17 January 2013

Liberia: Bring Them to Justice!


It could be recalled that in 2008, precisely 16 August, some marauding armed men murdered one Stafford Tamba in cold blood at his Gardnersville Residence, outside Monrovia. Tamba, who was a student of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of law at the University of Liberia (UL), was murdered while he was studying for his Commercial Law Final Examination scheduled on that fateful day.

The brutal killing of Tamba was strongly condemned by his relatives, friends, schoolmates, civil society and human rights groups, the media among others. Several months following his demise, some concerned students of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law issued a strong statement in Monrovia, expressing regret and disappointment over what they called the 'lackadaisical' posture the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) had taken regarding the gruesome murder of their colleague law student.

While describing the death of Tamba as untimely, the concerned law students added that it was totally unbelievable and unacceptable for such heinous crime to occur in a civilized society without the arrest of a suspect least to say the alleged perpetrators. We consider this case as a serious breach of the social contract between the government and the governed, meaning the government and the people as enshrined in the 1986 Constitution of Liberia under chapter III, Article II (a).

The chapter states that "all persons are equally free and independent and have certain natural, inherent and inalienable rights, among which, are the right of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of persuing and maintaining the security of the person and of acquiring, possessing and protecting property".

We are seriously concerned about the status of the case because it has to do with innocent life taken away by heartless and barbaric individuals for their selfish motives. Where are the perpetrators this heinous crime? Have they been arrested and prosecuted? We unconditionally demand explanation from the government through the Ministry of Justice (MOJ). The government is under moral and constitutional obligation to speedily bring to justice all those involved in the gruesome killing of Tamba so as to serve as deterrence for others who may engage in such a wicked and immoral act. It is our fervent hope that the government via the MOJ will see wisdom in our concern and give it urgent attention in the interest of justice. It is often said when justice is delayed, justice is denied.

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