Liberia: Police Charge 34 Suspects in Maryland

-including youth leader Thomas Kumah

The Liberia National Police has charged and detained 34 suspects with multiple crimes in Maryland County as part of ongoing investigation into the gruesome murder of a commercial motorcyclist, Mordecious Nyemah recently in Pleebo District, Maryland and subsequent arson attacks by angry crowd against several government properties and residence of Speaker Bhofal Chambers'.

The 34 suspects were earlier charged and sent to the Pleebo Magisterial Court on Thursday, April 8, 2021 and later transferred to the Zwedru Correction Palace in Grand Gedeh County, awaiting trial.

According to Police charge sheet, the suspects, all males, have been charged with robbery, criminal conspiracy, arson, riot, failure to disperse, criminal mischief, obstruction of highways and other public areas, among others.

On April 5, 2021, Police investigators arrested defendants Morris Senneh, President of the Pleebo Motorcyclists Union, Thomas Kumah, president of Maryland County youth and other protestors.

The 34 suspects include Mamadou Diallo, Edward Toe, Sieh Gray, Edwin Lawal, Salu Ali, Lawrence Jarbee, Wilfred Kuoh, EugeneKoppeh, George Nimely, John Davis, Patrick Wilson, Augustine Navy, Micheal Doblah, SawoBedel, Robert Wesseh, Fred Johnny, and Peter Bestman.

Others are Moses Toe, Mashel Doloson, Thomas Kuma, Joseph Bannie, George Segbeh, Mark Freeman, Michael Tugbeh, Winston Smith, Christopher Dweh, Prince Kouh, George Weah, John Collies, Chris Porka and Sham Beyslow.

The police charge sheet further said the alleged perpetrators were duly informed of their constitutional rights, investigated and duly charged with the commission of the multiple crimes for leading a group of protestors, including youth and motorcyclists in Pleebo and Harper cities with the intent of demanding justice for the death of their colleague Mordacious Nyemah, who was allegedly killed by Moses Mlarmah on March 25, 2021.

The Police charge sheet details that the 34 defendants on March 31, 2021, allegedly vandalized several government properties, including setting ablaze the home of Speaker Chambers' and a Nissan pickup in his premises.

The charge sheet continues that the protesters vandalized the police stations in Harper and Pleebo, and then broke into the central prison in Harper City, took the living body of defendant Moses Mlarmah who was awaiting trial for his connection to the murder of Mordacious Nyemah.

According to the Police, the defendants subsequently released additional ninety-one (91) inmates some of whom were convicted of armed robbery, murder, rape, and burglary, among other crimes.

The charge sheet documents that after the protesters released defendant Moses Mlarmah, they vandalized and set ablaze the prison compound, destroying documents and other government properties.

Additionally, the police charge sheet says protestors didn't seek authorization before getting in the streets, erecting roadblocks and looting both private and public facilities.Cost of private and public properties damaged by protesters has been put at over two million United States Dollars.

The Police charge sheet notes that the acts allegedly committed by the defendants violate Chapters 10, 15 and 17; section 10.4, 15.1, 15.5, 15.30, 17.1, 17.3, and 17.7 respectively of the New Penal Law of Liberia.

The gruesome murder of the late Modicious Nyemah, who was a motorcyclist and student of the Pleebo High School, occurred on Thursday, March 25, 2021 at about 10 A.M.

Sources narrated that on Thursday, March 25, suspect Mlarmah asked the late Nyemah to take him to a nearby town called Besseken, around the Maryland Oil Palm Plantation (MOPP) but the latter was subsequently discovered dead after thorough investigation that linked suspect Moses Mlarmah.

Meanwhile, a dusks to dawn curfew subsequently imposed in the country by President George Manneh Weah as of April 1, 2021 is still in place. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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