By R. Joyclyn Wea
The Joint Security has confirmed the deportation of a Ghanaian, Sumson Essien Jr., from Liberia back to his native country, Ghana, following a Joint Security investigation.
He entered Liberian borders and engaged in employment without residency and work licenses.
The act is stated to be in violation of Liberia’s Alien and Nationality Law and the Decent Work Act of 2015, which requires an alien traveling to Liberia to first secure Resident and Work permits before engaging in employment activities in the country.
Mr. Essien was apprehended on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, while traveling from Maryland County to River Gee to train Unity Party Poll Watchers and Supervisors in Liberia’s Southeastern area.
Mr. Essien, Jr., a Ghanaian national, was recently appointed as a lead consultant by the Unity Party to teach Party Poll Watchers on the usage of an online tool that improves reporting election data in real-time.
The suspect was apprehended in River Gee County after being stopped and questioned about the nature of his profession by security authorities, who also demanded that he present his residence and work licenses.
The government said in a joint press conference over the weekend that the removal procedure began when the suspect reportedly failed to present the proper documents, and that they have since made preparations with the Ghanaian Embassy near Monrovia to help reunite their fellow with his family in Ghana.
According to the joint security, while Mr. Essien is suspected to have arrived in Liberia to perform contracted employment, he should have exhausted the provisions of both labor and immigration regulations.
Joint Security took this measure in accordance with the law and without prejudice. Its purpose is to guarantee that international visitors to Liberia follow approved processes.
Meanwhile, the opposition Unity Party has taken serious exception to the joint security actions and considers as utter disrespect, the deliberate refusal of the LNP to release Mr. Sumson Essien on the mandate of the Circuit Court sitting in Harper City, Maryland County following his arbitrary arrest and detention for over forty-eight (48) hours without formal charges.
“While en route from Harper City to River Gee, Mr. Essien was stopped at the Webbo checkpoint, where a police officer claimed the victim was under arrest on the orders of a “higher-up for planning to hack election materials for region five.”
In an effort to secure Mr. Essien’s release and his rights restored, the UP prayed to the Circuit Court in Harper, Maryland County by filing a writ of habeas corpus to compel the release of its contractor, a writ which was granted by the Judge on Thursday, November 9, 2023, but the police deliberately refused to honor the court’s mandate.
According to Amos Tweh, as of the time of this release, the whereabouts of Mr. Essien remain unknown and his safety is in grave danger.
Tweh said his Party considers the action of the Liberia National Police as a flagrant disrespect to the rule of law and a demonstration of the return of the dark days when the basic fundamental human rights of innocent men and women were intentionally and deliberately violated with impunity.
The Unity Party demands the immediate release of Mr. Essien and seizes the moment to bring this grave and flagrant violation of Mr. Essien’s rights to the attention of all International Partners and Foreign Missions in Liberia.
“The constant deliberate refusal of the LNP under strict instruction from the Police Inspector General Patrick Sudue to release Sumson could lead to unspecified dire consequences as our supporters are running out of patience,” Tweh added.
Mr. Essien is an innocent man and does not deserve to be maltreated because a certain political group fears the obvious reprisal from their citizens because of their failure to properly manage the affairs of the state after it was entrusted to them for the past six years.
Similarly; Joint Security reassures the public that the November 14, 2023 elections will be held in a peaceful atmosphere.
Anyone who attempts to threaten the peace and stability of the state during the run-off election will be held liable and will face prosecution.