Monrovia, Liberia (ACN) —Liberia’s opposition political gurus stormed the police headquarters in Monrovia yesterday in solidarity with a staunched ally, deepening a political crisis over the fate of an elected senator.
Mo Ali, the Unity Party’s secretary general, had been invited to the police for questioning after he warned in a Facebook post of possible consequences of a continuous delay in allowing Brownie Samukai, Lofa County senator elect, to take his seat.
Soon after the post, two petrol bomb attacks were hear at the home of Associate Supreme Court Justice, Joseph Nagbe, who has ruled on the Samukai case, and the National Elections Commission (NEC) which has also been handling the matter.
Ali could not immediately show up at the police on medical grounds. But the police went on to declare him a wanted man.
The police invitation: “Greetings Mr. Ali, as head of the Special Investigation Unit, CSD, LNP, MOJ I’m humble to invite you at my office, situated at LNP Central Headquarters. The invite is predicated upon your Facebook post to the NEC dated March 1, 2021 @ 1:06pm in which you wrote, “Dear National Elections Commission (NEC), we understand the ploy. But try it and you will see what is gonna be the end result”. Consequent of this post, we have noticed incidents of petrol bombs thrown at the residence of associate Justice, Joseph Nagbe and the headquarters of NEC respectively, leaving properties damaged. In view of the herein, couple with the task assigned thereon to us to protect life and property, it is prudent sir, that we have a conversation with you regarding the motive and intend of your post. God bless our native land as we together endeavors to protect the peace. Schedule date for your appearance is Friday, March 19 2021 @ 10:00 AM
Ali accordingly went to the police yesterday, accompanied by all leaders of the collaborating political parties, a group of mainstream opposition political parties trying to form a formidable force against President George Weah in 2023. The leaders include former vice president Joseph Boakai, millionaire businessman Benoni Urey of the All Liberia Party political leader, former Coco Cola African administrator Alexander Cummings of the Alternative National Congress and Liberty Party’s leader Nyonblee Karnga-Laurence. There was also a battery of lawyers for Ali.
Opposition sources said the atmosphere at the police station was charged during the exchange of Facebook posts, and Mo Ali will return to the police in 48 hours.
Dozens of Ali’s supporters massed outside the police station, using the form of a human shield to block the road. Scores of police penetrated their rank during the early morning hours, using hand-held canisters to control their movement.
An activist said he was “deeply troubled” by Ali’s arrest, urging the government to avoid actions that could escalate tensions. “We call on all sides to avoid actions that could further escalate tensions and to engage in good faith discussions to resolve the current political crisis,” he said.
In a release on Saturday, police spokesman Moses Carter ranted that police declared Ali “wanted” because of his refusal to show up despite being invited twice by the police.
But the Unity Party, in a release on Saturday, said Carter’s claim was a ‘lie’ stating that Alice was summoned to the police once via a text message. The government couldn’t declare Ali “wanted” for failure to submit to their invitation when in fact he was represented by his lawyers, the statement said.
It described the government’s action a violation of his rights.