Chaos In Ganta… Police Station Looted, Hotel Set Ablaze, Curfew Imposed

By Solomon T. Gaye in Ganta and M. WelemongaiCiapha II in Monrovia

Chaos broke out yesterday in the Commercial City of Ganta in Nimba County when an angry mob attacked the Ganta Police Station following report that a dead body of a man believed to be a motorcyclist was discovered.

The dead body was discovered in a pool of blood yesterday morning around the 404 community with deep cut on his head.

The angry mob mostly youths stormed the Ganta Police Station, damaged a Police vehicle, entered the building and looted the entire police station including the CID, Traffic Division, the Women and Children

Protection Department and finally broke open the Police with-holding cell released thus making all of the prisoners to escape.

The angry mob further moved to the Avino Hotel and a private residence belonging to businessman Prince Howard, looted the facility and set ablaze the hotel.

According to our correspondent the situation got tensed leading to the deployment of Liberia National Police (LNP) elite unit, the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) backed by the Ghanaian UNMIL soldiers.

During the upheaval, the angry mob blocked all roads leading to every community in Ganta with old irons and drums to prevent vehicles from moving from one point to another.

The mob believed that the death of the man was as a result of ritualistic killings which have been on the increase in Nimba as the latest incident is on record to have been the third dead body to be discovered in less than a week with parts extracted.

Last week a motorcyclist was killed and his dead body was discovered in Blon Town after he went missing for one week in the county.

Early August 7, 2015 a little, girl age 7 went missing and after searching for more than 28 days in Gbagwelay Town, the little girl was found dead with parts extracted.

Police officers along with UNMIL soldiers have been deployed at the Police Station in Ganta while Police is calling on citizens to leave the streets.

The Liberia Police County Commander, Morris Tinmah, is presently in Ganta calling on the citizens mostly youths and motorcyclists to remain calm with a promise that the law will take its course.

A suspect arrested by the angry mob identified as Bill Freepump allegedly received LD. 41, 000 and linked Businessman Prince Howard to the killing of the motorcyclist.

In a related development, our correspondent disclosed that a curfew has been imposed in Ganta. He said the curfew begins at 4 p.m. to 6 a.m. in the commercial city.

However, our correspondent said health workers and media personnel have been exempted from the curfew.

Meanwhile in Monrovia, acting police spokesperson, Lewis Norman, has confirmed the arrest of two persons in connection with the alleged killing of two persons in Ganta, Nimba County.

Those arrested and detained in connection with the alleged killing are David Lawrence and Ajax Fofana.

Mr. Norman, who spoke to journalists at the headquarters of the Liberia National Police yesterday, identified one of the dead persons as Milton Kpaklah, while the other is yet to be named.

The Acting spokesman also told reporters that six persons have been arrested in connection with the violence that led to the destruction of properties as well as the vandalizing of the police station in that part of the country.

Those arrested and detained, according to Norman, are Jackie Lannon, AstrongZayzay, OswaGbangbay, Ericson Samuel, Francis Togbah and Abraham Jalloh.

Norman said the demonstration started when a dead body of a man believed to be a motorcyclist was found in the vicinity of the Methodist Compound.

He said following the discovery of the body, angry motorcyclists backed by some community residents set up road block, vandalized the police station and freed 22 suspected criminals from police holding cell.

He added that Alvino Hotel, owned by Prince Howard was set ablaze by the angry mob because the body of the late Milton Kpaklah was allegedly found at his Howard’s house. Alvino Hotel is situated on Sanniquellie Road.

The Acting spokesman, who fell short to give an update on the level of destruction carried out in Ganta as a result of Wednesday’s protest said, police have put the situation under control.