Liberia: Nimba Motorcyclists Threaten to Disrupt 2020 Senatorial Poll Over 'Murder' of Colleague

Ganta — Tension is mounting in Nimba County as commercial motorcyclists have threatened to stage series of protests in different parts of the county in demand of justice for the alleged killing of a colleague by an officer of the Liberia National Police in Ganta in February this year.

Addressing a press conference in Ganta at the weekend, the Regional Coordinator of the Federation of Motor and Tricycle Unions of Liberia (FOMTUL) stated that they have exerted every effort and exercised patience for justice to be dispensed in the case involving LNP Officer Sensee Kowo and 18 year-old Samuel Selleh from February up to present, but to no avail.

Meanwhile, the motorcyclists are calling on the court to ensure speedy and expeditious trial of the perpetrator before the December 2020 election.

The FOMTUL Regional Coordinator for Bong, Lofa and Nimba counties, Mr. Emmanuel AA Sarty, said apart from abstaining from the December Special Senatorial Election, they will rally support from the public to stage series of protests in demand of justice for their fallen member, Samuel Selleh, whose remains are still deposited at a funeral home in Ganta.

According to Sarty, their protests will be staged in the six major cities of Nimba County simultaneously to disrupt the pending Special Senatorial Election in those areas.

Sarty stated that to claim the attention of the Government of Liberia, they (motorcyclists and sympathizers) will converge at major polling centers in the county to disrupt the electoral process.

He said their decision is triggered by information that they, motorcyclists, have gathered that the delay to have Officer Kowo tried in court is deliberate and intended to ensure that Kowo walks out of jail when he does not appear in court to answer to the charges levied against him by the police in February.

According to the group, the law provides that anyone accused of a crime can walk out of jail as a free person if they are not given the opportunity to appear in court after more than three terms of court.

"You know under the law of this country, anyone who commits a crime and is not tried after three terms of court, is set free, no matter the nature of the crime," Sarty pointed out.

With two terms of court already gone without trial, the Motorcyclists Union is afraid that the officer could walk out of prison with impunity if the third term of court elapses.

Also, a group of citizens of Gbuyee Town, the hometown of the deceased, under the banner of "Gbuyee Concerned Citizens" are also calling for speedy trial of the perpetrator.

The citizens of Gbuyee Town said the death of their kinsman is something they are yet to get over as, according to them, Samuel was a "child who always visited his people back home."

They stated that their greatest frustration lies in the failure of authorities of the county to ensure that the perpetrator is brought to justice.

They have vowed to remain resilient in pursuing the case to ensure that justice is served.

It can be recalled that during the late night hours of February, Officer Kowo, the Deputy Commander of the LNP Ganta Detail, allegedly murdered 18-year old motorcyclist Samuel Selleh near the Jackie Guest House in Ganta, when the officer was called by private security guards assigned at the guest house to disperse a crowd of young men who had gathered around the facility to access the guest house's internet.

It was during the process that the late Samuel Selleh, who eyewitnesses said was not part of the suspected criminals, had an encounter with officer Kowo who considered him (Selleh) to be one of the young men disturbing the private security guards.

Officer Kowo allegedly held onto Selleh's neck, resulting to his death few minutes after the tussle.

Following the incident, the officer was arrested, charged, disrobed and sent to the Sanniquellie Central Prison where he is said to be incarcerated awaiting court trial.

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