Report from Grand Gedeh County says some officers of the Emergency Respond Unit (ERU) recently looted the homes and business centers of scores of citizens residing and trading at the Bartajam Gold Mining Camp in Cavalla District#3, Grand Gedeh County.
According to the information, at about 2:00 A.M., April 29, 2013, Bartajam Camp Master, Sam S. Garwo contacted Grand Gedeh County Superintendent, Peter Solo to inform the police commander that there was an urgent need to send a team of officers to the camp so as to restore a chaotic scene that was caused by the gruesome murder of Fred Saydee, a-35 year old man.
Mr. Jomah Zazysay, age 40 is alleged to have murdered late Saydee on the fateful morning of April 29, 2013 for allegedly and criminally making away with his L$39,000.00. Upon receipt of the information that night, the youths in the area went in frantic mood demanding the living body of the perpetrator so that they could apply the “Moses law.”
Our information disclosed further that though they were contacted when the incident was unfolding, the police did not go to the scene which was 33 kilometers away from Zwedru until 9:00 a.m.
“We got to know that they were here only by the sound of their guns which lasted for at least an hour. Apparently, their intension was to steal our belongings, because they looted most of our homes and shops including mine during the one hour of sporadic shooting,” Madam Alice Gedehgar explained in a town hall meeting at Bartajam on Thursday, May 2, 2013.
Madam Gedehgar narrated that two of the ERU bullets wounded a juvenile in his chest and the buttocks of an adolescent. The juvenile who was shot in the chest is on critical list at Ganta United Methodist Hospital in Nimba, while the other injured child has been confirmed crippled for life by doctors at the Martha Tubman Memorial Hospital in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh.
Several other citizens of the county and inhabitants of the area accused the ERU officers of taking away Refrigerators, motorcycles, food and none food items among others during their desperate operation.
According to Paramount Chief Arthur T. Gbledeah, “If not for the grace of God, we would have been dead by now. I was pressed to visit the toilet when I heard the sound of gun for up to an hour. Upon receiving calls from the camp master and the senior mining agent of Bartajam, my clan chiefs and I decided to come over and settle the issue forever. But, when we got at the entrance of the camp, we met ‘wear-wear’ police people ordering members of our poro society and the mask dancer to vacate the camp.”
Paramount Chief Gbledeah told the meeting last Thursday that members of the poro society were in Bartajam as guests of Senior Mining Agent, Victor Gboyah, to verify the actual cause of late Saydee’s death.
However, ERU officers dispatched to the scene soon became furious at their presence and began excessive shooting at them, thus causing the inhabitants to flee from their houses and sought safety in nearby bushes for survival, as their properties and commodities became vulnerable to the ERU officers.
Well, LNP region four Commander; J. Patrick Smith Senior, Grand Gedeh Commander; Nah G. Walker, the county Chief of Operations; Kesselley and ERU Commander Mulbah Z. Jallah admitted on tape that they fired, but only 17 bullets at the civilians.
In the presence of Grand Gedeh District #3 Representative, Alex Chersia Grant, the four local police officials last Thursday told our correspondent that one of the ERU officers dispatched to the area discharged one of his assigned fire arms when a member of the poro society attempted to disarm him.
In separate remarks, the county’s most senior LNP officers accused Bartajam inhabitants of shooting at their lieutenants with single barrel guns, and the ERU reciprocated swiftly.
Confirming the injury of the two children, the senior police officers took responsibility and expressed regret for their subordinates’ actions.
Smith, Jallah, Walker and Henry contradicted an earlier statement of directing all bullets in the sky and said the two children who are now victimized by the shoot-out came in contact with ERU’s “C level” bullets.
Representative Grant has vowed to ensure that he will not rest until all those involved are dealt with in accordance with the LNP Code of Conduct.