Ganta, Nimba County – For more than five hours, normal activities came to a standstill in Ganta City following the death overnight of an 18-year-old motorcyclist. The late Samuel Selleh, was allegedly flogged to death by the Ganta City Deputy Police Commander who is said to be on the run following the incident.
Speaking to FrontPageAfrica, 32-year-old Yei Yini, narrated that Selleh, who was a resident of the Peace Community in Ganta, had come to the Jackie’s Guest House, along with her son, Stanley Yini, where he met his untimely death. Yei further narrated that she and one of the friends met her son and the victim in front of Jackie’s Guest House. “My son said, ‘Mama, we just from the house but I didn’t see you there,” she said. According to her, little did she know that the two security guards, who were on assignment at the guest house, had already called the Deputy Police commander, Sensee Kowo, who owns and runs the private security firm, Sky Security Guard Service, for which the guards work.
It is believed that somewhere along the guesthouse’s fence, some young men gathered there most evenings to smoke weed and this disturbs Jackie’s guests. Jackie’s Guest House, on the outskirts of Ganta, is one of the leading guesthouses in the bustling city that never sleeps. “We were at the area where the incident occurred near Jackie’s Guest House when this man called Sensee Kowo was called by his two private security friends. They told him that some grown-up boys were near the guesthouse and doing something that wasn’t right. The boys can meet to the place to dance and do other things,” she further said.
According to her when Kowo arrived, it was just in that time that the 18-year-old victim and her son were making their way to the other boys. She further said the Deputy Police Commander wasted no time and without asking he just grabbed Selleh by his neck while his private security friends began to “flog” him.
“When they later left him, he dropped and was then rushed to the E & J Hospital, but passed before reaching to the hospital,” Yei explained. She even said she and her friend had tried to rescue Selleh from the hands of the three men, but couldn’t do much as they are women. The incident occurred on Sunday, March 8 evening.
Another eyewitness, Sam Suah, who is a friend of the victim and who claimed to have been on the scene, too, said Officer Kowo allegedly choked the victim to death. He narrated that when he got on the scene between 9 and 10 pm, he met the victim and police officer arguing. He claimed that he was on the scene and saw the police officer choke the victim to death.
Mr. Paye Selleh, the father of the victim, told reporters the next morning in front of the Liberia National Police office that he was called and informed that his son has passed. According to him, his late son was not in conflict with anyone, neither was he in any bad company when he was allegedly killed by the Deputy Police Commander.
The victim’s father further stated he was told that the police officer beat his son to death. When the death news of Samuel Selleh hit the city, angry citizens including motorcyclists blocked the main street in front of the police station for hours. They later began throwing stones at state security personnel, including the police Emergency Response Unit (ERU) officers, who had to be brought in quickly from Yekepa and Gbarnga, to take control of the situation, which the police officers in Ganta couldn’t control.
The aggrieved citizens, including motorcyclists, had threatened to set the Ganta Police depot ablaze. The Ganta police commander told journalists that he couldn’t speak with them. He referred them to the regional police commander Morris Teemah, who told them that he would brief them as the situation was tense for him. Officer Teemah commands police officers in Bong, Nimba and Lofa Counties.
Meanwhile, this is the second time for the Ganta Police station to be threatened with arson attacks by angry motorcyclists and other aggrieved citizens. It can be recalled that following the death of another motorcyclist, Milton Weegbay, his colleagues again took to the streets and brought normal activities of the city at a standstill. The Ganta Police Station was ransacked in the process. By Franklin Doloquee, Nimba County/fpa
Liberian Police Inspector General, Patrick Sodue