-Want Suspected Criminals Transfer To Headquarters
By George J. Borteh
KAKATA-Following Margibi County’s Police Detachment investigation launched linking several individuals including the Superintendent of the county, Jerry Varney and Roland S. Johnson, Commissioner, Cinta Township on the alleged commission of multiple offenses, including extortion, it has been alleged that tension is seriously brewing in the county, especially in the county’s provisional City of Kakata over fear on their (LNP officers’) lives in the county.
However, authorities at the Kakata City Police Station have disclosed that the investigation of suspected criminals have been forwarded to the office of the Chief of CSD, MCPD, at the Headquarters of the Liberia National Police (LNP),Monrovia.
The transferred investigation was made through communication by the Liberia National Police (LNP) Sup. James O. Ballah, Commander of the Crimes Services Department, Margibi County, and also addressed to ACP, Alphonso A. Paypay, Chief Investigator/OCS, at the Headquarters of the Liberia National Police (LNP), in Monrovia.
According to the LNP Supt. Ballah, the decision to transfer the investigation of the alleged criminals was due to threatening comments against the investigators by one of the county’s officials, Commissioner Roland S. Johnson.
The Kakata LNP boss’ letter dated December 4, 2022 which copy is in the possession of THE NEW REPUBLIC, alleged that Commissioner Johnson has been holding secret meetings with “unscrupulous” individuals of the township to stage a violent protest against the police in the county, as he did on April 1, 2019, where he allegedly mobilized gangs in violent protest against the state for the death of one Moses Wolopay..
The aftermath of that protest, Ballah claimed, was the burning down of the Weala Police Station and the Baypolu Magisterial Court, and other privately owned properties in the township and he managed to have walked away freely
Ballah further claimed that Commissioner Johnson has been holding secret meetings with “unscrupulous” individuals of the township to stage a violent protest against the police, which they are afraid to continue with the investigation in the country.
Supt. Varney together with Commissioner Johnson, Madam Musu M. Yango, Clan Chief, Wiah Clan, Andrew Yancy and Alvin Konneh Freeman was accused of harassment, criminal facilitation, criminal conspiracy, impersonation and criminal trespass.
“With these revelations and admittance to his actions, our investigation did a written communication to Supt. Varney on December 2, notifying him on the complaint,” as claimed in Ballah’s letter, “the allegations that were being made by his Township Commissioner, requesting his response whether he ever told suspect Johnson to go ahead and do the necessary things regarding financial compensation from Armstrong, and that if his advice for such the necessary is in the direction as is being processed by the commissioner.”
Ballah has alleged in his communication that suspects Varney who is the County’s Superintendent has failed to respond to their letter and also alleged that the County Superintendent and others are mobilizing the township to go against the Liberia National Police’s investigators.
The complaint was filed to the County Police Chief, James Ballah by a British national, Hans Armstrong and the Attorney-In-Fact of two Czech Republic nationals, Martin Milochewsky and Pavel Milochewsky.
Armstrong alleged in his communication that Commissioner Johnson tried to intimidate him on account of his position as commissioner, by demanding financial compensation from the MHM Eko Liberia Inc. on behalf of their township, where the company was operating and left behind several pieces of mining equipment.
The British national accused Commissioner Johnson of threatening, that no equipment would leave the township, if the financial compensation is not made, and he could guarantee Armstrong’s safe passage out of the Cinta Township with the earth-moving equipment, once said demand is met.
According to Ballah, after receiving the complaint, they (police) invited all of those named in the complaint, but only Commissioner Johnson had so far appeared before the investigators and provided them with his voluntary statement.
‘Ballah claimed that Commissioner Johnson claimed that it was Supt. Varney gave him the authorization to go ahead to do the necessary as he is now proceeding.
Johnson said he was the one who sent two unknown impersonators to the privately owned property leased by Armstrong, to keep the earth-moving equipment, which is valued at millions of United States Dollars.
In Armstrong’s complaint, Ballah said, on November 22, 2022, he informed the police that he received a telephone call from his security guard name Francis Kerkula, who is assigned in Wiah Clan, safeguarding his earth moving equipment, there on a piece of land he has been leasing over the years in Sekie-Ta, Margibi County.
According to Ballah, Armstrong said, he was shocked when his security guard informed him that two identified men went to the area purporting to be inspectors of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, and had gone there to conduct an inspection in the privately owned property being leased by him.
Armstrong, Ballah claimed, quoted his security guard by saying “when he refused to allow the two men entry into the enclosed property where he has the equipment worth about a million plus United States Dollars.”
“Commissioner Johnson immediately phoned his officer (Kerkula) and tried to intimidate him on account of his position as commissioner to allow the two men who he said he sent entry into the privately owned premises so that they could carry on inspection, a demand he said, his officer firmly resisted,” Ballah quoted Armstrong, in his investigation transferred letter.
With that information, Ballah said, Armstrong explained to him that he got his legal team, the Liberia Law Group, that later called Commissioner Johnson, to inquire if the information provided by his client’s private security officer was indeed true. And, as stated by his security guard, Commissioner Johnson responded in the affirmative and even proposed a meeting with his legal team, in order that they discuss in detail his interest.
Ballah’s letter further said, on November 23, and 29, Commissioner Johnson, who was accompanied by suspects Andrew Yancy and Alvin Konneh Freeman visited the law firm’s office.
In that meeting, according to Ballah, Armstrong informed him that Yancy and Freeman both of them claimed they were eminent citizens of Weala Town, and they informed his lawyer, that they were fronting for financial compensation from Armstrong on behalf of their township, where his company, the MHM Eko Liberia was by then operating. Accordingly, they could only guarantee Armstrong’s safe passage out of Sekie-Ta with his earth-moving equipment, once said demand is met.
According to Ballah, during the meeting, Armstrong explained that Johnson told them he had a mass meeting with his citizens with Supt. Varney and Clan Chief Musu M. Yango in attendance.
“On this basis, Armstrong says, he feels the named suspects mentioned here above have formed a cohort in conspiring to use their officials’ positions in harassing him with the intent to coerce him in extorting money from him, for which he seeks intervention from the government of Liberia through the LNP,” Ballah quoted Armstrong’s complaint.