Monrovia — The husband of a senior employee of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), who was found dead in a vehicle along with her colleague, Sylvester Lama, is suspecting foul play over the death of his wife, Gifty Asmah Lama.
Mrs. Lama and Mr. Peters were found dead in the early morning hours of Friday, October 2.
She was the Acting Manager for Tax Services while Mr. Peters was the Assistant Commissioner for Audit. Both were discovered in a vehicle on Broad Street, opposite the Sacred Heart Cathedral Church in Monrovia.
The Late Gifty Asmah Lama was known to be a Research Analyst with the LRA but, prior to her sudden unexplained death, she was transferred as Manager for Taxpayers Services - the section responsible for the supervision of all incoming government money. She was assisting Albert Peters who was also commissioned to audit the consolidated account at the Central Bank of Liberia prior to their mysterious deaths.
FrontPageAfrica gathered from impeccable sources that the Central Bank of Liberia has not been making transfers into that account as required. Revenue and account reconciliation, according to an expert, requires spending long hours at the Central Bank.
Sources informed FrontPageAfrica that Gifty and Albert had been trying to trace taxpayers' payments to the consolidated fund but had not been successful because the Central Bank had not been making the transfers. Gifty, according to sources, may have been assisting Albert to dig out the collection of revenue relative to this account from the LRA tax system.
Family Denied Access to Bodies
Speaking in an interview with reporters at the St. Moses Funeral Parlour on the Somalia Drive, outside Monrovia on Monday, Gifty's husband, Sylvester S. Lama, claimed that the decision taken by authorities of the Liberia National Police (LNP) to deny him and other family members the opportunity to view the remains of his beloved wife on two separate occasions signifies a "foul play" over circumstances which led to the death of his wife.
Mr. Lama served as Assistant Superintendent for Development for Montserrado County during the administration of ex-Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
He expressed disappointed over the decision taken by authorities of the Liberia National Police (LNP) to deny him and other family members the opportunity to view the remains of his wife on Broad Street and at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center shortly after the pair were pronounced dead.
Mr. Lama claimed that though officers from the Homicide Division of the Liberia National Police (LNP) most often allow family members to make claim of bodies of citizens found in the streets, or those who died under untold circumstances, the situation was not the case with the corpse of his wife.
He wondered why the police allegedly prevented him and other family members of the deceased from viewing the remains of his wife who represented Liberia abroad on numerous occasions.
"They have not even given us chance to see the body. When we got the information that my wife body was in a car on Broad Street, the father and I got there only to see St. Moses was already there, LRA Commissioner General was there. The dad and I pleaded for us to see the body, but they prevented us from seeing the body".
"We went to JFK to even see the body, but they prevented my father-in-law and us from seeing the body. They know the reason. Most of the time you hear bodies lying in the street; it takes three to four days before the police from the homicide division go. Why they do that-they want to allow family members to have access. With this type of incident and people preventing family members from seeing the body, we are highly disappointed as a family".
Mr Lama continued: "This signals to me that there is a foul played in the death of my wife and from all indication, from the communication that we had, we all know that my wife was not sick, or involved in an accident-only for people to call and say your wife body is on Broad Street".
Call for investigation
Mr. Lama maintained that the family is suspecting a foul play, and has demanded the conduct of an autopsy to establish what really happened due to the manner and form in which they have lost someone who is so "dear" to them.
He indicated that family members of Gifty are not satisfied with the manner and form in which the remains of his wife were discovered in a vehicle, and as such, the conduct of an impartial investigation should not be downplayed.
"We are calling on the Liberian government to investigate this matter to ensure that justice is served. We need justice is serve".
Mr. Lama, however, assured that the family of the victim will give the police the chance to conduct the investigation and will avoid preempting the outcome of the probe.
He pointed out that prior to the discovery of his wife and her colleague remains in the vehicle, multiple efforts and inquiries were made by family members concerning the whereabouts of Gifty.
"My wife on Thursday morning left the house by 8:30 to go to work; there was an arrangement she and her dad to use the car to go to Margibi. By 11:00AM my father-in-law called my wife two numbers continuously, but there was no response. There was no response up to 2AM. But before that, other family members called my wife and they couldn't get her".
"By 7PM I received a call from my sister-in-law Rebecca saying that we have been calling your wife number since this morning and there has been no response So, there is a need you come. I got on bike from inside Moulton Brewerville and came to West Point. We chartered taxi, went to Central (police station) and reported the case".
Mr. Lama added that various medical centers and hospitals were also visited by some family members of the deceased that were onboard a chartered vehicle during the late night hours.
"From there we went to the traffic division to find out whether there was any accident and the police told us there was no accident. We went to JFK and all the hospitals; we entered the emergency wards and the records but there was nothing there indicating that my wife was taken to a hospital".
'Your will see her tomorrow in the car'
Mr. Lama disclosed that following multiple efforts to locate Gifty, the discovery of his wife in a vehicle was firstly revealed by an unidentified man who answered her he phone of his wife, Giifty Asmah Lama, during the early morning hours of Friday.
He noted that the comments from the unknown person reenergized family members to again launch a manhunt search for his wife, but all efforts to get a sight on her did not materialize.
"We came home by 2AM in the morning and my sister-in-law dialed her lone star number. When she dialed the number, a strange person answered the call saying that, 'your will see her tomorrow in the car'. From there, he cut off the phone. For each time, I dial the number, he does not respond. When I text the number, the person will call back and say the same thing".
No extramarital affairs
He denied speculations and rumors that his wife was in a love affair with, Mr. Peters.
Mr. Lama's comments corroborated with comments made by Mrs. Beatrice Peters, wife of Mr. Albert K. Peters that the late Gifty was like a daughter to the Peters' family.
He pointed out that a decision was reached by his family for his wife and the kids to spend working days at the home of their grandfather in the township of West Point and return to their residence in Brewerville during the weekend.
Mr. Lama attributed the decision taken to the need for his wife to always be punctual at her job site, since in fact, the Bushrod Island is one of the hotspots for traffic congestion in Liberia.
"My wife is somebody with high integrity. So, people who parading the corridor providing misinformation that my wife was involved in extra marital affairs; I think that is from the belly of the devil. My wife was born in West Point and she is a leader in the Church of Pentecost; and she is a youth leader of our district. Anybody who says that my wife and I were on separation, that person is a complete liar; that person is demonic".