Ganta, Nimba County – The Government of Liberian has assured Citizens that it will bring to Justice those responsible for the Wednesday September 30 riot in Ganta, Nimba County. Justice Minister Benedict Sannoh said those linked to the fracas whether in high or low places will face the full weight of the law and will not go with impunity.
He said it will take government about one to two weeks to come out with finding from a full scale investigation it has begun conducting on the incident. Minister Sannoh has also announced the lifting of the curfew it imposed on Wednesday evening following the violent incident that led to the distruction of thousands loss of properties.
The Attorney General has assured every Liberian and foreign residents that the government has brought the situation under control and want them to go about doing their normal activities. He called on business institutions, such as banks, stores and local traders to resume normal economic activities.
Justice Minister Sannoh was speaking on Thursday when he lead a government of Liberia fact finding team to accessed the Wednesday violent incident which took away the live of one person with several properties destroyed. He also disclosed that the banned place on motorcycle riding remains enforce until further decisions are taken in consultation with motorcycle union in Ganta.
The situation occurred when motorcyclists and some citizens protested the murder of one motorcyclist identified as Nathan. Two hotel towels, his home and two cars of prominent businessman in Ganta, identified as Prince Howard were set ablaze after being allegedly link to the killing of the motorcyclist.
Analysis by: Mac Samah in Ganta, Nimba County: Ganta Residents Angered by Suspected Ritualistic Killings
Murders in Ganta over the last couple of months prompted the violent riot when residents accused Mr. Howard of allegedly plotting one of the murders for ritualistic purpose. There have some other suspected ritualistic killings before the one that led to the riot.
On Saturday, September 22, Josephus Yeawonyee,16, of Royal Community in Ganta City was allegedly taken by his friend Jacob Vamo and allegedly murdered him near Blohn Town in Leewehpea District. According to family sources, Jacob asked the late Sephus’ mother to permit her son travel with him to Blohn. Both left for the trip and Sephus never returned. But in the evening, Jacob went to the house asking Sephus’ mother whether she has seen the boy since they left in the morning.
Following through investigation, on Friday September 25, Jacob confessed killing 16-year-old Josephus Yeawonyee on his father’s sugar cane farm near Blohn Town with the help of other men he had previously deployed on the farm.
A team of Police was dispatched to the farm in search of the boy and at about 5:00 pm, the Crime Services Division (CSD) of the Liberia National Police assigned in Ganta, in collaboration with other arms of LNP reached the crime scene as directed by the alleged murderer via mobile phone from his police cell in Ganta.
In another incident, a 7-year old girl who went missing in Gbao-Gwualay Town, Zoe-Geh District on August 7 was later found dead in a pit on September 7 with body parts extracted.
Vigorous search to bring her back alive failed until a zoe( herbalist ) from the Internal Affairs was brought in by Paramount Chief Franklin Toweh to help the search for the Little girl. However, she was later found dead.
It can be recalled that a boy was murdered for ritualistic purposes in the same Gbao region in early 2000. The culprit, only identified as Big Daddy was arrested, tried and sentenced to jail, but how that convicted man got out of jail in two years is most people’s question in the area.
Seven persons from Maryland County faced the capital punishment for ritualistic killing in the 1970s during the reign of President William R. Tolbert.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Justice has reportedly banned commercial motorcyclists in Ganta City as investigation of the riot continues. A curfew which was recently imposed in the city has been lifted but tension in the city following the violent riot is gradually easing.