The Inquirer (Monrovia)

13 February 2013

Liberia: Reps. Solomon George, Gabriel Smith Accused of Brutalities, But...

Two members of the House of Representatives have been accused of brutalities meted against a journalist and another citizen. Representative Gabriel Smith of Grand Bassa County has been accused of ordering the flogging of the Station Manager of Radio Gbehnzohn in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County Hector Z. Mulbah. According to information, Rep. Smith ordered his bodyguards to flog the Liberian journalist for refusing him airtime on the radio station though the Bassa lawmaker has since denied the allegation.

Speaking to The INQUIRER in Buchanan recently, Mr. Mulbah alleged that Rep. Smith has on many occasions refused to support the radio station though he always uses it as his propaganda machinery to promote himself in the county.

Mulbah said due to the lawmaker's refusal to support the station the administration has decided that he (Smith) pays before using the station. He said Rep. Smith was given airtime to speak on the issue of Sen. Whitfield's death on the station but was later informed that he will not be allowed to use the station again for political issues.

According to Hector, Rep. Smith got annoyed over the station's decision and said as direct Representative of the District where the station is located he can not be subject to pay before getting on the radio. He said it was during the misunderstanding and while attempting to leave the station that Rep. Smith called the police to have him arrested.

"When I was going to my vehicle he ordered his bodyguard to deal with me and the bodyguard slapped me in my eye and mouth. Presently I cannot see anything clearly because of the severe pains in my eyes," Hector who was lying at home in Buchanan following the incident narrated.

Effort to contact Rep. Smith proved futile as his phone rang endlessly without any response but the Bassa lawmaker who appeared on a local radio station in Monrovia denied ever ordering anyone to beat the station manager and added that instead Hector was the one who attacked him at the station. At the same time, Montserrado County Representative, Solomon George has been accused of flogging a resident of District#7 where he represents.

According to a BIN officer, Nathaniel Sieh, his brother Prince Dagbeh was flogged by Rep. George on Saturday, February 9, 2013 on Front Street central Monrovia. Officer Sieh alleged that Rep. George misunderstood a comment from his brother Prince something that annoyed him and moved upstairs where Prince was and slapped him several times.

He said Rep. George slapped his brother's eyes and because of this he cannot see clearly. "He has even refused to take Prince to the hospital," officer Sieh said. Though the information is yet to be independently confirmed, Mr. Mulbah and Sieh have threatened to complain to the House of Representatives for the intervention of plenary of that August body.

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