Liberia: Justice For All Criminals Is A Must – Without favor or Privilege

Press Release From Jerome J. Verdier, SR

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
May 3, 2017



THE Chairman of the erstwhile Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia (TRC), Jerome J Verdier has praised the International Justice system and all peace and justice advocates around the world for the very exciting work that brought justice to Mr. Guus Kouwenhoven.

In a statement issued over the weekend from the United States of America, Cllr Verdier said the pursuit of justice in the cause of Liberia will continue until all major perpetrators of war and economic crimes answer to the call of justice.

He said Mr. Govenhoven, without regards to human suffering, war crimes committed in Liberia at the time, which warranted the imposition of arms embargo and other sanctions on Liberia by the international community, was trading arms mainly in exchange for Liberia’s timber resources which was fueling the war machine of former president Charles Taylor of the defunct National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL).
Chairman Jerome J. Verdier said the 19 year jail sentence given Mr. Govenhoven is well deserved and justice has been served in the case of Mr. Guus Govenhoven. He thanks the prosecutors in Belgium for their persistence, thorough investigation and determination to see that justice is done in Liberia.

Chairman Verdier went further to disclose that the International Justice Community will ensure that a special court with be established for Liberia to bring closure to issues of justice and reconciliation in Liberia will focus war crimes and egregious violations of human rights and economic crimes committed in Liberia, during and after the transitional period which is still ongoing.

 Sable Mining/Global Witness Case
Chairman Verdier went on to appeal to the International Community, including the United States, European Union, United Nations, African Union and ECOWAS not to waver or relent in closing the chapters of war in Liberia by ensuring that justice and peace continues to be the fulcrum for a genuine reconciliation and lasting peace in Liberia.

He said it appears that the Government of Liberia wants to play fun and do business as usual with the ongoing Global Witness corruption case in Liberia. He said bringing down Cllr Varney Sherman and the former Speaker of the House of Representative Hon. Alex Tyler, who were perceived enemies of President Ellen Johnson’s Government is not enough. There are other alleged culprits like the President’s son, Fombah Sirleaf, Henry Fahnbulleh, and others including Former Lands and Mines Minister, Eugene Shannon be equally accountable for their roles in this corruption saga, a common character of The Ellen Sirleaf Government.

Let all be warned and aware that justice advocates will not rest until the wheels of justice are rolling in Liberia completely delivering justice for every person, high or low, warlord or economic criminal. This will usher into being the new Liberia we envision that will treat everyone equally before the law and make everyone proud of the country.

We acknowledge the support for justice in Liberia that the International Community and justice advocates continue to demonstrate for Liberia. This effort will continue and there will be no rest, no relent until those war and economic criminals are brought to justice, whether they are in government or out of government.

Since the arrest, trial and jailing of Former President Charles Taylor, others have been arrested and many more are under close security surveillance awaiting final actions to bring them to justice.

Roster of War Crime Perpetrators

To date, the roster of convicted, arrested and alleged war crimes perpetrators include Charles G. Taylor, George Boley, G. Thomas Woeweiyu, Alieu Kosia, Mohammed Jabbateh, Ms. Martina Johnson and now Guus Kouwenhoven.

The perpetrators of major unsolved killings or murders, of R. Vanjah Richards in 1990, Samuel Williams, Charles Gbeyon, Noah Flomo, and Shaki Kamara of west point amongst others have already been identified and will be brought to justice along with several others who are hiding and changing their identities from one place to another, will be arrested and brought to justice.

We are aware that some perpetrators have managed to infiltrate and exercise authority over some of Liberia’s security entities in Liberia. They are monitored for ongoing violations even as they seek cover and diversions, using the Liberian security sector as refuge and hiding place and protection.  In due time and during the next government, those elements will be weeded out of the security establishment and answer to justice for their role they played during the 1990 criminal enterprise of “Liberation”.

Sylvester Gbayahforh Moses
“This effort will continue and there will be no rest, no relent until those war and economic criminals are brought to justice, whether they are in government or out of government”.

Once again, Counselor Verdier, we say thank you. Indeed, every peace - loving Liberian would applaud the resolve to end impunity. Yet, let it be seen as "just", and pursued by "fair play", attributes absent in the Sable Mining Global Witness Case. No wonder, then, some discerning observers consider the publicity - laden trial EJS’s own unique version of “Wag the dog”. Evidently, Ebola had unexpectedly exposed the foreign – focused façade of responsive accountable governance for what it was in spite of a war ostensibly waged on corruption.

Thus, allegedly, a sacrificial lamb had to be served to a rightfully disaffected public, and bewildered external stakeholders.

Unfortunately for UP Chairman Sherman, his 2013 Independence oration intimated, to the chagrin of a stunned Iron Lady, what the whole world would later learn when a rampaging virus struck while the country’s internationally - acclaimed healthcare system lacked, for example, extra gloves, masks, or a single road - worthy ambulance. To compound his presumed sins, UP’s then Secretary General (current Chairman) publicly disassociated the Party from the senatorial bid of favorite son, Mr. Robert Sirleaf.

The die was cast.

First, the arrows came in the form of a hyped tell – all book written by a shady European who claimed he had given bribe to the Foreign Minister through Sherman for an honorary consulship. Apparently, the fabrication didn’t get traction. Second, all the Who - is - Who in Liberia warily watched the Supreme Court’s hand in the play to delay his Senate confirmation in order to be disqualified from throwing hat in the Pro Temp’s race. Then, third, out of the blue, a Global Witness Report was simply laid on the Iron Lady’s lap.

Coincidences? Folks, you be the judge.

Meanwhile, tellingly, LP Chairman Counselor Fonati Koffa was quietly appointed Minister of State, and, ignoring LACC, MOJ, LNP etc., EJS coopted him as Corruption Czar, and Head of a Presidential Task Force privately commissioned to investigate Sherman, and several UP executives. It is no surprise, therefore, that we still hear echoes of defendant Dr. Richard Tolbert’s initial reaction to the Global Witness report: “politically motivated”. Needless to say, her rumored role as financier - recruiter for LP has lent credence to that perception.

Moreover, that the job of the Task Force seemed to have begun, and ended with this case didn’t escape notice either.

Unapologetically, for a very long time, we’ve been fully engaged in law enforcement endeavors. From experience nothing presents stronger motive for generational vendettas, irrational irreconcilable differences, or capacity to inflict terminal wounds on the body politic more than revenge – prone charges brought by a ruling political leadership to destroy former allies.

Apparently, for some inexplicable reason (some may proffer faith, or fatalism) most human beings would sooner forgive the murderer of a family member or friend than an instigator of the loss of reputation, or fortune. Perhaps, like our animal cousins in their natural habitats, we happen to be so status conscious that group acceptance, recognition, and respect (after long coexistence) are more important than life itself: Granted, unsupported supposition.

Anyway, vindication by destruction is taboo to societal cohesion, indigenous Africans tend to believe.

To end, the above is neither an apology for the defendants, nor sentimental soul searching. It was meant to provide a national security analyst's perspective obviously different from the ping pong of prosecution and defense lawyers. The truth of the matter is that anyone who takes the long view, and with an eye to Liberia's perennial chaotic past, like we religiously do, would concur that stability springs from sensible agreed - to policy implementations, not the arbitrary projection of power, more so, in a wobbly “multiparty system”.

Dear Folks, until national interests are superimposed on private ones, regardless whose, transitioning to an effective ethical participatory democratic country could take another 170 years, or whenever Liberia stupidly loses statehood, and swallowed piecemeal or whole by a larger political union, such as MRU, or ECOWAS. And lest we forget, it was EJS's idol, the late Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher, who famously observed, "When people are free to choose, they choose freedom..."

Thank you, Counselor Verdier, we're proud of your unwavering commitment to a freer, happier, and safer Liberia.

Sylvester Gbayahforh Moses at 03:30AM, 2017/05/04.
Published 1892 by the ACS. Compare and contrast to 2017:
Herr Büttikofer, a German scientist who spent five years in exploring and studying Liberia and has recently published a report of rare and valuable interest, says, “The difficulty with Liberia is that she has depended too much upon others and too little upon herself. I am well satisfied that the Negro is as capable of development as the white man.”
[My Comments]
If you were to ask LIBERIANS today what steps WE are taking to ensure that there is not a repeat of the civil war, overwhelmingly, we defer to the International community. They won’t allow it to happen because of the time and money they have expanded on the country.
In her colonial days, when the colonization societies were expending large sums in transporting emigrants to her shores and establishing homes for them there, she depended largely upon their aid; and when the Negro in the United States was made free and a citizen and the resources of the colonization societies and emigration by its aid began to decline, she failed to note the change of the times and to change with them.
[My Comments]
Nothing exemplifies this more than when a Liberian Senator/Vice Presidential candidate essentially spoke about a pay raise in these times of diminishing resources.
For the last twenty years she has been looking backward, expecting the past to return, and meanwhile the resources upon which she relied in earlier days have been growing less with each passing year, until they have almost vanished.
She has now to look forward, put her own shoulder to the wheel, and take for the motto “Help thyself and God will help thee.” She must enlarge and develop her school system, introducing manual and industrial training; begin to make roads and push her way back from the coast into the higher lands, stimulate her population to habits of industry and thrift, encourage the cultivation of her generous soil more extensively and especially the production of those articles for which she can find a ready and unlimited market abroad (pages 8 – 9).

Liberia. Bulletin No. 3, November, 1893. Issued by The American Colonization Society. 1892 President: Right Rev. Henry C. Potter, D. D., New York. Judd & Detweiler, Printers, Washington, D. C.
Efessayf at 06:06AM, 2017/05/04.
Ergo Manning

Papa Na Cum. We transferred locations from beaten, wore mattresses to the cold, hard floors. Her motto: Steal, embezzle, take for self the public monies and property. And get promoted to a better lucrative position for jobs well done. The Unity Party.

Weah and the CDC once developed the Grass Root People's Party in opposition to war, Charles Taylor and Ellen, is prostituting as a Pimped, used, abused, and butt-jammed by the UP, Ellen's Party. The VP candidate for Weah is Jewel Howard Taylor, "WIFE" of former warlord and convicted of Crimes Against Humanity, former President Taylor, serving a 50 year's sentence.

Brumskine of the Liberty Party is the old legal adviser to Charles Taylor's Civil War execution cabinet. Digging for gold in Sierra Leone was legal, just, and right, ostensibly. And so was a civil war to advance and perpetuate tribal instincts.

Prince Johnson noted for his inhumanly midnight meals and primordial, unspeakable savagery, a candidate too. Mr. Reality Show Murderer.

And Alex Cummings, that foreigner-imposter-fraudster, openly, defiantly criminal element, and Constitution-buster, want-to-be Freeloader Pesky Retiree on Liberia, too, is running. Never mind what the statutes and laws say. Why doesn't this arrogant, ignorant character retire on Uncle Sam instead to whom he paid taxes and allegiances?

A few worth mentioning vying for Liberia's presidency. WHY SHOULD WE FOLLOW these character-less, unconscionable critters?
Ergo Manning at 06:44PM, 2017/05/04.
Ergo Manning

"Papa Na Cum..." above was posted under the topic by mistake. I apologize.
Ergo Manning at 01:41AM, 2017/05/05.
Ergo Manning

How does one quickly spot a Liberian government official in a sea of poverty and hopelessness?

Some attributes: Gucci Attire, broken guarantees, self-absorption, etc.

Most Africans create demi-gods of lousy flatulence that unfortunately spread to clip innocent nose hairs (the victimized populace).

Is the dismal, secrecy-obsessed, seemingly anti-own mission LACC an exemplary agency? No. Is it all small talk without significant convictions or clear acquittal record of the suspects.

By results, LACC is a failure.So far. Opinion.
Ergo Manning at 08:00AM, 2017/05/05.
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