Monrovia — FrontPageAfrica has received credible information that the court has released suspect Sampson Pennue, a National Security Agency (NSA) agent, who was charged with murder in connection with the killing of the Deputy Grand Gedeh County Police Commissioner, Alexander Saye, has been released on bail.
Intelligence leaked to FrontPageAfrica also says that suspect Pennue is contemplating fleeing to neighboring Ivory Coast.
Murder is a capital offense. Article 21(d) of the Constitution forbids those charged with capital offenses to be released on bail. It states, "All accused persons shall be bailable upon their personal recognizance or by sufficient sureties, depending upon the gravity of the charge, unless charged for capital offenses or grave offenses as defined by law."
Police spokesman, Moses Carter, confirmed to FrontPageAfrica that Liberia National Police after its investigation charged Pennue with murder. He said, releasing him on bail is completing within the purview of the court. He also said that the court reserves the right to reduce the charge the way it sees it fit.
However, sources within the Ministry of Justice and the Temple of Justice informed FrontPageAfrica that there is an ongoing investigation within the police and the judiciary over the releasing of detained suspects on bail.
According to the source, there is a clique within the both entities that collaborate to maneuver the release of suspect criminals through a chain of bribery.
It can be recalled that Inspector General of Police, Col. Patrick Sudue accused the courts of releasing criminals who are remanded at the Monrovia Central Prison.
He said, "The release of these criminals by the court is causing serious problems for the Police and the community. One Kessely Mulbah was released by the court in the same way, when he came back in the community, he killed a member of Kapaukapau night watch team in Keba and was again shot by the LNP anti-robbery squad in the leg, treated and sent back to the court and he was sent to South Beach prison," Col. Sudue said.
But the Temple of Justice reacted sharply to the allegation against the court, also accusing the police forwarding suspects without proper investigation that can lead to conviction or detention.
The U.S. State Department 2020 Human Rights Report on Liberia documented that, "The constitution provides for an independent judiciary, but judges and magistrates were subject to influence and engaged in corruption. Judges sometimes solicited bribes to try cases, grant bail to detainees, award damages in civil cases, or acquit defendants in criminal cases. Defense attorneys and prosecutors sometimes suggested defendants pay bribes to secure favorable decisions from judges, prosecutors, and jurors, or to have court staff place cases on the docket for trial."
Unfortunately, the news about the tampering of justice by releasing a murder suspect on bail by the court comes at a time when the Judiciary is having its fourth judicial conference which is aimed at discussing pertinent legal issues relative to the administration of justice and to come up with practicable solutions that will take cognizance of the dynamics and progressive nature of the law and the prevailing needs and conditions in society.
The Judiciary said it will further take into consideration the global dynamics to large extent are the nerve center of peace, security, and prosperity in any nation, adding that laws crafted must be able to shape public policy and political decisions and by extension provided equitable economic freedom to all.
When contacted to shed light on how his brother was released, Grand Gedeh Senator, Zoe Emmanuel Pennue, told FrontPageAfrica to rather contact the judge or the court, saying that he did not want to be involved with the case.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Alexander Saye, was murdered on November 27, 2020.
Prior to his demise, DCP Saye served as Company Commander of the Police Support Unit (PSU), Deputy Chief, Emergency Response Unit (ERU), Chief of Emergency Response Unit, Regional Commander, Montserrado Region (U-142), and lastly served as Regional Commander for Region Four (Grand Gedeh and Sinoe Counties).
He served the LNP for over 14 years as a tactically trained and disciplined riot control and senior commanding officer who served the Police Support Unit (PSU), the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) and the Patrol Division of the Liberia National Police.
Police Spokesman Carter at the time told FrontPageAfrica the NSA Regional Commander, Pennue was charged with the crime murder in connection with the death of the Deputy Commissioner of Police.
He disclosed that police investigation conducted shows that Commander Pennue allegedly pulled his firearm at the victim, but the police did not establish why a live round was pulled at Saye, who also allegedly discharged his firearm
"Sampson Pennoh has been charged with murder and he is the NSA Commander for Grand Gedeh. We have gathered that he was the one who pulled the trigger, but what led to the trigger being pulled, we were not there but the fact established that his arm (gun) was discharged and that of Alexander Saye's firearm was also discharged".
"The fact that his arm was discharged, it points to a logical conclusion that he discharged the firearm that affected Alexander Saye".
Carter pointed out that the LNP investigation did not establish whether or not there was a misunderstanding that ensued between the pair prior to the unfortunate incident.
Carter ruled out speculation that the alleged act was accidentally carried out by the NSA Commander for Grand Gedeh County.
According to him, all firearm carriers are trained and well knowledgeable about methods of preserving and discharging their weapons.
"Firearm carriers must be very cognizant and aware of how they handle firearms. When you handle a fire arm and someone is shot, there is nothing like it was done accidentally"-we will charge you with murder. There are assumptions that it was not done intentional, but the fact that a life has been taken away by an arm carrier is inescapable".