MONROVIA – The Late Gifty Asmah Lama was known to be a Research Analyst with the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) but FrontPageAfrica investigation has unearthed that before her sudden unexplained death, she was transferred as Manager for Taxpayers Services – the section responsible for the supervision of all incoming government money. She was assisting Albert Peters who was also commissioned to audit the consolidated account at the Central Bank of Liberia prior to their mysterious deaths.
The Liberia Revenue Authority on Monday evening confirmed Gifty’s new role on its website but failed to provide details on their last assignment as requested earlier on Monday by FrontPageAfrica.
Sources informed FrontPageAfrica that Gifty and Albert had been trying to trace taxpayers’ payments to the consolidated fund but had not been successful because the Central Bank had not been making the transfers.
Gifty, according to sources, may have been assisting Albert to dig out the collection of revenue relative to this account from the LRA tax system. Fears are that auditors would likely shy away from revenue accounts and reconciliation, following the deaths of the pair.
I’ll Do the Report, I’m Tired
Albert’s widow, Mrs. Beatrice Peters, told social media talk show host, “Prophet Key” over the weekend that her daughter overhead her husband in an argument with an unknown person over the phone and he kept saying, “I’m tired. I’ll do the report. I’ll do the report.”
She explained that her husband had received a phone call that his salary was ready at the bank and he unusually left the house with his two computers that Thursday morning. She emphasized that her husband never left home with his computer unless he was going to work. In this case, he told her was going to the bank.
“Why carry the two laptops,” she asked her husband who, in response, told her: “Maybe they will tell me to do some work,” she told the show’s host. She said it was unusual for her husband not to be home after 7 pm unless he is held in the street by traffic.
Mrs. Peters narrated that she made several calls that Thursday evening to her husband’s phone and on some occasions, someone would answer but would not speak. “His phone is most of the time on silent, but when I called, he could not answer. Someone would ‘OK’ the phone but would not answer.”
She said she and a man named Augustine Chenoweth spoke and Augustine told her that LRA’s employees were at the town hall where the President’s birthday was celebrated. ”He (Augustine) told me that we should pray,” Madam Peters told Prophetkey. Madam Peters explained that while on the search for her husband Friday morning, she saw her husband’s car. She said her daughter, screamed: ‘Mama, that’s daddy’s car,’ prompting her to proceed to the parked car.
Upon opening the door, she said, the driver saw Gifty (Victoria) well-dressed and lying with her neck believed to be broken while her husband was in a boxer with his arm broken and laid behind him,” she recounted. She also said her husband’s ear was cut, and he was skinned.
“The driver shouted; and I ran to the car, and that’s how we started raising an alarm. People around there told us that the car was brought early Friday morning by a huge man with a cap on his head and he parked it (car) there, but we do not know him and did not know what was on the car.” She also clarified that Gifty was a daughter to she and her husband and they had known her to be a decent hard-working woman.
Mr. Peters’ widow said she was informed by some people were claimed to have been present said it was a huge man wearing a cap that drove to park the car on Snapper Hill that morning. According to her, she met her has only in brief while Gifty was fully dressed in the vehicle.
Police had informed FrontPageAfrica over the weekend that his trouser was not found in the car. However, on Monday, FrontPageAfrica gathered that Mr. Peters trouser was found behind B.W. Harris Episcopal High School on Broad Street.
It remains unclear how is trouser got there.
Police Denied Me Access – Gifty’s Husband
At the St. Moses Funeral Pallor on Monday where the Montserrado County Coroner had gone to inspect the bodies to establish the need for an autopsy, Gifty’s husband, Mr. Sylvester Lama, told reporters that the police denied his access to view his wife’s body.
“When we got on Broad Street, my father-in-law and myself met St. Moses already there taking the body, along with the LRA Boss and requested to see the bodies but they refused. Still at JFK, they refused to allow us see the bodies,” Lama lamented. He narrated that before the discovery of his deceased wife’s body, an unidentified man answered her mobile phone at 2:00A.M. on Friday Morning following repeated calls by his sister-in-law and himself.
“The person just told my sister-in-law that you will find your sister tomorrow morning in the car and the phone went off,” he explained. He, however, expressed confidence that the government would impartially investigate the matter and bring the perpetrators to justice.
“I will not begin making comments here that tend to prejudice the ongoing investigation. But, let me say the families of the deceased are heart-stricken and we need justice. We need justice that we may have rest with the mental trauma their deaths have cost us,” Lama said.
LNP: An Autopsy May be Conducted
The Inspector General of the Liberia National Police, Col. Patrick Sudue also told reporters that on Monday that the Police have begun an investigation into the matter.
“At present, the Montserrado County Coroner is conducting an inquest in the presence of both families of the deceased after which the report would be forwarded to the Justice Ministry requesting an autopsy if the need for such is established,” he said.
He admitted to the crime scene being tampered with but said such was done to maintain the dignity of the bodies.
Col. Sudue: “I must say publicly that there were some errors on the crime scene but those errors on the crime scene were not as significant to destroying that we had at bay. What normally should have happened was the persons that were onboard the vehicle should have been extracted. We should have had an ambulance there, extract the people, put them on board the ambulance.
“But again, we had a lot of persons there – we respect the dignity of everybody and there were a lot of people there with gadgets, they had their gadgets on, people wanted to record so, looking at the aspect of taking those people out of the car that was unconscious, we deemed it necessary that what we could do is to let them remain on board and someone drive the vehicle to the next point.”
He said the police are talking to several persons of interest including some private security guards in the area the car was found and also the city parking attendant that issued a parking ticket on the car and some members of the neighborhood. Col. Sudue also said anyone in the public that has information pertaining to the deaths should kindly assist the police with the investigation.
“We are asking the general public that whosoever that has any useful information should furnish the police with the same to further enhance the investigation. We also want to assure the informants or persons who will give such information to the Liberia National Police would be fully protected and the information given to the Liberia National Police would be treated strictly confidential,” he said.
He, however, denied the allegation that the Police prevented the husband of the Late Gifty from viewing the remains of his deceased wife.
According to him, the remains were taken to the J. F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center with the consent of the families and later to the St. Moses Funeral Home also with the consent of the families.
LRA In Shock
In its first public statement, the LRA on its website expressed shock over the deaths of the two employees.
According to the LRA, its Commissioner General Thomas Doe Nah and the management note the loss of great team members and assets to the institution and Liberian government.
“The LRA requires that the Liberia National Police (LNP) does all within its power to promptly investigate and establish the actual circumstances surrounding the death of the two employees. The LRA urges the public to assist the police with relevant information that will aid the investigation.
“The LRA extends condolences to the families of the two deceased employees and promises to support the LNP and family to conclude the investigation in the shortest period.”