10 December 2012

Liberia: 'Abuse of Power' - Sinoe Chiefs Council Lambast Rep Karmoh

The Sinoe County Branch of the National Traditional Council of Liberia has described as abuse of power the arrest and detention of its County Chairman, Chief Emmanuel Wesseh, by NSA in Monrovia allegedly on orders of Sinoe County Representative Jefferson Karmoh.

The Sinoe chiefs say they have received reports that its County Chairman, Chief Emmanuel Wesseh was arrested by the National Security Agency (NSA) on Tuesday, December 4, 2012 in Monrovia upon allegation of Hon. Jefferson Karmoh that Chief Wesseh and others bribed him in January 2012 with US$5,000 in favor of the Universal Forestry Corporation (UFC).

The council says it strongly condemns Kanmoh's "arbitrary use" of his legislative powers to arrest, incarcerate and detain peaceful and law abiding citizens under falsehood, rumor mongering   and political witch hunting rather than striving to reconcile and re-unite the people of Sinoe.

The Council however said the allegation levied against Chief Wesseh by Hon. Kanmoh is suicidal and self-incriminating, because according to the chiefs, bribery under Liberian law and statute is a crime and that the giver and receiver of bribe are equally guilty.

The chiefs say the fact that Hon. Karmoh alluded receiving bribe 11 months ago indicates that he is in the wrong.

"Besides, bribery in the constitution is felony and is punishable by impeachment. With his self-pronouncement of guilt, the traditional council shall galvanize a vote of no confidence in Hon. Kanmoh," the citizens said in a press statement shared with The Analyst.

"What is however, most frustrating of his action is the fact Chief Wesseh was officially invited to Monrovia by the Liberia Government and the National Traditional Council of Liberia to join the national leadership and other county chairpersons throughout the country for very important national discussion leading to the intervention between the Executive and Legislative Branches of Government on issues that has the propensity jeopardize our fragile peace," the chiefs noted.

The Sinoe branch of the Traditional Council of Liberia is demanding the immediate release of Chief Wesseh and that the investigation on the allegation of bribery against him be transferred to Sinoe where the purported crime, admittedly committed by Hon. Kanmoh according to his testimony and allegedly committed by Chief Wesseh, is said to have taken place.

"More besides," the chief says, "we call on the national leadership of the National Traditional Council of Liberia and the office of the Sinoe County Superintendent to take interest and get involved in the case as the integrity of the leadership of Sinoe Branch is threatened," concluded the press statement signed by its Assistant Secretary Chesley Mennoh and Acting Chairman Joseph Flahn.

Efforts made by to contact Hon. Karmoh for reaction proved futile; however, investigation continues.

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