Two of the four murder suspects detained for the mob action that resulted into the killing of a murder suspect at the Buutuo Police Station cell on February 23 have appeared at the Sanniquellie Magisterial Court.
The two men sent to court include Stephen Monwoah, a business man and one Jonathan both of the town of Beeplay in Buu – Yao Administrative District, Nimba County, while 11 others remain at large. The names of those still at large are yet to be released.
Two others were set free due to insufficient evidence, according to police.
Steven Monwoah, a businessman, and Jonathan are said to be the main orchestrators of the mob violence in Buutuo, which left the jailed culprit brutalized, his entire intestines gutted out of his stomach.
Four persons had been picked up by officers of the Liberian National Police for involvement in the mob action that resulted in the killing of the murder suspect at the Buutuo police station on 23, February 2015.
A police source told this newspaper via mobile phone that the men were arrested by officers of the Police Support Unit/PSU who were immediately dispatched there when the incident occurred.
Those arrested are Edward Kielap, 51, Alex Gondor, 38, Stephen Monwoan, 32 and Jonathan, 31. They have been charged for murder and are awaiting court trial.
On Monday, February 23, a group of citizens from the town called Wea Beeplay in the Buu – Yao District in Nimba, in retaliation of the Sunday night murder of their kinsman, Emmanuel Bowyah by a man identified as Chester Goankeuh in Frolay Town in Nimkwai Chiefdom, attacked and killed Goankeuh in his cell.
The reason for the scuffle which preceded Emmanuel’s murder is yet to be established, because those involved in the scuffle that left Emmanuel dead are yet to be identified. But a family source told this newspaper via mobile phone that on Sunday, February 22 at the about 7 to 8 p.m. Chester left his girlfriend’s home in the nearby village to purchase some clean rice.
They said while he was en route, he came across three men, they flashed light at one another’s faces and immediately got into a scuffle with Chester. In self-defense, Chester reportedly stabbed one of the men, later identified as Emmanuel Bowyah, who died.
From the scuffle, Chester also sustained a deep injury in his stomach, but he managed to escape and reported himself to police in Buutuo while the other men who were friends of the one who died fled to another location.
When the news of the slain fellow (Emmanuel Bowyah) reached his family in the town (Wea Beeplay), they allegedly mobilized, armed themselves with machetes, sticks and boarded several motorbikes bound for Buutuo, where they overpowered the two police officers and mobbed Chester to death in retaliation.
Eyewitnesses described the killing as chaotic, barbaric and inhumane, because he was chopped with cutlasses on the head and stomach causing his intestines to come out.
Tension is reportedly mounting among the two chiefdoms within the Buu – Yao Administrative District.
Up to present, the county administration had so far paid no visit to the crime scene or to the families of the deceased since the tragic incidents two weeks ago.
Nimba County has witnessed several horrific mob violence during the post-war period.
In 2008, angry mobs set the Tappita Police Station ablaze against those who were linked to the killing of a Monrovia-based market woman then in Greanpea to buy produce.
The mob action that followed left an elderly woman burned to death after the station was set ablaze, but with the help of the UNMIL Bangladeshi troops, those in the cell were rescued and relocated.
Those involved were prosecuted and sentenced to life imprisonment, but the trial of those who were linked to the death of the market woman is pending.
However, in this recent mob case, it appears as though the police are facing logistical constraints that prevent them from immediately going to crime scenes.
“We don’t have fuel to go to the crime scenes and arrest/pursue all those involved and bring them to justice,” said one of the officers.