Police Divided Over UP HQ. Incident

The Inspector General of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Patrick Sudue has forwarded a written communication to the Justice Minister expressing his disappointment in the Inspector General of Police for Crime Services, Prince B. Mulbah.

Inspector General Sudue alleged that his Deputy forwarded a sensitive high-profile case (UP hit-and-run accident) to court without his knowledge as the Inspector General of Police.

In the letter dated December 1, 2023, to the Justice Minister, Sudue narrates, “I am seriously taken aback and disappointed in the behavior of the DIGP for Crime Services, Prince B. Mulbah, for forwarding such a sensitive high-profile case to court without my knowledge as the Inspector General of Police despite my request for status briefing and in the midst of an ongoing accident investigation.

The Police IG added, “As we speak, DIGP Mulbah is yet to brief me on the outcome of CSD investigation into the accident leading to deaths and serious injuries; and this has created barrier to my knowledge and input into the matter at this level. It is in this light that I thought to draw your attention and seek your intervention and to institute an investigation as our boss into the circumstances leading to the forwarding of an alleged murder case to court on a none court working day without my acknowledgement.”

Inspector General Sudue noted, “Moreover, I do request in the investigation for the DIGP for Crime Services to avail the evidence that constitute the charge of murder in this case.”

The communication to Justice Minister, Cllr. Musa Dean noted, “With compliments, I write to complain and express my disappointment in the form and manner in which the case of a fatal accident that occurred on November 20, 2023 at the headquarters of the Unity Party (UP) on Broad Street, Monrovia was handled by the Deputy Inspector General of Police for Crime Services, Prince Mulbah, with no regard to my oversight responsibility and authority as the Inspector General of Police and without observing the legal procedures in investigating and prosecuting cases of such.”

“Upon the occurrence of the incident, the Liberia National Police (LNP) Public Safety Division commenced an immediate investigation into the circumstances that led to the occurrence of the accident. While the accident investigation was ongoing, the LNP Crime Services Department (CSD) requested to help look into the matter to see if there were any criminal intent after which the case would have been reverted to the Public Safety Division, if no criminal intent was established for continuation of the accident investigation.”

The Police IG furthered, “I have been following the case until Wednesday, November 22, 2023, when I asked DIGP Prince  Mulbah for a status briefing on the CSD investigation, at which time he told me that he was going to charge the suspect criminally. I told him that the suspect could not be charged criminally until the circumstances leading to the accident were thoroughly revealed and criminal intent established. At this point, DIGP Mulbah said,Then let me consult the Minister of Justice and revert to you,” DIGP Mulbah did not call back until Iplaced a follow-up call and his response was, “The Minister of Justice has concurred with the charge of Murder.

He continued, “I differed with his statement; but DIGP Mulbah insisted on grounds that, the Justice Minister is our boss and we must take his instruction.

IG Sudue noted looking at the circumstances and the direction in which the investigation was proceeding, he told IG Mulbah that they should schedule a meeting on Friday November 24.2023 at 1000hrs and he agreed.

I said that the meeting would involve the Accident Investigators and the Criminal Investigators to understand how the charge of murder was derived and to allow the traffic investigators to continue the accident investigation submit a report at which time both of the reports will be forwarded to the prosecution team at the Ministry of Justice for a full and appropriate charges levied as we have always done in high profile cases.”

According to the Police IG, “The meeting was not held on Friday because DIGP Mubah’s refusal to take my follow-up calls for the scheduled meeting, however, I instructed the Chief of Public Safety, DCP John Saah to proceed with the accident investigation, DCP Saah told me that he will continue the accident investigation and do the accident scene reconstruction on Sunday due to the weekly flow of traffic. Interestingly, on Sunday, November 26 202 I was informed by DCP Saah that he could not continue the investigation because the matter had been taken to court on Saturday.

He noted that on November 25, 2023, he then immediately called the Chief of Court Liaison and he confirmed that the defendant was taken to court on Saturday and brought back to the Police for detention, along with the case file. “Based on this, I instructed that the suspect should not be taken to court until I see the case file and court returns and that the accident investigation should continue because without a court returns and detention order from the court indicates that the suspect was still under the Police custody not the court.

He continued, “On Monday, November 27, 2023, the Sheriff from the court came at central headquarters to receive the suspect but was denied based upon the above mentioned, I later received a call from the judge of Criminal Court A,’ His Honor Roosevelt Willie to turn the suspect over to the Monrovia City Court or be held in contempt of court. It was based on this that I instructed that the suspect be turned over as requested by the Court which was officially done on the same Monday, November 27, 2023, as evident by the returned charged sheet from the Monrovia City Court bearing the date of November 27, 2023.

“After turning the suspect over to the court, I requested the case file from the Chief of Court Liaison and upon review of the documents, I observed the following; that the investigation directly linked the suspect to the Coalition for DemocraticCharge (CDC) as found in the investigative findings counts 3 &6 which does not have any bearing on this case, without even contacting the party to authenticate his membership; that, it is unclear how the investigation derived its conclusion on the claim of gear failure as indicated in count 12 of the investigative findings when the vehicle was totally burnt in the incident.”

He furthered, “That the premise that the investigator based its findings and conclusions in the case was a mere insinuation and assumption that there was indeed a motive of monetary benefit which was never established as found in count 24 of the investigative findings to derive a murder charge was erroneous and will not lie in court; that a writ of arrest on suspect Lawrence K Williams was issued on Saturday.”

The communication to the Minister of Justice further noted, “November 25, 2023 prior to the case file being presented to the court on Monday November 27, 2023, Sir from my worth of experience, the case file was to be accepted by the court, returns are given before the issuance of a Writ of Arrest. However, in this case, the writ was issued on Saturday and the case file was forwarded to the court and returns received on Monday, which was in the reverse.

Sudue noted, “The above counts as stated by the investigators were done in an unethical manner and very unprofessional, which does not meet the standard of the Liberia National Police investigations. It is unprofessional to link a political party or any other institution to the action of an individual where the investigation has not made any follow up to authenticate theperson’s membership or affiliation or established that the action was sanctioned by the party/institution for which they were named.

“Sir, let me refer to the case of the riot that occurred in FoyaDistrict, Lofa County between supporters of CDC and UP. The Police charge sheet forwarding the suspects to court did not in any way indicate any party affiliation in the matter. Another referenced case is the case of

Jethro Harris of the Alternative National Congress (ANC); who posted in 2021 a photo depicting ritualistic killings in Liberia.The Police charge sheet also did not indicate or name any party affiliation.

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