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 erroneously assume. 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 but conflicting 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 gone viral on social media say the officer was killed because, while on assignment he had taken a snapshot with his phone, of Executive Mansion Protocol officer Finda Bundoo allegedly after she emerged from the President’s quarters at late hours clad only in her underwear.
Now whether or not this is a truthful account is debatable or whether it was a contributory factor to his death remains unclear at this point. But again, there are strong doubts held by the public on the official 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, says a retired EPS officer.
But this account by the EPS conflicts with later accounts claiming that the officer was disarmed after it was observed that he was misbehaving
What is confusing to the public is, if the officer was indeed disarmed, then from where did he obtain the weapon to shoot himself in the head, thrice, as alleged?
Unbelievable, it appears, but this is at least one of the initial accounts provided by the EPS.
Well, granted he did shoot himself thrice in the head, as alleged, the murder/suicide weapon as well as the bullets retrieved from the body of the deceased will prove crucial to the investigation.
From the autopsy, the entry and exit wounds will be identified as well as the angle of penetration. Other important clues will be blood spatter or gun powder traces on the hand or fingers assuming the weapon was a handgun. Whether the crime scene was/is protected is another issue.
But considering the botched Police handling of the case involving the deaths of the LRA auditors, it is possible that the crime scene may have already been compromised.
It can be recalled that very recently, a senior Police officer, 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 (4) government auditors and tax professionals, 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 suggests that the issue will go away. 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 a retired diplomat.
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.
Similarly also, the retired diplomat maintains, it appears the wider implications of the trial of indicted war criminal Gibril Massaquoi have not dawned sufficiently on President Weah and his officials.
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 either by his own hand as officially claimed or by others yet unknown.
At any rate the public has the right to know, to be fully informed about the facts and circumstances that led to the death of EPS Agent Melvin Early.
And it would be in the best interests of this government to ensure that the facts come out and not leave it to wild public speculation.
As it is now, rumors and speculations continue to thrive on fertile grounds created by the series of conflicting official accounts being fed to the public.
The Police have remained mum while the habitual saber-rattling Ministry of Information has stayed clear, suggesting to the public that something is indeed amiss. After all, who is man enough to hold baboon down to have it circumcised?
And not surprisingly too, the head of the Joint Security, Justice Minister Musa Dean is conspicuously silent leaving the public to wonder whether his is complicity, mere indifference, or both. Whatever the case, the public needs to know the truth however painful such may be. More importantly, the Government of Liberia has the duty and obligation to ensure that the family of the deceased is given closure on this matter by telling them the TRUTH.