26 February 2013

Liberia: Dep. Police Chief On Lawmaker's Back

Deputy Police Director for Operations Abraham Kromah has termed as 'jungle justice' the act by Representative Moses Acarous Gray to drive his vehicle without a license plate.

Deputy Director Kromah made the statement Monday when he appeared as guest on Fabric Radio F.M. 101.1.

"Someone gave me the information that one black vehicle usually comes from Gardnersville to central without a plate; so I informed the Inspector General about it and we decided to go after the vehicle," Kromah explained.

Mr. Kromah said few days later, while he was driving on the bye-pass, he noticed a vehicle packed, and he immediately stopped his car behind it and waited for the owner. He said as he was waiting, he saw Representative Gray embarking it.

"When he was about to get into the vehicle I walked over to him and told him that he could not use the vehicle without a license plate; and so we met at the office to discuss; when we went there he told us that the government gave him the vehicle and so it was also responsible for providing the license plate," Kromah indicated.

He claimed that Representative Gray consented not to use the vehicle until the license plate is prepared. Weeks later, Director Kromah told the talk show that the plates were prepared which are being used by Representative Gray.

He said driving in the streets without license plates was illegal under the law, but failed to say whether the police will go after other individuals who are bent on plying the streets, especially Monrovia without license plates.

The Deputy Director said despite Representative Gray being a lawmaker, he is not above the law; so the police had to ensure that he obtained his vehicle license plate before plying the streets, adding "this is an act of jungle justice".

But this statement by the Deputy Police boss seems not to be going down well with several Liberians who spoke to The NEWS Monday in Monrovia.

Some Liberians who spoke to this paper are of the views that the law should not only be applied to Representative Gray, but others as well.

They indicated that it was disappointing on the part of the Deputy Police boss to single out Representative Gray while other officials of government are plying the streets without license plates.

It has observed that several vehicles including those believed to be security vehicles are plying the streets without plates. It appears that the Liberia National Police are only interested in dealing with few individuals when it comes to the issue of vehicle license plates, while majority still enjoy the freedom to ply the streets without license plates.

When contacted, Representative Gray said he remains a law abiding citizen and respects the rule of law, adding that he would continue to be a peaceful citizen.

He, however, remains tight-lip on the allegation but promised to comment at a later date.

Director Kromah fell short of explaining further how does jungle justice applies in the absence of a vehicle carrying a license plate.

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