The Montserrado County lawmaker’s driver, who is identified as Alexander Sampson and the other four defendants, were jailed after being charged with the crimes of rioting and disorderly conduct for “disturbing” public peace on January 6.
The other four defendants include: Josiah Tarpeh, Willie O. Flomo, Aaron Kennedy and Emmanuel Johnson.
Specifically, Driver Sampson was charged with the crimes of possession and sales of physical object for lethal purposes, rioting and failure to disperse.
Defendants Tarpeh, Flomo, Kennedy and Johnson were charged for recklessly endangering other persons, rioting, disorderly conduct and failure to disperse.
The crimes allegedly committed by the Montserrado County District #10 Representative’s drive and others are billable by law provided the proper bond criteria is met and filed before the Monrovia City Court on time.
It can be recalled that the CoP on January 6 staged a protest that turned violent at the end of the day as officers of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) and the Police Support Unit (PSU) used excessive forces to disperse protesters.
Normal business activities within the central point of the nation’s capital, Monrovia, and parts adjacent were at a standstill for the entire day as the protesting crowd under the banner of the COP seized Capitol Hill.
Capitol Hill is the central point of the three branches of the Liberian government as all three branches, namely: the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary are hosted on Capitol Hill.
All the three main branches of the government were at a stalemate as the protesters took over the main street leading before the Executive Mansion-seat of the president, the Capitol Building-seat of the Legislature and the Temple of Justice-home of the Judiciary Branch of the Liberian government.
Comparatively, unlike the famous June 7 protest, the crowd was by far lower in terms of attendance, but ceased free movement of peaceful citizens and normal business activities.
From United Nations Drive leading through the Executive Mansion and the Budget Bureau, protesters were heard chanting anti-government slogans such as: “We don’t want Weah, he must go, he can’t deliver; No more Weah, no more corruption. ”
Another group of the protesters also chanted: “[We are not going anywhere, we will sleep here] with mattress being carried over their heads”.
The protesters also held placards with inscriptions that read: “Weah must deliver; he must leave; pay civil servants; reopen Roots FM” and so on.
The protest, which was earlier coined: “Weah step down campaign,” was watered down to a peaceful protest by the COP following the intervention by the international community including the United States Embassy near Monrovia, European Union, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
It was initially planned to be held on December 30, 2019 but deferred to January 5. However, that date was rejected by the CoP on account that it was the first Sunday of the year and many would have gone to church to worship their God.
Speaking to reporters few meters away from the Executive Mansion, provocative talk show host, Mr. Henry Pedro Costa, Chairman of the CoP vowed that the crowd would have forever remain in the streets until the needed results were met.
“Protests are meant for result and that’s what happens all around the world. One of our demands is for the report surrounding the US$25m mop-up exercise to be released and all those found culpable for allegedly squandering such amount to be prosecuted,” asserted Costa, flanked by an array of CoP officials, including Unity Party(UP)Secretary Mo Ali, Montserrado County Electoral District #10 Representative YekehKolubah and Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon.
Accordingly, as things remained peaceful for most part of the day, the protesters reportedly defied the police’s order by setting “coal pot,” a locally made cooking stove before the Executive Mansion to prepare their meal of the day.
This prompted the well-armed police officers to chase protesters into different street corners with teargas and hot water truck.
Meanwhile, the gathering ended in stalemate.