Liberia’s Solicitor General, Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus Liberia’s Solicitor General, Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus

Liberia: Solicitor General Opens Up On Opposition Politician’s Arrest Saga, But Featured

Liberia’s Solicitor General (SG), Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus, has disclosed that significant records and documentations were seized from Mr. Menipakei Dumoe’s house that border on security issue and are also being investigated, aside the statement by the young Liberian opposition politician that Liberians don’t need bags of rice, but rather AK47s so their leaders can take them seriously.

Solicitor General Cephus, who described the statement by Dumoe as a threat to the peace and security of the country, further disclosed that several other persons, whose names he did not mention, would be contacted for investigation as well.

 Speaking late Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at the Headquarters of the Liberia National Police (LNP) on Capitol Hill, Monrovia, Cllr. Cephus, who is also the chief prosecutor of Liberia, emphasized : “Pursuant to that [statement], significant records and documentations were seized and being investigated. These are issues that need clarity aside from the statement. There are people that we need to contact as well.”

The SG asserted that over 25 COVID--19 Passes were among the many documents that were also seized bearing the name of the accused, something which he said, the accused needs to give clarity on.

On the issue of the statement, the Justice Ministry official contended that Dumoe’s action was in complete disregard to national peace and security and contravenes Article 15 (a) of the Liberian Constitution, stressing that anyone who engages in news that are detrimental to the peace and security of the state, the state will use all available legal and constitutional means to arrest that situation.

Article 15(a) of the Liberian Constitution states that: “Every person shall have the right to freedom of expression, being fully responsible for the abuse thereof. This right shall not be curtailed, restricted or enjoined by government save during an emergency declared in accordance with this Constitution.”

“We will use all available legal and constitutional means to arrest that situation and seize your equipment. This is not an attack on free speech as been stated in some quarters of the Liberian society. He tested our resolve by making a very reprehensible statement that undermines the peace and security of the state,” he stated.

"The point is that his statement is a campaign of fear. It created terror and misinformation I was referring to,” he, among other things, added.

It can be recalled that earlier this week, Dumoe, who is a senior partisan of the opposition Liberty Party(LP), was arrested and is still reportedly being detained at the headquarters of the LNP following his social media post in which he stated: “We don’t need bags of rice. I say the poor in Liberia need AK47s so our leaders can take us seriously.”

Before his arrest, court sheriffs had searched his house apparently in search of weapons or any inciting communication that may have been in his possession.

 However, on the heels of his arrest and subsequent detention of the opposition stalwart, several other persons have also come to his defense.

One of them, Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon, alias “ADD,” condemned the act of the government to arrest and detain a person for expressing his view.

In a facebook post, Dillon wrote: "The arrest and search of the home of Menipakei Dumoe is an impulsive knee-jerk by the Weah-led regime. Unacceptable!!!"

Also, Mr. Henry Costa, one of the fierce critics of President George Manneh, in a live podcast, described the arrest of the opposition figure as "draconian" and planned to react sternly.

Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe, a renowned Liberian lawyer and President of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA), said the statement by Dumoe is protected under the Liberian Constitution, which is regarded as the organic of the country.

 

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