By Jackson C. Clay, Jr.
Investigation conducted by this paper on the Liberia National Police (LNP), has discovered that there exists a huge level of reported ‘witch-hunt’, discrimination, harassment and intimidation within the LNP.
Recently, the New Republic Newspaper embarked on an intensive investigation within the LNP, thereby unearthing some huge level of reported ‘witch-hunt’, discrimination, harassment and intimidation being allegedly carried out by the current administration of the LNP.
According to the investigation, the current administration of the LNP headed by Colonel Patrick Sudue is said to be going after those he believes were ‘appointed or closed’ to former Police boss who now serves as head of the National Investment Commission (NIC), Gregory Coleman.
Chapter II, Section 1.3.3 of the LNP duty manual states that “Neither serving members of the LNP nor persons seeking application for employment with the Liberia National Police shall be appointed, demoted, dismissed, deployed or otherwise favored or punished because of gender, race, religion, color, sex, creed, association or affiliation.
According to the investigation, the latest victim of such action being carried out by the police boss, Sudue is officer Dao Freeman, former head of the Liberian National Police Training Academy.
During the investigation, sources close to the office of the Inspector General of the LNP, the Professional Standard Division (PSD), the Crime Services Department (CSD) and the Personnel Department, who are sympathetic towards Freeman told our reporter that officer Freeman was suspended for thirty days, subsequently transferred and demoted for a case which reportedly has no merits, but only intended to defame his character.
Our sources narrated that before the suspension and subsequent demotion of officer Freeman, he was firstly investigated by the Professional Standard Division (PSD) of the LNP by directive of Director Sudue for alleged misappropriation of funds allotted to the NPTA and his attempt to explain happenings in a recent senior staff meeting.
Our sources who begged not to be named further indicated that the PSD did not find any merits within the charges levied against officer Freeman, thereby, dropping the charge of misappropriation. But later, officer Freeman was turned over to the Crime Services Department (CSD) for a criminal investigation for the same crime, something which amounts to double jeopardy under the law.
“We investigated the man first here at the PSD and there was no evidence in all of the charges levied against him and it was recommended in the report but again we heard he was sent to the CSD for another investigation on the same issues. My brother let me tell you, this is all intended to get at the man for no reason, simply because the man is close to 101 and refused to distance himself from her based on a directive from the Director,” our sources stated.
Our sources indicated that following the first investigations, officer Freeman was suspended for thirty days, which also violates the Liberia National Police Duty Manual in Annex Three, Section 3, Category C and subsequently demoted to an ordinary police officer status.
For his part, officer Freeman refused to speak to our reporter based on advice from his counsel during the investigation, thus, referring our reporter to his legal team as the matter was already with his legal team.
Additionally, through investigation, our reporter discovered the following sections to be very intriguing:
Chapter II, Section 1.2.1 states “By virtue of their employment/or appointment requiring adherence to this Duty Manual, any act or omission by any member of the Liberia National Police that constitutes a violation of any national statute, ordinance, rule, regulation, policy or procedure; shall be considered as an act of misconduct to be investigated and that may result in disciplinary action and/or criminal charges, and/or possible termination;”
Chapter II, Section 126.96.36.199 states “Any act or omission that indicates discriminatory conduct shall be considered as an act of misconduct to be investigated and that may result in disciplinary action and/or criminal charges, and/or possible termination.”
Chapter II, Section 188.8.131.52 states “Any abuse of position or authority by a member of the Liberia National Police based on a discriminatory act or omission; or to facilitate such an action shall be considered as an act of misconduct to be investigated and that may result in disciplinary action and/or criminal charges, and/or possible termination.”
These allegations against the LNP authority calls for an immediate investigation, in fact, sources within the LNP also told us that one Alexander Saye who was the regional commander in Grand Bassa County was also removed and transferred from his post because he was seen dinning with Hon. Reeves during the Presidential retreat in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County,” our sources disclosed.
As of date of this publication, senior officers amounting to at least 100 who went through the ranks and file of the LNP, who have graduated from all managerial courses are being removed by the day. Even Maintenance staff are being allegedly transferred because of their affiliation.
On judicial pundit lamented that the Justice System and the Rule of Law in Liberia is being eroded slowly, and if left unchecked, might threaten the very existence of the democracy.
When contacted, the official spokesman of the Liberia National Police, Moses Carter avoided our reporter for two consecutive weeks without responding to his concern despite all of the phone calls to get him respond to the allegation.