Whether it has ever dawned on President George Weah that the string of suspicious and unexplained killings of government functionaries which have occurred under his watch just midway into his six (6) year term of office could haunt him long after he leaves office, is unclear.
Some of his supporters claim that President Weah is in no way connected to these killings as the public may have erroneously assumed.
Be that as it may, this recent death of a security officer while on duty ought to claim the urgent attention of President Weah, only if for once.
Initial accounts of the death of EPS agent Melvin Earley suggested that while undressing to take a shower, his hand mistakenly slipped down into the trigger guard of his weapon accidentally discharging it which lodged a bullet into his head.
Yet other accounts say that the incident occurred while Earley was on duty and had reportedly fired three shots into the air, one of which may have killed him.
Sources have disclosed that some EPS officers accompanying the President on his county-tour had expressed displeasure over not receiving Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) since they commenced the visit to the counties.
Now whether this was a contributory factor to his death remains unclear at this point. Further, reports that prior to being shot, he had fired thrice either into the air or at a perceived target, imagined or real, may have invited or provoked return fire which succeeded in killing him.
But again, there are strong doubts held by the public on the accounts provided so far of the death of agent Melvin Early. Sources have told this newspaper that agent Earley had prior served in the Liberia National Police (LNP) before entering service with the EPS.
He was among several officers, according to sources, who had undergone advanced training in the United States during President Sirleaf’s administration.
Considering his training and long years of experience in handling firearms, it appears highly unlikely and improbable that agent Earley would have mistakenly shot himself in the head.
However, the EPS has promised to launch a full-scale investigation into the matter in order to determine whether or not his death can be attributed to suicide.
It can be recalled that very recently, a senior Police office Alexander Saye was shot and killed in grand Gedeh County. Again there were conflicting accounts, some of which attributed his death to suicide although the public had strongly suspected that his death was the result of officially sanctioned foul-play.
And prior to these recent deaths, were the deaths of four government auditors including the head of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) all of which occurred under mysterious and suspicious circumstances.
Since then their suspected killers have not been apprehended and the matter has now clearly slipped below the radar.
But this by no means suggest that the issue will go away. Apparently, the wider implications of the sanctioning of Senator Varney Sherman by the United States Treasury have gone either unnoticed or have not dawned for a second on the minds of the leadership including President Weah himself.
Further, it appears that the wider and deeper implications of the ongoing trial of War Crimes suspect Gibril Massaquoi for crimes committed in Liberia have also gone unnoticed. According to a retired former diplomat, there is a gradually emerging pattern of extra-judicial killings whose outlines are becoming clearer by the day.
And such are bound to have adverse implications for this government as well as its officials whether now or in the future, according to the retired diplomat. Now further to the issue of EPS agent Earley’s death, the public is wont to question whether indeed EPS officers were not paid their allowance and why.
According to sources, President Weah is travelling with a host of cabinet officials including legislators and notably, a bevy of young girls riding a luxurious airconditioned minivan. An EPS officer (name withheld) who spoke to this paper, says that in his view, the lack of money cannot be the problem or reason for not receiving their allowances.
According to him, if the lack of money is the reason, then government officials travelling with the President will not be lavishly spending and enjoying themselves if they have been paid their allowances.
Moreover, according to him the troop of beautiful young girls riding a minivan stocked with drinks and food all convey the impression that they are enjoying while their concerns are not being addressed.
According to him, agent Earley was one of those officers considered as untrustworthy since they are not known to have been affiliated with the CDC.
The glaringly carefree attitude, and the lavish display of extravagance by the presidential entourage may have contributed significantly to what sources say is the “wahala” over unpaid allowances he maintained.
Whatever the case, the public now awaits the outcome of the investigation promised by the EPS. The public expects that this investigation will be transparent and free of attempts to manipulate the truth.
Agent Earley left his home and family for work, as he has done for over twenty (20) years to earn bread for his family. All of a sudden, his life has been brutally and cruelly cut short.
We can only say to the family that the Daily Observer shares your pain and grief and will stand by you to ensure that the promised investigation into circumstances surrounding his death will be transparent.
In this regard, the Daily Observer calls on the Liberia National Police to assume official jurisdiction over the investigation into the death of agent Melvin Earley.
Additionally, while the EPS maintains the right to conduct an internal investigation into the affair, it is however the Liberia National Police (LNP) that has statutory jurisdiction over homicide investigations which, according to sources, appears to be the case in this matter.
Similarly, the Daily Observer calls on President Weah to ensure that no stone is left unturned to ensure a speedy, impartial and transparent investigation into the death of EPS officer Melvin Earley. Thanks in advance, Mr. President!