krubo Jallah, mother of victim Hannah Togba at the Catholic hospital confirmed that their kids were injured as a result of the rush in the compound after it was reported that kids were suffocating due to overcrowdiness of the hall,” the LNP statement concluded.