-Police IG disagrees with Police probe In UP hit-and-run accident  

By Jerromie S. Walters

The Inspector General of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Patrick Sudue, has forwarded a written communication to the Justice Minister of the Republic of Liberia, noting his disappointment in the Inspector General of Police for Crime Services,  Prince B. Mulbah, for what he termed as forwarding a sensitive high-profile case (UP hit-and-run accident) to court without his knowledge as the Inspector General of Police.

In the letter dated December 1, 2023, to the Justice Minister, Sudue narrates- “I am seriously taken aback and disappointed in the behavior of the DiGP for Crime Services, Hon. Prince B. Mulbah, for forwarding such a sensitive high-profile case to court without my knowledge as the Inspector General of Police, despite my request for status briefing and in the midst of an ongoing accident investigation. As we speak, DIGP Mulbah is yet to brief me on the outcome of CSD investigation into the accident leading to deaths and serious injuries; and this has created barrier to my knowiedge and input into the matter at this level. It is in this light that I thought to draw your attention and seek your intervention and to institute an investigation as our boss into the circumstances leading to the fowarding of an alleged murder case to court on a none court working day without my acknowledgement.” 

With this, he insists, “Moreover, I do request in the investigation for the DIGP for Crime Sérvices to avail the evidence that constitute the charge of murder in this case.”

The letter reads, “With compliments, I write to complain and express my disappointment in the form and manner in which the case of a fatal accident that occurred on November 20, 2023 at the headquarters of the Unity Party (UP) on Broad Street, Monrovia was handled by the Deputy Inspector General of Police for Crime Serices, Hon. Prince &. Mulbah, with no regard to my oversight responsibility and authority as the Inspector General of Police (1GP), and without observing the legal procedures in investigating and prosecuting cases of such.”

“Upon the occurrence of the incident, the Liberia National Police (LNP) Public Safety Division commenced an immediate investigation into the circumstances that led to the occurrence of the accident While the accident investigation was ongoing, the LNP Crime Services Department (CSD) requested to help look into the matter to see if there were any criminal intent after which the case would have been reverted to the Public Safety Division, if no criminal intent was established, for continuation of the accident investigation, I have been following the case until Wednesday, November 22, 2023, when I asked DIGP Prince  Mulbah for a status briefing on the CSD investigation, at which time he told me that he was eoing to charge the suspect criminally. I told him that the suspect could not be charged criminally until the circumstances leading to the accident were thoroughly revealed and criminal intent established. At this point, DIGP Mulbah said “then let me consult the Minister of Justice and revert to you.” DIGP Mulbah dd not cal back until i placed a follow-up call and

his response was: “The Minister of lustice has concurred with the charge of Murder.

differed with his statement; but DIGP Mulbah insisted on grounds that: “the Justice Minister is our boss and we must take his instruction.

Looking at the circumstances and the direction in which the investigation was proceeding, he said, “I told IG Mulbah that we should schedule a meeting on Friday November 24.2023 at 1000hrs and he agreed. I said that the meeting would involve the Accident Investigators and the Criminal investigators to understand how the charge of murder was derived and to allow the traffic investigators to continue the acCident imestigation submit a report at which timne both of the reports will be forwarded to the prosecution team at the Ministry of Justice for a full ECH and appropriate charges levied as we have always done in high profile cases.”

“The meeting was not held on Eriday hecase DIGP Mdbah’srefusal to take my folow-up calls for the sheduled meeting Hiowever, I instructed the Chief of Public Safety, DCP John Saah, to proceed with the accident investieation, DCp Saah told me that he wll continue the accident investigation and do the accident scene reconstruction ona Sunday due to the weekly flow of traffic. Interestingly, on Sunday, November 26 202was informed by Dcp Saah that he could not continue the investigation because the matter had been taken to court on Saturdav.

November 25, 2023. I then immediateby caled the Chief of court Lalson and he confirmed that the defendant was taken to court on Saturday and brgurht back to the Police for detention, along with the case file, Based on this linstructed that the suspect should not be taken to court until I see the case fle and court returns, and that the accident investigation should continue because without a court returns and detention order from the court indicates

that the suspects was stll under the Police custody not the court.

He continued, “On Monday, November 27, 2023, the sherit from the court came at central headquarters to receive the suspect but was denied based upon the above mentigned. I later received a calt

from the ludge of Criminal Court A, His Honor Roosevelt Wilie, to turn the suspect over to the Monrovia City Court or be held in contempt of court. It was based on this that instructed that the suspect be turned over as requested by the Court which was officially done on the same Monday, November 27, 2023, as evident by the returned charged sheet from the

Monrovia City Court bearing the date of November 27, 2023. 

“After turning the suspect over to the court, I recuested the case fle fron the Chief of Court Liaison and upon review of the documents, i observed the following to wit

a. That the investigation directly linked the suspect to the Coalition for Democratic

Charge (CDC) as found in the investigative findings counts 3&6which does not have

any bearing on this case, without even contacting the party to authenticate his

membership; b. That, it is unclear how the imvestigation derived its conclusion on the claim of gear failure as indicated in count 12 of the investigative findings when the vehicle was totally burnt in the incident: That, the premise that the investigator based its findings and conclusions in the case was a mere insinuation and assumption that there was indeed a motive of monetary benefit which was never established as found in count 24 of the investigative findings to derive a murder charge was erroneous and will not lie in court; d. That, a writ of arrest on suspect LawTence K Wlams was issued on Saturday.”

Moreover, the letter provides, “November 25. 2023 prior to the case fle being presented to the court on Monday November 27, 2023. Sir from my worthof experience, the case fle was to be accepted by the court, returns are given before the issuance of a writ of arrest Howeve, in this case, the writ was issued on Saturday and the case file was forwarded to the court and returns received on Monday, which was in the reverse. Please see attached writ of arrest.

In his mind, he says- “the above counts as stated by the investigators were done in an unethical manner and very unprofessional, which does not meet the standard of the Lberia Natignal Police investigations. It is unprofessional to link a political party or any other ingtitution to the action of an individual where the investigation has not made any follow up to authenticate the

person’s membership or affiliation or established that the action was sanctioned by the party/institution for which they were named.

“Sir, let me refer to the case of the riot that occurred in Foya District, Lofa County between supporters of CDC and UP. The Police charge sheet forwarding the suspects to court did not in any way indicate any party affiliation in the matter. Another referenced case is the case of

Jethro Harris of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) who posted in 2021 a photo depicting ritualistic killings in Liberia. The Pollice charge sheet also did not indicate or name any party affiliation.