Horror at LAC! - Widow Cries for Justice

Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted January 30, 2006


While the Management of the Liberia Agriculture Company (LAC) might be pursuing the residents of Compound #3, Grand Bassa County for the death of the company worker, Morris Zogbor, there are different versions emanating from the widow of the deceased and the locals concerning the circumstances surrounding the mysterious death of Morris; writes, Josiah S. Hallie.

In an attempt to ascertain the fact about the death of late Zobor, a team of human rights organizations traveled to LAC and met with the widow, Comfort Zogbor on 8, January 2006.

Mrs. Zogbor, according to the team, challenged the story being told by the LAC management and the government of Liberia of how her husband met his untimely death.

Comfort Zogbor is reported to have said that when the body of her husband was discovered “it did not appear to have died as a result of drowning since the creek in question was not deeper than the height of the deceased,” adding, “he could have walked across,” she cried.

Mrs. Zogbor further told the rights team that she suspects foul play in the death of her husband and is requesting for an independent investigation to establish “the true nature of how her husband’s death occurred.”

The family also asserted that their suspicion has increased owing to the “rush burial of the man upon the order of the Administrative Manager of LAC, Cllr. Alexander Attia, without the benefit of an autopsy.”

Comfort told the rights group that she objected to the unceremonial and hasty burial of her husband until an independent autopsy was performed but her appeal fell on deaf ears as Cllr. Attia was reported to have told her that the “company was going ahead with the burial of Morris irrespective of the family’s opposition,” adding, “the family (members) were not allowed to see the body of their loved one prior to his burial.”

For their part, the villagers said they were arrested by the combined security forces of LAC, LNP and UNMIL peacekeepers on allegations that they killed one of the 58 workers of the management who had gone to clear the land in the area.

They further indicated that those detained were tortured to confess the crime of murder, adding, “The seven men who were detained along with Elder Monyou were beaten and detained at the private prison of LAC for three days prior to their transfer to Buchanan, where they were charged first with terroristic threats and later with murder of Morris.”

The villagers who are also calling for an independent investigation by competent and professional persons to establish the cause of the death of Morris, said the area where the 58 LAC contracted workers were working and where the late Morris got drowned, is estimated to be between three to four miles.
“The distance between the two villages and spot in the Zloh Creek where LAC and the government of Liberia alleged that the detained citizens caused Morris to get drowned, is nearly 9-11 miles away from the villages,” they asserted.

No comment could come from the Management of LAC when it was contacted via cell phone. Both the General and Administrative Managers George Mensah and Cllr. Attiah’s cell phones were either busy or switched off at the time.

For the government of Liberia, the outgoing Deputy Minister for Justice, Theophelius Gould, claimed that the area in question belongs to LAC in accordance with concession agreement signed with the government.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has ordered the LAC management to halt all project activities until all the circumstances regarding the implementation “of this project relative to implementing the environmental impact assessment can be thoroughly conducted.”

© 2005: This article is copyrighted by the Forum newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved. Forum can reached at: Forum@theperspective.org