13 September 2017

Liberia: Police - 'Koijee Faked Weah Assassination Plot'

Photo: FrontPage Africa
George Weah

Authorities of the Liberia National Police yesterday released their investigative report into the alleged attempt to assassinate CDC standard bearer Senator George Weah and said Jefferson Koijee, who is the youth wing chairman of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), concocted and tailored the assassination story to win the hearts of partisans.

The report said Koijee and another CDC executive, Sheik Sackor, denied the allegation when they appeared before the LNP investigation board. "Our investigation is of the opinion that Oldpa Weh, alias Long John, George Barry, alias Ivorian, and Mustapha Sesay, who raised the false alarm about the assassination plot, would have been hypnotized by Koijee and Sackor, who were in communication with them (defendants) prior to, including and after the arranged press conference, or they concocted and tailored the assassination story to win the hearts of CDCians, (which is) detrimental to the peace the Liberian people and the sub-region want to see prevail," the LNP report said. "Koijee, between August 13 to 28, placed seven calls to Barry and one of those calls was placed on August 22, the eve of the press conference," the report said, adding, "Koijee also had conversation with defendant Barry twice on August 28, while he was within the police holding cell undergoing investigation."

The report was made available yesterday at the Monrovia City Court, where police surrendered Weh, Barry, and Sesay for trial on charges of multiple crimes. Their charges include criminal malevolence, false public alarm, false statement, and false report to law enforcement officials. At yesterday's hearing, Weh, Barry, and Sesay were remanded at the Monrovia Central Prison to await trial, because they could not hire a lawyer to secure their bail, though the crimes qualified them for it. Despite the results of the police investigation, Koijee and Sackor have not been charged with any crime.

It all started on August 23, when Weh, Barry, and Sesay, believed to be members of the CDC, during a press conference held at the party's Congo Town headquarters, alleged that their services were hired by George B. Kailando, a businessman and Unity Party national chairman for mobilization, and Saye-Maye Cole, the party's Montserrado County's campaign chairman, to disrupt and cause pandemonium during the CDC rally on August 19 to assassinate Senator Weah. The report claimed that Kailando told them not to be afraid of anything because there were bigger hands like Vice President Joseph N. Boakai and Defense Minister Brownie Samukai behind the assassination plot, and they would protect them. The document claimed that during the evening hours, including the night of the rally, Koijee called Barry, and when he did not pick-up his phone, he contacted Sesay, who answered his call. When Sesay realized that the caller was Koijee, he immediately informed Barry that it was Koijee on the line. "Due to the persistent calls from Koijee and Sackor, they told Barry and Sesay that they were looking for a stolen phone belonging to one big man of the Unity party," the report quoted Barry and Sesay's testimonies. "The manner of which Koijee and Sackor were calling us," the report quoted the two defendants, "made us afraid, so Barry responded to Sackor that they were no longer going to meet with Koijee because they wanted to kill them."

On the issue of Kailando and Cole meeting with Weh, Barry, and Sesay, the report quoted Emmanuel Dahn, UP Montserrado County District#7 representative candidate, alleging that Dahn met with the defendants in early August. During their meeting, Dahn requested Barry, Sesay, and Weh to help mobilize voters who will vote him into office, because, they (defendants) were very popular in District#7. After that, Dahn introduced the defendants to Cole, and they discussed the mobilization plan beyond District#7. Later Cole and Dahn allegedly introduced Barry, Sesay, and Weh to Kailando.

During the meeting with Kailando, he gave them 100 pieces of T-shirts on August 18 to distribute to the partisans they were going to mobilize. The meeting was held at Kailando's Hotel on the Old Road, outside Monrovia. "But, at that meeting, nothing was discussed relative to Vice President Boakai, Defense Minister Samukai neither Weah," the report said. "Barry, Sesay, and Weh did not report the alleged plot of the assassination to any law enforcement agency, neither did they report same to the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)," the document stated.

Unfortunately, on August 23, the document said, "Barry, Sesay, and Weh took the t-shirts to CDC headquarters and held a press conference, which has no truth; and they presented the UP shirts on a false and baseless allegation," police said in its investigation. "CDC did not report or initially call on the police to investigate the alleged plot of the assassination on Senator Weah, immediately upon hearing or listening to said allegation against him, which was on August 23, until the 28th," the report indicated. "Barry, Sesay, and Weh never had any conversation with VP Boakai and Defense Minister Samukai," the report said.

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