The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Pealat Construction Company, Praise Tony Lawal, is being interrogated by the Liberia National Police based on suspicion of attempting to gun down Samuel Benedict Cooper, owner of Westwood Construction Company.
Police spokesman, Sam Collins who confirmed the action of the police Tuesday evening said it was based upon a complaint about Mr. Lawal’s involvement; officers of the LNP made the arrest and are currently conducting investigations into his alleged link to the assassination attempt on the life of Mr. Cooper.
Mr. Lawal believed to be a former Nigerian ECOMOG soldier has spent at least two nights behind bars at the LNP Headquarters due to information gathered linking Lawal with some unknown gunmen who last Saturday morning opened fire at Mr. Cooper’s vehicle while he was returning to his Fish Market Community residence.
It was observed that the front windshield of Mr. Cooper’s vehicle got damaged by the shots and one of Mr. Cooper’s associate, Eric L. Bracewell, confirmed that the Liberian businessman was fired at twice by the unknown men while returning home on that fateful morning.
Mr. Bracewell, owner of Mandee Construction Company said prior to the incident, Mr. Cooper had received threats on his life from an anonymous texter and at the same time accused Mr. Lawal of launching stern media attacks on Mr. Cooper.
It was not stated whether or not the two construction company owners were nursing misapprehension, but Mr. Bracewell continued to accuse the Nigerian businessman of having a hand in negative propagandas that were falsely linking the Westwood Construction Company to some incomplete projects in Lofa County, and trying to defame his character.
Mr. Bracewell further explained that to frustrate or eliminate Westwood Corporation from competing for road paving jobs, which has been exclusively reserved for foreign companies, the asphalt plant recently imported by Mr. Cooper was tampered with and the electrical wires were cut off.
The President of the Association of Liberia Construction Contractors (ALCC), Foday Kamara also confirmed that there is disagreement among some Liberian companies and foreign-owned companies favored by government in getting contracts.
Even though he did not say in any clear terms that that was why Lawal had allegedly chosen to attack Cooper, Mr. Kamara disclosed that rivalry companies are fussing over the awarding of contracts by the government.
However, Mr. Lawal has come under serious criticism from several members of the public and the Liberian Contractor Association for being awarded four lucrative contracts without completing any road contract in the country.