Barley 24-hours after Deputy police director for operations Abraham Kromah was made to apologize to plenary to the Liberian senate for acts that he may have indirectly committed to obstruct legislative functions when he allegedly detained the vehicle of a lawmaker the director of the Liberia National Police Col. Chris Massaquoi says individuals caught violating traffic rules will be dealt with according to the law.
"The LNP will resist any and all attempt by any motorist, be it government workers, government officials or whoever deliberately or attempt to deliberately run over officers," Col. Massaquoi told reporters on Wednesday in Monrovia.
"This will be regarded as an attempt to run over the officer and as such, such individuals again no matter the status will be exposed and will face the full weight of the law."
Col. Massaquoi said on a number of occasions the LNP has had to fly its some of officers abroad for specialized medical treatment who sustain life-threatening injuries as a result of being intentionally hit and run by vehicle operators and it is determined to bring the culprits to justice.
He said the LNP has observed with serious concern, the flagrant and wanton disregard of the vehicle and traffic laws of the republic of Liberia by some members of the driving public especially those working in government whether elected or appointed; 'driving themselves or are driven by their chauffeurs'.
The police boss told journalists at the LNP headquarters in Monrovia that individuals including those in government are in the constant habit of violating the traffic laws while at the same time exposing police officers to danger.
"We have also observed the illegal use of police lights and sirens by some non-police vehicles, while at the same time, motorists create a third lane in the traffic and driving on the shoulders of the road," he said.
He called individuals engaged in the illegal and unlawful use of emergency devices, such as emergency lights, sirens and horns to immediately desist and remove these devices from their vehicles; while those using the shoulders of the roads to create a third lane to refrain and stay on the main road.
"The above dangerous and illegal practice has become alarming at the point when some officials of government when told to observe the laws attempt to run the traffic police over in the callous disrespect for the law and safety of the republic of Liberia; especially for officers, whose duty it is to regulate and control the traffic," he said.
Continued Col Massaquoi: "This practice is strongly unacceptable since under our laws; no one, no matter his or her status is above the law. The LNP is therefore appealing to all motorists regardless of who they may be to strictly observe vehicle and traffic laws and abide by the orders of the traffic Police in order to avoid unnecessary confrontation with the police, which most often time is considered as courtesy not being accorded and gross disrespect."
The police boss' warning comes in the wake of a communication written by Senator Theodoer Momo (UP-Gbapolu County) asking plenary to invite Kromah to give reasons why he should not be held in contempt for obstructing legislative duty, something for which Kromah apologized and was fined.
But the Police Chief responding to questions from reporters on the issue of lawmakers using sirens in order to get to session on time, said no one is above the law and only individuals in the government allowed to use such emergency instruments will be allowed to do so and violators will bear the consequences no matter who they are.
"Henceforth, the Liberia National Police is warning the general driving public that they will not succumb to threats and intimidation from the public regarding the enforcement of the traffic laws," said Col. Massaquoi.
"More importantly, the authority of the LNP is strongly warning the driving public that it will not tolerate motorists, hitting and or attempting to run-over police officers, while discharging their lawful duties."
'I am sorry'
On Tuesday, Deputy police director for operation Kromah apologized to plenary to for acts that he may have indirectly committed to obstruct legislative functions.
Senator Momo accused the deputy police boss of giving instructions to police officers to pull him over as he tried using the shoulders of the road due to an opportunity created by the police director convoy in order to get to work on time due to traffic congestion during the morning hours.
Momo said in his communication that despite efforts by him to identify himself as a lawmaker, the officer implementing the orders refused to grant him the courtesy on grounds that he was implementing orders from his boss.
Theodore also told plenary there was another incident between him and the very deputy police chief where the he (Kromah) issued similar orders. Momo said, after a complaint was filed Col. Massaquoi promised to institute an investigation but no such probe has been conducted.
Appearing before the senate plenary Kromah expressed his apology to the senator and plenary of the Liberian senate and promised that there will never be a re-occurrence of such act against Senator Momo and other members of the Legislature.
Kromah said: "What transpired yesterday as confusing as it is; very regrettable because to impede the movement of any member of this august body will be impeding the movement of the people and we're conducting an investigation into this matter and come up with a result."
As a result of his apologetic posture, Kromah was mandated to write his apology letter, which was published in local dailies. Despite Kromah's appearing, some senators called on the police to be decisive in ensuring that public officials are protected against such act.
They also accused the police of being more concerned about protecting members of the executive as compared to members of the legislature but the Police boss' current statement says no one is above the law and that no public official be it lawmaker or minister will be allowed to violate the traffic laws.