16 December 2013

Liberia: Reconstitute the Security Sector

Photo: The New Dawn
Police Director Chris Massaquoi being stopped from reaching President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.


Since The Release of series of scandalous recordings involving Liberian government officials by Madam Ellen Corkrum, the dismissed former Managing Director of the Roberts International Airport (RIA), officials caught on tape and others yet to be exposed appear petrified that additional recordings would further undermine the credibility of the government and prompt confidence crisis.

Some Of The recordings have revealed great deal of discomfort and annoyance within the government, especially amongst the top security guards who are authorized by the laws of the land to ensure that the security of the Liberian people, including President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is unhindered. These tapes have impinged on the integrity of the security bosses, including Police Director Chris Massaquoi who is alleged to have 'aided' the escape of Madam Corkrum.

Col. Massaquoi Is under attack from members of the public and policymakers requesting him to abdicate his job for allegedly aiding Madam Corkrum to escape the country at the time government wanted her on charges of economic sabotage and theft. Despite his role in the escape of Madam Corkrum, the Director of Police says he remains loyal to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and the government of Liberia and he has no regrets for the recently released secret recording on which he was heard 'aiding' and exposing the plan by the Liberian government to arrest Ellen Corkrum.

Speaking Last Friday at the graduation of LNP College Graduates Basic Recruit exercise at the National Police Training Academy in Paynesville, the Police Director said: "I've no regrets; my conscience is clear... and I'll continue to be committed to Her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and to the people of this country." Mr. Massaquoi said as a result of not trying to prejudice the case that is ongoing in court, he wouldn't say much, but promised also to release what he called, "the real story in times to come".

Civil Society Organizations and political parties have been reticent on the scandalous recordings and the specific roles Director Massaquoi played when he helped to shrewdly design Corkrum's escape plan.

What More Loyalty does Massaquoi has when he helped to release a 'fugitive' official desperately wanted by the head of state. By that action, he has lost the confidence of the President and his integrity has dwindled for compromising the security of the state. It is unbelievable for a police chief to design escape plan for a suspect to elude justice and at the same time, he says he is loyal. Where was his loyalty when he ignored the directive from the president to arrest Corkrum on criminal charges?

We Believe The Police Director did not apply the best security judgment and the authority as the most senior arresting officer, because he connived and facilitated the escape of Corkrum. Moreover, he hoodwinked the Liberian leader into believing that he didn't know about her escape.

If Director Massaquoi at his level [responsible to ensure the arrest of criminals] can compromise on this issue, then his statement about being loyal to President Sirleaf is merely superficial, deceitful and a betrayal of public trust.

There Is A need to reconstitute the entire security sector because the current officials of the sector are not reliable.

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