The mysterious death of Harry A. Greaves, Jr., former Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC), came as a tremendous shock to many as his naked body was discovered early Sunday morning, January 31, 2016, on the beach behind the old Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs on Capitol Hill, Monrovia.
Confirming the death of Mr. Greaves following a Police Crime Service Division (CSD) investigation, Police Spokesperson Sam Collins told journalists in an interview that Mr. Greaves’ wife, Mrs. Precious Andrews Greaves, identified the body as that of her husband. Based on her confirmation Police can tell the public that: “The body found on the beach Sunday morning is that of Mr. Harry Greaves; nothing more, nothing less.”
The Daily Observer reliably learned late Sunday of a new twist in the mysterious and shocking death of Harry A. Greaves Jr.
Because he and his wife were separating, Harry was in the process of moving into the home of a relative in Thinker’s Village, off the Robertsfield Highway. Then at about 1 a.m. Sunday, security officers of the house in which Harry was to move said that four cars with tinted windows drove to the gate and asked for “a visitor named Greaves,” who was supposed to be staying in the house. The security responded that Mr. Greaves was not present, so the cars drove off without entering the property.
Who were the occupants of the four cars, and what was their mission? Why had they chosen to come looking for Mr. Greaves so late into the night? Had he made an appointment with anyone for that hour of the morning?
These and other questions and how are the four cars linked to Harry’s death have yet to be answered.
In his concluding statement on Sunday, Collins said the Police was still investigating Mr. Greaves’ death; failing to give any information about the condition of the corpse.
The corpse was already wrapped in a body-bag when Police called reporters to the scene.
However, images viewed from reliable sources showed that there were bruises on the stomach and skull of the deceased, with areas of his face red as if scarred from burning.
Mrs. Precious Greaves, who identified the body to be that of her husband’s, appeared calm and did not display any emotions, like crying, at the scene.
Family sources hinted that Mr. Greaves left for a meeting on Friday afternoon, January 29 at the RLJ Resort Hotel, where he stayed for many hours.
According to the sources, his driver (not named) became concerned and called his phone to inquire, but his boss’s line was off.
In the interim, the driver accordingly contacted other family members to register his concern about his boss’ whereabouts. It was at that point that the search for Mr. Greaves began.
After a day of persistent and vigorous search, the family received a call that a body was lying on the beach behind the old Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs building, where they went and found out that it was Mr. Greaves’ body.
Minutes after the news broke on Sunday morning, officers of the Liberia National Police swarmed the area where the body was found and cordoned it off until the naked body was covered. They later allowed photos of the bagged body to be taken before it was transported to the morgue at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center.
Mr. Greaves’ widow, Precious Andrews Greaves, is a popular Liberian caterer and restaurant entrepreneur, who runs the PA Rib Houses near the Spriggs Payne Airfield and at the site near the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) in Paynesville.
She yesterday told the Daily Observer that the family had asked for an inquest (postmortem). “After that,” she said, “we will know what really happened.”
Precious told the Daily Observer yesterday that she and Harry had separated and that he “was in the process of moving his things out of the home.”
The home was built by Precious’ father, former Information, Culture and Tourism Minister, G. Henry Andrews.
Harry A. Greaves, Jr. was first married to Marjon Wiles, daughter of Mr. Richard Stanley Wiles, former Speaker of the House of Representatives (1934-43). Theirs was a high profile wedding, replete with top hats and tailcoats.
The couple later moved to the United States of America, where Mr. Greaves served as a financial executive with several newspapers in Iowa, Texas and Washington, D.C. His last stint was in the financial office of The Washington Post, one of that country’s leading newspapers.
Mr. Greaves’ marriage to Marjon ended in divorce and he moved on to Atlanta, Georgia, where he entered a relationship with another lady. He returned to Liberia, where he met Precious Andrews, daughter of G. Henry Andrews, former Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism. Harry and Precious were married.
After his summary dismissal as Information Minister by President Tolbert in 1973, Mr. Andrews later worked for the African Development Bank, and served as Elections Commissioner during the 1997 election that brought Charles G. Taylor to power in the middle of the Liberia civil war.
When in 2003 year Charles Gyude Bryant was elected Chair of the National Transitional Government of Liberia, Harry Greaves formed part of the Drafting Committee of the address that Mr. Bryant was to deliver at the Capital Building on the day of his inauguration as Chair of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL). Other members of the Drafting Committee included Willis D. Knuckles and Kenneth Y. Best, who, on Mr. Bryant’s request, flew in from Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A, to join the Drafting Committee. The Committee met on the night of Mr. Best’s arrival in Precious Andrews’ restaurant and club called Panache in the valley off the Spriggs Payne Airfield shortcut.
Harry Greaves served Chairman Bryant as Economic Advisor. Greaves recruited members for the various government Commissions. John T. Woods, the natural resource expert, was recruited from the USA by Mr. Greaves to head the Forestry Restructuring Sector of the National Transitional Government.
During the 2005 presidential election campaign, Harry Greaves held a press conference on the Airfield Road, covered by the Daily Observer, during which he endorsed Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for the presidency. Shortly following her inauguration, she gave Harry A. Greaves, Jr. a plump (fat, prized) position in her government—Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC).
Early during his time at LPRC, Liberia entered what was considered a significant oil deal with Nigeria in which that oil-rich nation gave Liberia a gift of oil. Mr. Greaves incurred some suspicion and unpopularity with the Liberian public because he consistently refused to divulge the details of the oil deal.
In September 2009 President Sirleaf dismissed Harry Greaves as LPRC MD and appointed his Deputy, Mr. T. Nelson Williams, as Acting MD. In February, 2010 Mr. Williams was confirmed as LPRC Managing Director.
As a businessman facing constraints as a result of the high cost of electricity like other businesspeople in Liberia, Harry Greaves championed the cause of passing the New Electricity Law of Liberia in the Senate to privatize electricity. He mounted a fierce media campaign to push this agenda.
In his response to the passage of the bill, Mr. Greaves described it as “a load of rubbish” because it allowed the independent regulator to be the Ministry of Lands, Mines & Energy, a government entity.
He believed that if government is a player and referee in the energy sector under the New Electricity Law of Liberia, no serious business will go on.
In April 2015, Greaves began a weekly column in the Daily Observer newspaper (and online) called ‘Let’s Lecture’ which became very popular with readers as it critiqued government policies and often offered viable alternatives to recurrent problems in society and the economy.