Why The Delay? Cllr. Michael Allison’s Autopsy Report:
By Atty Philip N. Wesseh (PNW)
It has been over a week now since a pathologist performed an autopsy on the body of late Cllr. Michael Allison, the whistle blower, whose death has sparked out a lot of controversies, as to the actual cause of his death. The deceased, a son of former Defense Minister, Gray D. Allison, was the man who raised an alleged corrupt act involving Speaker Alex Tyler and Representative Adolph Lawrence in a US$25,000 deal and was found dead of a Friday on a beach in Monrovia.
According to the story, a lady who was with him claimed that both of them took a walk on the bench, and while there, the deceased decided to bathe in the sea, during which time she saw him drowning. It is reported that was then that she called for help and Allison was taken from the water, but died later.
Since the news about his death, there have been incessant calls for an autopsy to actually determine the cause of his death. It was in the wake of these calls and mounting speculations, with all kinds of conspiracy theories that the government invited a pathologist, said to have come from neighboring Sierra Leone to perform the autopsy. As expected, since the autopsy was performed, there have been high anxieties on the side of the public, especially those who feel that the cause of death was not natural, for the government to make public the outcome of the report.
Personally, before travelling to Gbarnga, Bong County last Tuesday to participate in the launch of the De-concentration Platform by President Sirleaf, I listened to the deputy police spokesman, my own brother, Lewis Norman on the Liberian Women Democracy Radio of Stella Nelson, that the autopsy has been performed. However, he declined to give details as this was not within his purview to do so. Administratively, I agree with him on this in keeping with sound administrative practices, as subordinates must be authorized to speak on certain issues at certain times.
Naturally, the mounting public concerns about the death of this lawyer was not a surprise because his death came in the wake of investigation that he had blown the whistle about a check of US$25,000, in his name, instead of US12, 000 by the House of Representatives on oil consultation. It was based on this additional amount on the check that the deceased blew the whistle that led to the arrest of Representative Lawrence of Montserrado County, who had escorted the lawyer to the bank based on a directive of the Speaker, who reportedly told the lawyer, after raising qualms over the transaction to “cooperate” with the Representative who had escorted him to the bank.
Just as the matter and that of the actual amount given to the House for the nationwide consultation were being discussed concomitantly, this news of the death of this whistle blower came about. Hence, it is not surprising about the matter of speculations and conspiracy theories that continue to characterize the discussion on the matter. This is why this government, must act now to inform the public about the outcome of the autopsy. Once an autopsy has been performed, the people have the right to know the cause of death of a relative and a fellow citizen.
In all fairness, the unprecedented failure of the government to make public this report is adding insult to injury or creating room for all kinds of suspicions and speculations. It is known fact that this is a rumor-mongering society and that most of the people are vulnerable, and as such, this continued silence by the government to make public this report is counter-productive and an antithesis of accountability and transparency, which are two of the ingredients of good governance.
As it is often said, the sooner the better and so, let the government make public this report, as delays are dangerous. Few weeks ago, it was the autopsy report on a child that was raped. That report, too, is yet to come to the knowledge of the public.
For me, this is not a good practice, especially when facts and circumstances surrounding some of these incidents have been straddled in high controversies and disbeliefs. Lest government forget that autopsy reports are sensitive issues that need no delay, as more delays would becloud believability. This nation saw this with the late Esther Parker, a then resident of the Stephen Tolbert Estate in Gardnersville in the 80’s and the late Angel Togba few years ago.
Again, as I said in one of my articles, let the government stop stabbing itself in the legs, as it stands to be accused of complicity, which I believe would not augur well for it. As such, let it make public the outcome of the autopsy report, as more delays, the more suspicions and speculations. I Rest My Case.