Residents of Broad Street Snapper Hill woke up early Friday morning October 2, 2020 to the shocking discovery of two dead LRA employees in a parked vehicle on Broad Street opposite the BIVAC head offices. One of the dead, Albert Peters was clad in a boxer while the female was fully dressed. She appeared to have a broken neck while the man’s body bore signs of torture according to eyewitness accounts.
It turned out that both individuals were identified as Gifty Lamah, a top-ranked employee of the Liberia Revenue Authority responsible for tax compliance and Albert Peters an auditor also employed by the LRA. President Weah commenting on the situation insinuated that it was as he termed it, “boyfriend-girlfriend business”.
But their untimely deaths sent a shock wave through the public arousing much initial public suspicion that deaths were officially sanctioned. And before the public could recover from the shock of that development, the public was subjected to another series of shocks beginning from the brutal attack on another LRA auditor George Fahnboto which led to his death and the mysterious death of Internal Audit Agency (IAA) head, Emmanuel Barthen Nyesua.
Autopsies were conducted but the reports long since held from public scrutiny has now been released by the Justice Ministry. Although copies of the reports have not been provided to the Daily Observer, it has however been reliably learnt that the deaths of the auditors have reportedly been linked to carbon monoxide poisoning.
But if their deaths were actually attributable to carbon monoxide poisoning, what can account for the signs of torture (peeled skin) of Albert Peters when his body was discovered in the car along with Gifty who was also reportedly found with a broken neck?
Upon closer scrutiny, this narrative from the Police closely mirrors suggestions by President Weah that the pair were lovers who met their untimely end while making out in the back of a vehicle on Broad Street.
But in a recording aired on social media, the sister of Gifty, anxious about the missing whereabouts of her sister called her phone, the voice of a man identifying himself as Supreme can be heard as he banged on a door apparently to a room in which Gifty was being held. He then told the sister that Gifty’s body will be found on Broad Street in a vehicle.
Now, just how that account ties in with Police spokesperson Moses Carter’s account that Supreme broke into Gifty’s vehicle and took away her phone and laptop presumably after discovering the dead bodies of Albert Peters and Gifty Lamah. It simply does not measure up going by what is on that recording.
More to the deaths of the auditors, recent public disclosure, by the media, of a damning audit report conducted by the late head of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) has prompted speculations that the auditors may have been killed because they had discovered that millions of revenue dollars have not been going into official GoL Consolidated Accounts but have been going into a virtual sinkhole.
Following closely on the heels of this development have come reports that the Old Road Gaye Town home of Tolbert Kerkulah was set ablaze in the early hours of the morning of November 6, 2020. Mr. Kerkulah, according to sources, was employed by the Monrovia City Corporation and assigned as head of its Project Implementation Unit at the Monrovia City Corporation supported by the World Bank and was a signatory to the accounts. City Mayor Jefferson Koijee speaking to journalists described the incident as an attack but fell short of saying why or who was responsible.
In the wake of this development, questions are being asked whether Mr. Kerkulah had refused to grant unauthorized access to the World Bank funds as alleged. His worst fears were realized when his home, enclosed in a fence opposite that of Senator Varney Sherman, was set ablaze in what family sources say was an attempt to kill him and his children that failed, thanks to what they say was divine intervention.
Mr. Kerkulah and his kids, according to family sources, are currently in hiding and he has since not reported to work. Family sources say despite having informed the Police, no investigation has been conducted. Questions are being asked, in the wake of this latest development whether there was any official involvement in this affair as public opinion would tend to suggest.
But a well-placed source (identity withheld) has curtly dismissed suggestions that neither the government nor City Hall had anything to do with it. He accused the media and opposition politicians who he claimed are bandying false claims on social and mainstream media.
However, the public remains unconvinced given the fact that since the deaths of the auditors several weeks ago, not a single suspect has since been charged and sent to court and this has aroused public suspicions of a probable official cover-up.
The Liberia National Police (LNP) which had since admitted to having suspect “Supreme” in their custody having arrested and found him in possession of the late Gifty Lamah’s cellphone and laptop now says Supreme is a notorious auto booster implying that he may have no links to the crime. The deaths of Gifty Lamah and Albert Peters according to a Police spokesman was ruled accidental by the autopsy report.
Whatever may be the case, the Liberian people are demanding answers from their government. The release of an autopsy report claiming that the LRA duo died from carbon monoxide poisoning has been dismissed as an orchestrated cover-up according to several human rights activists (names withheld). They say that the recorded voice of Supreme responding to queries by Gifty’s sister undermines the legitimacy and validity of the autopsy report, adding that they stand convinced that the LRA duo was murdered.
At this point, it remains unclear whether autopsy reports on auditors Fahnboto and Barten Nyesua have been completed amid deep public suspicions of a cover-up akin to the just-released autopsy reports on the LRA auditors, Albert Peters and Gifty Lamah.
According to an experienced criminal (homicide) investigator (rtd) the autopsy report appears to have been doctored because in his view initial reports and evidence gathered from the crime scene do not support the findings of carbon monoxide poisoning.
The American poet William Cullen Bryant in his epic poem reminds us in these words:
Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again;
The eternal years of God are hers;
But Error, wounded, writhes in pain,
And dies among his worshippers.