The Day State Security Was Unleashed On Me at the GAC
Explanation by Ernest S. Maximore
Director of Communications/GAC. Written May 22, 2010.
May 26, 2010
NSA Officers Sent To Arrest Maximore (0ne in yellow)
He also told me on the phone that he will hunt me anywhere to get me. The call was made on mobile number 06578563.
Again, between 8pm and 9pm as soon as I got down from the taxi to get on the route to my house, booking a motorbike to connect me to my residence, a car that looked like the one used to arrest me at the GAC on May 22, 2010, sped terrifically towards the motorbike with the glaring motive of hitting me on the bike to make it appear like it was an accident. The car and its identified occupants drove quickly away when they realized that I fell down from the bike, thinking that I was dead.
Further, and true to the threat made on the phone Friday evening, a group of NSA personnel drove in a red car at the General Auditing Commission on Saturday where I had come to review more audit reports. We usually work even on Saturdays and Sundays. While working--helping to organize the literatures of the audit reports that are in processthe state security operatives came to the gates of the GAC trying to bully their way to the offices of the Commission. The uproar that was sparked by the attempted forceful entry into the GAC by the NSA officers attracted the attention of the Auditor General, John S. Morlu, who made a number of inquiries to the arresting officers.
The entire May 22, 2010 episode occurred at around 12 to 12:15 pm, when the 7-man NSA men came in a plate-less red car. Upon arrival at the GAC, they attempted forcing their way into the office complex, inquiring of the whereabouts of me. They were met by GAC security personnel who wanted to know their mission. But the NSA operatives refused to disclose their mission until they got Maximore. While a staff of the Communication Department of the GAC, Jeremiah Sarnoh tried to inquire, the NSA operatives mistaken him for Maximore, saying “You’re Maximore; You’re under arrest!” They left Jeremiah alone when he introduced himself.
When the NSA operatives were unable to force their way, one of them in a yellow t-shirt and jean trousers, identified himself to the Auditor General who came on the scene when he heard the stampede that was taking place at the GAC. The entire entrance of the GAC was crowded with passersby, pedestrians, and residents of Central Monrovia. The NSA operative told AG Morlu that he got an instruction from President Sirleaf’s son, Fomba Sirleaf to effect my arrest. When the AG further asked him for the arrest warrant, the NSA operatives said there was no warrant.
Unable to make a forceful entry into the Building and having failed to exhibit an arrest warrant, the NSA operatives drove off, leaving behind threats that they will arrest me anyhow wherever they see me.
I am still enduring the psychological torture by both the threats from unknown persons; the attack on me on the motorbike at night and the condone on the GAC by state security to arrest me. It is indeed painful and stressful that while staff of the GAC leave the luxury of weekends and the pleasure of being home with families, spending full working hours on the job from Sundays to Sundays most times up to 11 pm to produce audit reports that mean so much for Liberia, that state security people will find pleasure in harassing, intimidating and arresting me for no apparent reason.
At the closing hours of the tenure of this Administration, it is unfortunate that trends of events are turning out to be reminiscent of the dark days of tyranny, when opinions expressed were used as pretext for state security to brutalize, humiliate and render insecure peaceful citizens.
I want to call on the Liberian civil society, clergy, the international community and media to follow the chains of events relative to the threats made against me and the foiled arrest.
It is unfortunate that while individuals caught pants down for stealing millions of United States dollars are walking the streets of Liberia without any iota of arrest and intimidation, we at the GAC fighting fraud, waste and abuse are treated like common criminals, subjected to harassment, humiliation and arrests.
We are part and parcel of Government. Since corruption is public enemy number one, and GAC is at the frontline of the battle against the common people, it should rather be the Auditor General, the GAC and its staff that should get all the protection and all the necks on the chopping board.
This government rose to the helm of power through the platform of declaring corruption public Enemy Number One. I do not know whether it is a blessing or a curse to be part of government making sure this declaration comes to fruition through the GAC.