Liberia: Ailing Police Officer Threatens Suicide in Pursuit of Justice
MONROVIA – An Inspector of the Liberia National Police (LNP) has threatened to commit suicide due to the failure of the Government of Liberia (GOL), through the Ministry of Justice to investigate the severe brutality meted against him by some unidentified persons based on the alleged order of the Judge of the Monthly and Probate Court in Sinoe County, Attorney Octavius B. Doe.
Inspector Dee Clinton, Commander of the Jaedae district in Sinoe was ruthlessly brutalized for his delay to turnover a Ghanaian national, identified Michael Francis, who was ordered detained at the police station based upon the alleged order of Judge Doe.
On June 27, the suspect was ordered incarcerated for his failure to pay the amount of L$50,000 as “due” to Judge Doe even though he pays his legitimate taxes to the Liberian government.
“The Judge said all those who are doing mining in the county should be paying dues to him every week. He brought the man to my cell and so, I accepted the suspect even though he was a Probate Court Judge and I am a police officer-I am there to protect everybody. The man was under my custody and we can usually keep people in cell for 48 hours”, Clinton stated.
He continued: “The man spent the 27, 28 and 29 of June in jail and he started getting sick. I sent communication to him (Judge) and said the man was seriously sick and he should come let’s see about the man’s medication. The Judge said ‘if the man wants to die, let him die’ and I should not put the man outside and if I put the man outside, he will deal with me.
Inspector Clinton disclosed he visited Judge Doe at the court to have him inform that the condition of the unidentified suspect is worsening, but the Judge allegedly rained insults on him and requested that he vacate the court premises.
“I went back to the district and told the district Superintendent. He (Superintendent) came and saw the man (suspect) condition and he saw the man sick and he said when the man dies, our job will be at risk. So, I later went and bought medicines and told him to be taking his treatment when the Judge comes from Greenville we will carry him to the court. His family members took him away and he promised to not run away”.
He recalled that on June 30, the same day he temporarily released the suspect, Judge Clinton returned in the district at which time he was informed by unknown persons that the suspect has been released.
“The Judge sent for me when he came and no officer was at the police station. I was at the police station alone. I just came from taking my pills (medicines) and was resting. I told the person he sent that I will soon be there. The Judge later called the County Attorney and said that the Judge complained me”.
Inspector Clinton further disclosed that minutes later, he abandoned the police station and went to the court to meet Judge Doe.
According to him, Judge Doe allegedly used profane languages against him and his parents for his decision taken to temporarily release the suspect on medical grounds.
He added that though he pleaded to immediately go and bring the suspect at the court, Judge Doe allegedly refused to allow him to leave his sight, but ordered seven-men, who were armed with “batons, sticks, pepper spray and handcuffs”.
“The Judge said y’all beat the man and nothing will come from out of it. Under that hot sun, the men beat me from three to six o’clock. They put a handcuff on my hands to number one. I fainted three times in their hands. I pee and toileted on myself on the spot. I was crying in a low tone and they were still beating me. They away my US$3000 my little brother sent to me from the rent he collected from my houses along with my Techno cellphone worth US$250 and my L$4000 and my handcuff which was on my side.”
Inspector Doe disclosed that residents of the district later burst into the court, rescued him from the perpetrators and took him to a local clinic in the district.
He was later rushed to Monrovia for advance medical treatment as a result of the severity of the incident.
The victim has filed official complaints to the LNP and the Ministry of Justice.
As evidenced by that, the LNP, few days after the incident, issued a statement condemning in the strongest term the brutal flogging of Inspector Clinton of the Sinoe County Police Detachment on the alleged orders of the Probate Court Judge, Atty. Octavius B. Doe of Sinoe County.
Upon receiving the reports of the alleged flogging of Officer Clinton, the LNP administration has constituted an investigative team to conduct a full-scale investigation into the allegation. The Ministry of Justice was also informed about the incident.
Though IG Patrick Sudue assured members of the LNP that Justice will be served while intimating that no one is above the law, the incident is yet to be investigated to ensure that justice prevails in the matter.
The LNP recently shouldered the medical bills of Inspector Clinton at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Sinkor, following upon his arrival to Monrovia
Sweeping the matter under the carpet
Inspector Clinton went at the Temple of Justice with acid to take away his life during the morning hours of Tuesday, August 9.
He was rescued by some of his colleagues and taken to seek advance medical attention again at JFK.
He expressed the fear that the prolong delay by the government to launch a probe into the matter and forward Attorney Doe and the alleged perpetrators to court for prosecution is a clear indication that he is being denied access to justice.
“I wrote the Director of Police and the Chief Justice. The Chief Justice told the Judiciary Inquiry Committee to investigate the matter. On the 19th of July, I received citation to go to the court, but they said they were in meeting and up to now, the matter has not been investigated. I gave up yesterday and took acid to kill myself because, there is no justice for me.”
“My condition continues to get worse. I can’t turn my neck around. I am feeling pains in my chest, neck, head. Blood is still coming from my nose and when I go to the restroom, I can toilet blood. My eyes can be dark and I can’t recognize things clearly”.
Inspector Clinton vowed to take away his life if he does not get justice, his money and phone which were allegedly taken from him.
Atty. Doe, who has been summoned by authorities of the Ministry of Justice in Monrovia, is yet to officially respond to the allegations.
However, he reportedly attended to a meeting at the Ministry. However, the meeting failed to take place at the time and date scheduled.
Atty. Doe was appointed as Judge of the Monthly and Probate Court in Jaedae District by President Weah on July 9, 2018.
He was appointed when he was a senior student at the Louis Arthur Grimes school of Law, in clear violation of the Judiciary Law.
Section 3.7 of the Judiciary Law says “no person” shall be appointed or hold office as a judge of a Circuit Court who is not an attorney licensed to practice and who has not engaged in the active practice of law for at least five years next preceding his appointment, and except for the persons appointed as relieving judges, who is not a resident of the county in which the Circuit Court to which he is appointed, is located.
Active practice of law, according the judiciary law, is not limited to the direct practice of law, but includes judicial service, governmental service and the teaching of law.
Doe entered the law school 2010 and had been practicing at the West Point magisterial Court after years of working with current Public Works Minister Mobutu Nyepan.
Members of the Liberian Senate ignored his credentials and confirmed him on August 21, 2018 despite public outcry over his qualification at the time.
Since his appointment and subsequent confirmation, Atty. Doe has been accused of allegedly using his position to intimidate and harass peaceful citizens in Jaedae District, Sinoe County, accusing them of being involved into the sale of narcotics and other illegal drugs.