MONROIVA, May 13-The president of the Liberian National Bar Association-LNBA, said on Wednesday that the arrest of Manipakei Dumoe by the police undermines the state of emergency.
Cllr. Taiwon Gongloe made the statement to a team of reporters at the headquarters of the Liberia National Police after visiting Dumoe.
“This is what I told the police that their actions undermine the state of Emergency, which is to fight the Coronavirus. They should not be dealing with simplistic things like this that somebody makes a statement, which is not even on the radio or newspaper but on his Facebook page that when are aren’t his friend, you would not read the statement”, he said.
Dumoe’s arrest followed a post on his face book page on May 11 in which he wrote: “We don’t need free bags of rice. I say we the poor in Monrovia need AK-47s so our leaders can take us seriously.”
Dumoe is the acting leader of the of the Council of patriots, a group which comprises of opposition and non-opposition members. The government said in recent times that it would distribute food to vulnerable people in for of the counties which the COVID 19 is prevalent- Montserrado, Margibi, Nimba and Grand Kru. The food is expected to start late this month.
According to police spokesman, Moses Carter earlier Wednesday on a local radio, Dumoe was invited but he refused to show up, hence his arrest after obtaining a writ from the court. Later, his home was searched, but there was no weapons seen. But Carter said, “come laptops, and COVID19 materials were confiscated. These will aid in the police investigation.”
But this statement was rejected by Cllr. Finlely Kangar, one of the lawyers for Dumoe
Cllr. Gongloe who is also lawyer for Dumoe added; “this is a very poor country, we are almost 200 years old. And if police behaves like that, it makes investors and other people that want to come to Liberia stay away. This country is a fragile country that every little things can make the government nervous.
He added, in a democratic state, everyone has his or her opinion. If somebody else can disagree with that person; that is what is called a democratic country. People can disagree with each other.”
According to him, releasing Dumoe to his lawyer, is at the discretion of the police to do so.
But he said police has 48 hours to discharge Dumoe, and if they fail, he will issue a habeas corpus writ on them.
“If they do not see any reason to hold him further, they will release him. If they do not under our laws, lawyers will file in habeas corpus in defense and he will be freed. Under the state of Emergency the one thing that is never suspended is the rights to habeas corpus.” TNR