Monrovia — Last weekend did not only instill fear in residents of Monrovia, it also left a puzzle that citizens and state security are grappling to solve - three mysterious deaths - all employees of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA).
The death news of Albert Peters, an auditor and Gifty Lama, a research analyst, whose bodies were discovered in a vehicle on Snapper Hill on Broad Street was still settling in when Mr. George F. Fanbutu, also an auditor, who reportedly died in a car accident was announced Sunday evening.
The spouses of both Peters and Lama suspect foul play in the deaths taking into consideration the circumstances surrounding their demise.
The pair had left their separate homes on Thursday of last week but did not return home, prompting concerns from both families who launched separate search for them.
George F. Fanbutu's Ghastly Murdered?
The Liberia National Police confirmed to FrontPageAfrica that Mr. George F. Fanbutu was pronounced dead at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center on Sunday after he reportedly lost control his steering wheel on the 72nd Boulevard, hit a pedestrian identified as Saar Fayiah and the car rested in the house of one Dr. Joseph P. K. Boika in the Roland Duo curve on the 72nd Boulevard.
"George B. Fanbutu was taken at the JFK Medical Center in Sinkor, where he was pronounced dead on arrival (DOA) while the pedestrian is admitted at a local clinic in Roland Duo Community undergoing medical treatment. Investigation is ongoing," the police said.
However, talk show host Henry Costa explained via a Facebook broadcast that Mr. Fanbutu was invited to the home of one of his bosses to help me do some work and he honored the invitation on Sunday.
According to Costa, while on his way home along the 72nd Boulevard, Mr. Fanbutu was chased by men on motorbikes with machetes. One of them opened the driver's door and gushed the LRA employee on his head, leading him to lose control of the steering wheel.
Costa showed a video of Mr. Fanbutu bleeding profusely from his head which was being tied with a cloth by some citizens on the scene who rushed to his rescue.
When contacted again to confirm Mr. Costa's revelation, Police Spokesman Moses Carter said the only account he can give is that which he was told by the accident survivor who is currently seeking treatment.
Gifty Lama's Husband Suspects Foul Play
Mr. Sylvester Lama, Gifty's widower, 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".
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 the 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".
Albert Peters' Widow Testimony
On the other hand, Albert's widow, Mrs. Beatrice Peters, told social media talk show host, "Prophet Key" over the weekend that her daughter overhead her husband in an argument with an unknown person over the phone and he kept saying, "I'm tired. I'll do the report. I'll do the report."
She explained that her husband had received a phone call that his salary was ready at the bank and he unusually left the house with his two computers that Thursday morning. She emphasized that her husband never left home with his computer unless he was going to work. In this case, he told he was going to the bank.
"Why carry the two laptops," she asked her husband who, in response, told her: "Maybe they will tell me to do some work," she told the show's host.
She said it was unusual of her husband not to be home after 7pm unless he is held in the street by traffic.
Mrs. Peters narrated that she made several calls that Thursday evening to her husband's phone and some occasions, someone would answer but would not speak.
"His phone is most of the time on silent, but when I called, he could not answer. Someone would 'OK' the phone but would not answer."
She said she and a man named Augustine Chenoweth spoke and Augustine told her that LRA's employees were at the town hall where the President's birthday was celebrated. "He (Augustine) told me that we should pray," Madam Peters told Prophetkey.
Madam Peters explained that while on the search for her husband Friday morning, she saw her husband's car. She said her daughter, screamed: 'Mama, that's daddy's car,' prompting her to proceed to the parked car.
Upon opening the door, she said, the driver saw Gifty (Victoria) well-dressed and lying with her neck believed to be broken while her husband was in a boxer with his arm broken and laid behind him," she recounted. She also said her husband's ear was cut, and he was skinned.
"The driver shouted; and I ran to the car, and that's how we started raising an alarm. People around there told us that the car was brought early Friday morning by a huge man with a cap on his head and he parked it (car) there, but we do not know him and did not know what was on the car."
She also clarified that Gifty was a daughter to she and her husband and they had known her to be a descent hard-working woman.
Mr. Peters' widow said she was informed by some people where claimed to have been present said it was a huge man wearing a cap that drove to park the car on Snapper Hill that morning.
According to her, she met her has only in brief while Gifty was fully dressed in the vehicle.