20 February 2013

Liberia: Rep. Chambers in Blackmail?

The Liberia National Police (LNP) claimed it is being blackmailed by Maryland County Representative Dr. Bhofal Chambers over reports attributed to the lawmaker accusing the LNP of an alleged unilateral arrest of peaceful protestors in Pleebo-Sodoken District.

In a release issued in Monrovia Tuesday, Police Spokesperson, Sam Collins, said the statement is intended to blackmail the Liberia National Police and at the same time divert the public's attention from the real issues unfolding in the district.

Collins described as false and misleading, news of unilateral arrest of peaceful protestors in Pleebo Sodoken District, Maryland County, as claimed by Representative Dr. Chambers.

The release quotes Sam Collins as saying the statement attributed to Representative Chambers that his people were being "flogged and illegally arrested" by personnel of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) of the police lacks every iota of truth.

The police said the involvement of the Emergency Response Unit was predicated upon the violent nature of the demonstration, and were dismayed that the lawmaker would deliberately accused the force of wrongdoing, when in fact, personnel of the company and properties were under threat by the people he claimed were peaceful protestors.

The police statement said, while it will not violate the constitutional rights of people to protest, such protest must be done within the confines of the laws. It stressed that the Liberia National Police was under both moral and legal obligations to restore peace and sanity in the concession area that was under attack by violent protestors.

The LNP however maintained that it will not encourage any form of industrial disharmony at any concession site in the country, and is therefore warning those in the constant habit of inciting and taking the laws into their own hands to desist, warning citizens to address their grievances to the relevant government ministries and agencies instead of ignoring the law.

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