19 May 2017

Liberia: UMU Students in Court for Rioting

About 15 students from privately run United Methodist University or UMU onAshmum Street in Monrovia have been charged on multiple accounts and sent to court for allegedly obstructing government function through a violent riot and wounding four officers of the Liberia National Police or LNP on 12 May.

A police charge sheet dated 17 May says an associate dean of students at UMU Mr. Adolphus G. Saywah has voluntarily revealed to police investigation that he saw the defendants going amok, acting disorderly and chanting slogans in demand of Commerce Minister Axel Addy's resignation.

The students were alleged to be demanding Minister Addy's resignation due to alleged unwholesome and contaminated frozen food being sold here on the Liberian market.

Their charges range from criminal conspiracy and physical obstruction of government function to criminal trespass, disorderly conduct, rioting and failure to disperse, obstruction of highway and other public passages and aggravated assault.

Defendants ReyesWolee, GodstineOhwoka, Amos Sumo, Kelvin Askoi, Dexter N. Wah, Julius Wobil, Emmanuel K. Somah, Joseph S. Mallay and Charles K. Golden are listed in the charge sheet that took the students to the Monrovia City Court on Thursday, 18 May.

The charge sheet also lists Amanda K. Kieh, David J. Germu, Ralph C. Williams, Abel P. Jackson, Washington A. Yarweah and McMoses Doe as defendants. Police say the students became more violent in defiance to instructions to leave the Commerce Ministry premises and disperse.

They were allegedly throwing stones and other objects at police officers, resulting to the injuries of Officers Boimah Taylor, George Towah, Dave Nyumah and Othello Wilson.

The charge sheet against the defendants claims that a Commerce Ministry source had revealed to police that the listed defendants allegedly took to the street on 12 May at 1400hrs without being authorized and criminally trespassed the premises of the ministry where they allegedly obstructed government function.

Police claimed to have been alerted "about the disgruntled behavior of the defendants" , wherein they were holding placards under the banner "Citizens for Open Society and Transformation of Liberia".

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