An Open Letter to Director of Police
Although delayed due to my busy schedule, I write to formally complain Officer Boakai Kamara of the Liberia National Police for trampling on my liberty by using the name of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Republic of Liberia. Officer Kamara on Sunday morning, 24th February, 2008 used the name of the Minister of justice to deny Me, Bill K. Jarkloh – a Monrovia correspondent of the FrontPageAfrica.Com online and Executive Officer for Information at the Embassy of Ghana in Monrovia to denied me my right to treatment and relief when he told the Executive Director of ZODWOCA, an Immigration Personnel who happens to be my sister - Martha Jarkloh - and the Driver of the Ambassador of Ghana ( Mohammed Bashiru) that he could not release to these people because the Justice Minister ordered me detained on account of simple assault for a matter that involved the Sorbor George family and me.
Madam IGP, it all happened when one Sorbor George and his brother jumped at me at my backyard, which faced the George family’s apartment, for no genuine reason after another journalist, David Targbeh who was sitting with George and his brothers behind my kitchen called to greet me. My happiness to see this journalist and to welcome him in the area by a reciprocal greeting was fouled when George’s brother inflicted on my foreface two fists while Gorge simultaneously pulled my feet from under me, giving me the cause to apply self-defense to free my self from them. Following intervention of some neighbors who pleaded with me to let go the temptation which I yielded to, Sorbor George and family played smart and invited the police on Me, Bill Jarkloh, under the pretext I, Bill, had fought George’s wife.
Madam, I did intelligently cooperate with the police as a law abiding person. I was driven first to Camp Johnson Road Police Station in an UNMIL vehicle; thereafter, I was brought here at the Central Police Headquarters in a Star Radio vehicle, where Officer Boakai and a group of police officers at the charge-of-quarter received statements from me, George, George’s wife and his brother, one Natt. I was then charged with “Simple Assault”. It was thereafter Officer Boakai, as Commander at the Charged of Quarters refused every effort by the Executive Director of ZODWOCA Inc, the Senior Chauffeur of the Embassy of Ghana, Sergeant Jefferson Blaye who is the Deputy Commander of the Internal Security Section of the LNP to have me released to them for treatment until the following day when I would be brought back for processing. Besides, Boakai did not listen to my plea for police to take me to a clinic of hospital so that I will be treated at my own expense, but rather told officers who took over from him that It was the Justice Minister that had incarcerated me so they should not allow anyone free me for that night.
It may interest you, Madam IGP, to know that officer Boakai’s claim for refusing these attempts to allow me go home to treat my self was, “Unit 10 has interest in the case; Justice Minister ordered the man detained and says no one should release him.” What puzzles me, Madam IGP, is the claim that the Justice Minister who has nothing to do with the matter between the Gorge family and me to have reportedly ordered me detained in Sorbor George’s behalf, thereby denying me treatment for wounds inflicted on me when the family jumped at me in a fight. I sincerely hold the view that the Justice Ministry’s involvement in such petty case as “simple assault” and my denial of treatment throughout that day was against the spirit of rule of law, justice and fairplay this government has stood for, and has violated the legal maxim that the accused is innocent unless proven guilty.
Beside, I was accordingly humiliated, denied treatment of the wounds he sustained from the fight and thrown into the police holding cell when I should have gone home and prepare my legal defense for court action. This act is on the part of Boakai using the police uniform and the name of the Minister of Justice to violation the basic rights I should enjoy in such a situation until if I was proven guilty contravenes it shows malice and prejudices against me, especially in exercise of my right to medical treatment and liberty. I must say that I could not have absconded the country for simple assault if attempts to have me gone home for treatment were not made fruitless by officer Boakai. This is because my engagements in the society are far more than “simple assault case.” For instanced, I am contributing-editor of the NEW VISION, Monrovia Correspondent of the FrontPageAfrica.com online media institution on part time basis, and the Executive Officer for Information at the Embassy of Ghana on a full time basis. I believe I deserve treatment more that officer Boakai gave me at the expense of the Justice Minister’s name, and I am therefore calling for an immediate investigation of this matter in a bid to to establish the following:
1. Was Boakai telling the truth that Justice Minister said no one should stand for me to go home until the court processing the next day?
2. Was it right for the Justice Minister to order me detained simply because one Sorbor George’s family and I had misunderstanding?
3. What was the Justice Minister’s interest in ordering a family head detained because that family head and another family are in a conflict that does not concern him as Minister of Justice – especially when such was not treasonable to warrant his personal intervention?
4. If it wasn’t true that the Justice Minister ordered me detained and instructed Officer Boakai to ensure that I was not freed or treated, what had given him the courage to have used the name of such high profile official to detain a Liberia without regard to his basic rights.
5. And finally is Boakai the type of police officer the Liberia National Police wants to keep – one who uses the name of higher-ups to violate the rights of people?
Madam IGP, I rely on your timely action of this complaint as I belief the conduct of Officer Boakai, if publicized will be one of those that could detract the good intentions of the Liberian national Police in particular and the government in general.
With sentiments of our highest esteem.
Bill K. Jarkloh
A Liberian Journalist