-Gbolee asserts; describes TRC report as hoax, political
Former Representative of Margibi County District #1, Saah Gbollie, has said that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Report was manipulated politically and should not be the basis upon which perpetrators of heinous crimes during the country’s 14 years of carnage are prosecuted or punished.
Mr. Gbollie said he would rather prefer an independent investigation that will establish and truthfully document all the roles played by every actor of the crisis. This, he believes will help bring about deserving punishments, based on the gravity of the crime(s) of every participant in the war.
The former Margibi County Lawmaker, who was one of the most influential and powerful generals of the NPFL of the imprisoned former President of Liberia, Charles Taylor, expressed remorse for his role played during the civil unrest, but noted that the TRC report should not be used to prosecute any Liberian.
“There is no need to waste the people’s moneys on TRC report to prosecute those associated or indicted, because the report is political, fake and hoax. We need an independent investigation in order to prosecute people,” Mr. Gbollie, who served as military police commander during the crisis said.
Expounding on the political nature of the report, he said, for example, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was banned for contesting for public office for 30 years, but contested anyway in the 2011 elections as she could not be stopped by the contents of the report.
Gbollie however said that, as head of state, she should have been the one implementing the report, which indicates that the report was “political.”
“Additionally, people just said what were on their minds without further investigation. Former president Sirleaf indicated that she provided US$10,000 and was taken into consideration without any verification,” he said.
Gbollie made these remarks on Wednesday, September 26 in Paynesville, in response to Montserrado District #4 Representative, Rustonlyn Suacoco Dennis who, Gbollie alleged, accused him of killing people in containers during the civil crisis. He has promised to take legal action against Rep. Dennis.
Gbollie said every Liberian should regret the 14 years of civil unrest, as the situation affected every sector of society and destroyed lives.
“We are all guilty of this civil crisis, to begin with those who brought the war and those who participated, as I was a key player in protecting lives in Bong County. I told the Americans why I joined the force and the role I played,” Gbollie said. “I personally regret the coming of the civil war in Liberia, because I lost two of my mothers to the war. My father had 12 wives. After the war, I elected and worked with them on the security sector reform of Liberia.”
Gbollie said he welcomes any general punishment that will satisfy the Liberian people, but does not support an economic or war crimes court based on the TRC report.
According to him, Rep. Dennis indicated that while he was serving as Military Police commander in the NPFL in Gbarnga, Bong County, she had the opportunity to feed some of the inmates that Mr. Gbollie had incarcerated.”
Gbollie said Ms. Dennis alleged that under his watch people disappeared and were being killed in containers in huge numbers under his command.
“For anyone to insinuate that under my leadership people were killed in huge numbers and dumped, it’s unfortunate. When someone chooses to attack us, we will not give the person a free ride,” Mr. Gbollie said.
According to him, Rep. Dennis’ statement is intended to make those who participated to look bad before their family members, business partners and the world at large.
Gbollie said while serving as military police commander in Gbarnga, he ensured that the people of Bong County lived in peace and safety.
He said his decision to sue the Montserrado District #4 Representative may likely be the beginning of the TRC, but he remains resolved to take the her to court to ensure that she proves what she has said on a public platform.