The disrobement of Police Director Chris Massaquoi by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is still dragging without any action as expected by the Senate.
With about two weeks now since the Senate endorsed the disrobement of the Police Chief and a subsequent letter to President Johnson-Sirleaf, the senators' decision seems to have fallen on sinking sand as Director Massaquoi continues his duties.
It appears that the Police Director might not be punished as requested by the Liberian Senate because one of the senators has already provided a letter addressed to President Johnson-Sirleaf, which he said does not indicate the disrobement of Director Massaquoi.
Senator Isaac Nyenabo of Grand Gedeh County claimed that at no time did the Senate write President Johnson-Sirleaf requesting her to disrobe the Police Director.
Senator Nyenabo said the Senate only wrote the President asking her to take necessary action against Director Massaquoi for reportedly taking huge armed police officers on the ground of the Capitol Building.
Speaking Wednesday on the Truth Breakfast Show on Truth F.M., the Grand Gedeh County lawmaker stated that in respect of separation of powers, the Senate does not have the authority to mandate the President to dismiss any of her officials in the Executive Branch.
The latest revelation by Senator Nyenabo contradicts the decision of that august body on September 13, 2013.
It can be recalled that the Senate through Senator H. Dan Morias of Maryland County told reporters following an emergency session on the fate of the Police Director that they have agreed for President Sirleaf to disrobe Director Massaquoi from the Police.
Senator Morias said Massaquoi did not provide valid reasons for his failure to appear.
The angry senators said the statement from the Police Director was untrue; adding that Massaquoi "lied under oath."
Senator Morias said Director Massaquoi arrived on the grounds of the Capitol Building with heavy convoy carrying more than 200 armed police officers.
He termed the action of the Police Director as a mutiny; as such, they want President Johnson-Sirleaf to disrobe him.
The Senators expressed disappointment over the failure of the Police Chief to exercise command and control of his men.
In the wake of Director Massaquoi's reported failure to exercise command and control of his officers coupled with what the senators called 'perjury or lying under oath', they have requested the President to disrobe him so that investigation would be conducted by the Ministry of Justice.
However, Senator Nyenabo disclosed that no letter indicating the disrobement of Director Massaquoi was written to the President.
As the Senate voted to disrobe Massaquoi, a letter of indefinite suspension was issued to the Chief of Patrol at the Liberia National Police, Prince Davies.
Officer Davies was suspended for time indefinite in connection with the deployment of armed police officers at the Capitol. Police authorities are holding Officer Davies liable for the huge police presence at the seat of the Legislature.
Police spokesman Sam Collins said Officer Davies will remain suspended pending the outcome of an investigation.
Sources told this paper that Officer Davies is being used as a 'sacrificial lamb' so that Director Massaquoi would be pardoned by the Senators.
Under the Standard Operations Procedure (SOD) of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) and Police Support Unit (PSU), the Director of Police and his Deputy for Operations are the individuals authorized to move the armed units of the police and not the Chief of Patrol who is being held liable.
In some cases, the Assistant Director of Police for Operations can authorize the movement and deployment of armed police officers as well as patrol officers when there is an incident but it is done in the absence of the Deputy Director of Police for Operations.
It has not been independently verified as to who ordered the deployment of armed police officers at the Capitol Building. But it is said that the men were deployed to instill fear and prevent the detention of Director Massaquoi if such decision was taken by the senators.
Although spokesman Collins disclosed that investigation was underway to establish who ordered the deployment of the officers, action has already been taken against the Chief of Patrol in the absence of findings from the probe.
Director Massaquoi could also face prosecution if investigation by the Justice Ministry proves that he committed Perjury as claimed by the Senate.
The Penal Law of Liberia, Chapter 12, subchapter B, section 12.30 states that "a person has committed perjury, a third degree felony, if, in official proceeding, he makes a false statement under oath or equivalent affirmation, or swears or affirms the truth of a false statement previously made, when the statement is material and he does not believe it to be true."
Director Massaquoi's trouble started on Thursday, September 12, 2013 when he failed to appear before the Senate to answer questions relative to his press conference held on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 and the reported arrest of three senators.
In response to the summons, the Police Director wrote the Senate and informed that Honorable Body that he was unable to appear due to an urgent security meeting in Gbarnga, Bong County. But the letter of excuse was rejected by the senators.
After the Director's failure to appear, the Senate gave him additional two hours but to no avail leaving them to schedule an emergency session on Friday, September 13, 2013 to further deliberate on his fate.
During the emergency session, Presiding Officer H. Dan Morias of Maryland County asked Director Massaquoi series of questions related to the presence of armed police officers on the grounds of the Capitol Building on behalf of his colleagues.
Responding to the questions, Massaquoi said he had no idea about the deployment of police officers at the Capitol. He explained that he only heard that officers were deployed while attending a meeting in the office of Vice President Joseph Boakai.
According to our reporter who was on the scene, Director Massaquoi arrived at the Capitol with dozens of police officers armed to the teeth chanting anti-senate slogans and raining insults.
But President Johnson-Sirleaf is yet to disrobe Director Massaquoi with about two weeks gone.