Police Arrests Nation Times Publisher…For Driving Car With Foreign Plate

By Morrison O.G. Sayon

Police in Monrovia has arrested the Publisher of the “Nation Times” Newspaper Mr. Octavin T. Williams.   Mr. Williams was on late Wednesday evening picked up by the Deputy Director of Police for Operation, Abraham Kromah for ‘using foreign’ license plate.

But Police Spokesman, Sam Collins speaking on a local radio station yesterday morning said Mr. Williams was in police custody for assaulting Deputy Director Kromah.

The arrest of Mr. Williams has generated public interest especially for Director Kromah himself to have spearheaded the operation leading to the arrest and incarceration of the Liberian Journalist. The arrest of Mr. Williams came barely a day after he published a story on the son of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Robert Sirleaf about his American passport and other critical issues on LPRC Managing Director, T. Nelson Williams.

Efforts to secure the release of the journalist proved futile on yesterday as Director Kromah refused to meet with the leadership of the Press Union of Liberia the umbrella organization of journalists in Liberia and a lawyer representing the PUL.

Immediately following the incident, the president of the PUL, Kamara A. Kamara and other top journalists trooped to the headquarters of the PUL to secure the release of Mr. Williams but Police Director Chris Massaquoi and his Deputy Kromah informed the PUL leadership that they were rushing for a meeting with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and therefore could not discuss anything relative to the release of the journalist.

The team of journalists and PUL leadership spent over three hours Wednesday evening at the police headquarters awaiting the return of the two police bosses but did not return. Some of them left the area at 10:00 p.m., disappointed in the action of Directors Massaquoi and Kromah.

Early Thursday morning several other journalists joined the PUL leadership headed by Jallah Grayfield and the legal counsel of the union, Cllr. Cephas patiently waited for the release of Mr. Williams but to no avail as Kromah continuously promised to come to the Police headquarters but did not.

Meanwhile, PUL president Kamara termed the arrested of Williams as nothing but common harassment by Kromah and his group of police escort.