Liberia: Bring the Killers of the LRA/IAA Quartet to Swift Justice, Mr. President!

The serial killing of top-notch young professionals within just a short period has sent a wave of fear through the public and heightened public concerns about their safety and security.

It appears that public suspicions about their deaths being officially sanctioned have deepened despite Information Minister Ledgerhood Rennie's attempt to place a spin on the murders, claiming that those killed were not auditors.

The Police says it is conducting an investigation into the suspicious deaths of the IAA and LRA officials. But other than naming the spouse of Albert Peters as a person of interest, the Police has not since publicly disclosed or named other persons of interest.

This latest death of the head of the Internal Audit Agency, Barten Nyesua, al accounts of what transpired at the home of Mr. Nyesua on the morning he was killed. Amongst those accounts given which claimed the attention of the Daily Observer is that of Mr. Teakon Williams and quoted in large part by the Thursday, October 15,edition of the FrontPage newspaper.

Going by his accounts to the Police, the public is left wondering just why the Police has not declared as persons of interest those officials mentioned in Teakon Williams' accounts to the Police. The public would like to know, for example why the Police has not publicly declared NPA managing director Bill Twehway as a person of interest given what has been disclosed about his links to the deceased.

Based on observations gathered by our reporter it appears that there was nothing in the house of the deceased that indicated or show any signs of struggle in the house including his own bedroom. Going by this, it appears unclear that the crime did not occur inside the house nor in his room.

Further, a female friend was reported to have been with Nyesua in his room but just who she remains unknown but her testimony could prove crucial in this case. The name of UL Veep, Norris Tweah, was also mentioned in Teakon Williams' account to the Police according to the FrontPage Africa story.

It still remains unclear, at this stage, whether and breakthroughs have been made in the investigation, given public apprehensions about the bungled handling of the crime scene on Broad Street, where the dead bodies of two individuals, both employees of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), were discovered in a vehicle parked opposite the Catholic Cathedral on Broad Street.

As regards motives for the killing of auditor Nyesua, sources have told this newspaper that the NPA audits had been completed and revealed that funds generated from the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) scheme were not going into the Government of Liberia's consolidated accounts. The CTN was introduced and imposed by the NPA.

Under the arrangement, according to sources, a fee of US$180 is levied on each container that is imported into the country. NPA management collects this amount for forward deposits into Government of Liberia consolidated accounts.

This is in theory. But in practice, it is different. The money simply disappears into a sinkhole. And Nyesua, according to sources, had probed the matter and had uncovered some damning information allegedly suggesting links to President Weah,

Sources have told this newspaper that there is a growing perception in the international community that the Weah led government is becoming a rogue government and may become a pariah state. The Liberian economy, crippled by rising foreign debt is in tatters with signs of recovery appearing increasingly dim.

A former IMF/World Bank official has told this newspaper that there are rising fears in international circles that the Liberian economy could implode with devastating consequences for stability and security in the subregion especially in the Mano River Basin countries, Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and La Cote d'Ivoire.

Several factors, one of which could hasten the process according to the former official is the prospect of hyperinflation likely to be induced by the infusion of billions of Liberian dollar banknotes into the market. Already there are signs that inflation is rising as the Liberian dollar continues to depreciate against the United States dollar.

Another factor is what appears to be very poor and corrupt handling of the electoral process by the National Elections Commission (NEC). The just ended Voters Roll Update (VRU) process has been marred by a host of irregularities ranging from Voter trucking, multiple registration, including registration of minors and foreigners.

Lest it be forgotten, the full impact of the deaths of these promising young Liberians is yet to be felt. Failure on the part of this government to bring perpetrators of the gruesome crimes to justice will send a clear signal to all and sundry that the Government of Liberia is incapable of protecting the life, liberty, dignity and rights of the people.

This government is once again urged to reflect on the past, on how we as a nation have got to where we are. History provides more than adequate lessons from which this current leadership should take guidance. But no! They are disdainful of every good advice and their inordinate greed could prove to be their very undoing.

And this is what appears to be unfolding before our eyes with the serial killings of senior government auditors and the growing exposure of those involved in the planning and murder of the officials.

The nation, the public expects that President Weah will act with firmness and dispatch and bring the killers of the LRA/IAA quartet to justice without delay.

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