Group of Liberian citizens petitions US Government on mysterious deaths, ritualistic, secret killings in Liberia

After yesterday’s article on the spread of ritualistic killings in Liberia by the Daily Observer, this leading Liberian newspaper surprises us today again with another article focusing a phenomenon which seems so difficult to eliminate in this West African country. Another group of citizens is protesting against the mysterious deaths in the country, which they blame on certain people responsible for ritualistic and secret killings. Citizens against secret killings (CUASK) allege that while the Sirleaf administration era saw a number of mysterious, ritualistic deaths as well as secret killings, such deaths are even more alarming under the George Weah administration.

True of untrue? It’s a fact that nobody in Liberia is surprised by news of another ritual murder that has been committed. In the last paragraph of the Daily Observer newspaper article – presented below – two recent examples are being given.

A 46-year old woman named Florence Massaquoi was found dead on the Samuel Kanyon Doe (SKD) Boulevard, in the Greater Monrovia area, with some body parts missing. In Maryland County, Mordecial Nyemah, a twelfth-grade student of Pleebo High School, was murdered for ritualistic purposes, causing a major protest and rioting from angry citizens. See my earlier postings on this murder case, dated April 3, ‘Liberia: protests inMaryland County over alleged ritual killing of young people‘, April 5, ‘Liberia: Maryland County student leader condemns allied ritualistic murder, recalling similar cases‘, and April 22, ‘Ritual murders in Liberia, a remarkable plea: ‘Dire need to respect the sanctity of human life in Liberia‘.

Ritualistic murders in Liberia, when wil it end? Will it ever end?

The Government of Liberia needs to act, NOW. If it’s not part of the solution, it’s part of the problem (webmaster FVDK).

Group Petitions U.S. Gov’t on Mysterious Deaths, Ritualistic, Secret Killings in Liberia

Rufina Earley, widow of EPS Melvin Earley makes statement at the memorial service after CUASK’s petition presentation to the U.S. Embassy near Monrovia.

Published: April 23, 2021
By: Daily Observer, Liberia, David S. Menjor

-As families of the deceased fear for their lives for speaking in public on how they feel about the loss of their loved ones

A group of angry citizens, some of whom are mourning the mysterious deaths of their loved ones, marched on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 marched petitioned the United States government, through its Embassy near Monrovia to call on President George Weah administration to see reason and conduct further investigations in order to establish causes of the deaths and bring the perpetrators to book.

The group, under the banner “Citizens United Against Secret Killings (CUASK)” said they are saddened to know that the Liberian government has failed or is failing to properly investigate circumstances leading to the deaths of a number of people, including some high profile government officials including security personnel, financial experts, among others.

CUASK said it strongly believes that there are hidden motives behind the alleged killings of several of those who lost their lives and that the only way those motives can be aborted and prevented from causing further harm in the Liberian society is to incessantly push the government to act appropriately rather than what they have so far done.

“We are aware that the secret and ritualistic killings have been going on, even in the previous government but the exponential rate at which it is now going is alarming. We say so because we never tell who is next among us who have come to present this petition today,” said Jethro Emmanuel Kolleh, leader of CUASK.

Kolleh added: “We also believe that the autopsy reports given were done surreptitiously to cover the facts. The doubtful reports by these governments, we mean the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-led administration and now the Weah led administration, have left us in fear about the growing rate of impunity.

“In fact, impunity has become a monster among us and if nothing is done about it now; there may be more disastrous happenings across the country, with the perpetrators having nothing to fear simply because they will be pre-informed that doing wrong, no matter how grievous, is nothing to worry about in the country.”

In their petition, CUASK listed several names of people, including children who died through alleged questionable means as raised by the concerned citizens.

“Our motto is “All Liberians Lives Matter,” and this is why we will not stop mentioning the names of all those great sons and daughters who died under mysterious circumstances,” Kolleh further noted.

He named Harry Greaves, former managing director of Liberia Petroleum Refinery Corporation (LPRC), Michael Allison, a whistle blower and Shakie Kamara, a 15 year old boy in West Point as individuals who died during the administration former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf under troubling circumstances. 

Others who died during the Sirleaf administration and named in the CUASK petition as questionable deaths were Victoria Zayzay, a young lady who Police claimed, committed suicide overnight while in custody and little Angel Togba who lived with Hans Williams and his wife in Monrovia, prior to her (Angel Togba) death which was attributed to suicide.

“We strongly believe that the deaths of Greaves and Allison were political and arbitrary. They were killed but justice was never served,” he emphasized.

The Weah era

Citizens against secret killings (CUASK) said while the Sirleaf administration era saw a number of mysterious, ritualistic deaths as well as secret killings, such deaths are more alarming under the George Weah administration.

The advocacy group said it is disappointed in the George Weah led administration because, while in opposition, they (Coalition for Democratic Change — CDC) condemned former President Sirleaf and her administration for failing to protect the lives they took oaths to protect.

“We are aware that the U.S. government is fully informed on a daily basis about happenings in Liberia. We are aware and that has been made clearly known by the State Department’s human rights report as well as the Global Magnitsky Human Rights and Accountability Act of 2021,” Jethro Kolleh said.

The group referenced the death of Zenu Miller, a journalist at OK FM 99.5 as one case that ended inconclusively, but due to his family’s wish to avoid the unnecessary rigmarole that could have proven nothing worthy, Miller was buried without justice.

Zenu Miller was beaten by Presidential security personnel (Executive Protection Service (EPS) at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex on January 25, 2020. He became sick and was admitted at the ELWA Hospital in Paynesville, the place re stayed at until his passing on February 15 of the same year.

He posted on his Facebook account saying that he was experiencing severe pain in his chest following the EPS’ brutality meted against him but in the end, Miller’s family informed the public that he died of hypertension (high blood pressure).

In October of 2020 alone, three auditors and a tax expert suffered mysterious deaths that raised public outcries.

On October 2, 2020, Gifty Lamah and Albert Peters, workers at the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), were found dead on Broad Street in a car said to have been owned by Albert Peters.

Another employee of LRA, Joseph Fahnboto, died two days later, October 4, 2020. 

On October 10, 2020, news broke, announcing the passing Emmanuel B. Nyenswa, head of Liberia’s Internal Audit Agency (IAA).

Following the deaths of the auditors and staffs of LRA and IAA, Dr. Benedict B. Kolee and Dr. Zoebon B. Kpadeh, employees of the Ministry of Health and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital respectively, were hired by government to conduct the autopsies on the remains of the victims.

However, the autopsies reports released by the two pathologists were received with discontent by the public.

In their report, as read by Justice Minister Frank Musah Dean, Gifty Lamah and Albert Peters died in the vehicle due to carbon monoxide.

The reports had it that the IAA boss, Emmanuel Nyenswa died as a result of massive hemorrhage, multiple bone and soft tissue injuries which he sustained after falling from the height of his home.

According to the Justice Minister, the IAA boss’s death requires further investigation, stating that circumstances leading to the cause of his demise are unnatural.

For George Fahnboto, the autopsy report indicated that he died as a result of the accident he was allegedly involved in along the Samuel Kanyon Doe Boulevard while driving.

Following those deaths, Melvin Earley, a U.S.-trained Presidential guard who served former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and later President Weah, was said to have died by suicide using his own gun, while on the nationwide tour with Weah in Tapitta, Nimba County.

The family of Earley and many critics of the Weah led government disagreed with the government’s allegation that he committed suicide. His widow and all of his family members as well as their supporters called on the Weah led government to provide evidence that he (Earley) took his own life, but no report came, according to them, as the widow said there is no death certificate to show cause of her husband’s death.

Several other deaths, mysterious and questionable, occurred in the weeks and months that followed. To name two more, Florence Massaquoi, 46, was found dead on the Samuel Kanyon Doe (SKD) Boulevard, with some parts of her body extracted, while in Maryland County, Mordecial Nyemah, a graduating high school student, was killed for ritualistic purpose, causing a major protest and rioting from the angry citizens of the county.

The advocacy group, citizens united against secret killings (CUASK) said they will not rest their pursuit for justice until it is served in each of the cases.

Source: Group Petitions U.S. Gov’t on Mysterious Deaths, Ritualistic, Secret Killings in Liberia

Liberia: School expels K-1 pupil for alleged witchcraft

The following is a heartbreaking story. The administration of the TYNECEPLOH Education Foundation, which runs a school in Paynesville, in Greater Monrovia,  asked the parents of a six-year-old kindergarten pupil to stop sending her to the school. The reason? The child’s alleged involvement in witchcraft activities. My initial reaction was, and to a certain extent still is one of disbelief. Knowing Liberia, I am aware that among members of certain communities the belief in witchcraft still exists, even today, in 2021, in the 21st century. Many Liberians use a mobile telephone. Also, the use of internet is widespread in Liberia. Yet the belief in magical powers, superstition, witchcraft hasn’t disappeared. Superstition can only be eliminated from society through education and awareness, yet in this case those who are engaged in these institutions show that they too believe in witchcraft.

I was struck and outraged for three reasons. First, parents entrust their children to teachers in schools and kindergartens because they expect that their children are thus protected by people who are well educated and trained, and qualified for their job. And yet these teachers and administrators disappoint us by believing in witchcraft, humiliating an innocent six-year old child by expelling her from school and making her an outcast in society!

Secondly, in any well functioning society there exists a system of checks and balances, institutions that watch and check on the respect of rules which we have agreed on as a society. In Liberia, the Ministry of Education is responsible for overseeing the activities of schools. Moreover, there is a Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection with a clear mandate. I woud have expected an immediate reaction of these two governmental institutions. Besides, the school is located near the residence of President Weah. Where are the authorities in Liberia when a six-year old child and her parents need them??

Last but not least, it is mind-boggling that responsible, adult people decide to insult, hurt, – I even call it torture – an innocent, small child that needs love, protection and guidance, and who should not be rejected, stigmatized, expelled from school, rejected by her friends and the society. Those who are responsible for this reprehensible, repulsive behavior should be brought before justice since what they have done is nothing less than a crime. I mention here the school’s principal and notably the proprietor of TYNECEPLOH Education Foundation, Napoleon Chattah.
On a national level, President Weah and/or the Legislature should immediately summon the Minister of Education, Prof Ansu D. Sonii, and the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, William-Etta Piso Saydee-Tarr, question them how this can happen, ask them whether this is an unique act and situation or if it happens more frequently in the country,  and instruct them to take all measures needed to avoid a repeat of this situation.     
(webmaster FVDK)

School Expels K-1 Pupil for Alleged Witchcraft

Students at play at the TYNECEPLOH Education Foundation

Published: March 18, 2021
By: Daily Observer – William Q. Harmon

— Parents plead for gov’t, CSOs intervention; say no money to send child to another school

By Aryee Davis

A school in Paynesville has expelled one of its students for the child’s alleged involvement in witchcraft activities. Though without any form of proof, TYNECEPLOH Education Foundation, located in the Rehab Community, recently asked the parents of the six-year-old kindergarten student to stop sending her to the school.

According to the parents of the child, who we shall refer to as Miemie to protect her identity, the school expelled her in a bid to prevent the child from potentially harming other students through the alleged witchcraft activities.

Located just a few minutes from President George Weah’s residence, the administration of TYNECEPLOH has been in existence for just over a year. Little Miemie was among the first batch of students who started attending the school when it was established last academic year. The school’s administrators admitted to the Daily Observer that the child was expelled, but refused to disclose the reason for the expulsion.

The child’s parents are pleading with the government and human rights advocates to probe the case to enable her to be reinstated.

When asked whether the allegation against her is true, Miemie burst into tears. She denied ever being a witch, insisting that the school administration’s action against her was based on rumors spread by her classmates.

Her expulsion from the newly established primary school comes in the wake of the harsh economic constraints that Liberians are being faced with as parents struggle to fend for their kids and at the same time send them to school.

“My friends lied on me to my teacher so they say I should not go to school again. Every day, when I see my friends going to school I can be crying. I want to go back to school. I miss my friends and my teacher,” Miemie explained.

To make matters worse, Miemie is now being stigmatized by her neighbors because of the same ‘witchcraft’ allegations. Some families in the neighborhood have banned their children from associating with her.

“My friends in my yard can’t play with me again; they are afraid of me, and only my small brother and I can play,” she added.

“I was on my way to the school on Tuesday morning, I received a message from my daughter’s teacher, only known as Ruth, that I should go on the campus as they wanted to see me. So I went there to find out what happened and, shockingly to me, I was told to take my daughter home,” Miemie’s mother explained.

“When I got on the campus, I met my daughter’s class sponsor, the principal, and the proprietor, who told me that my daughter’s classmates told their teacher that Miemie said she will kill the teacher, the principal, and suck the children’s blood. For this reason, she will not attend school again. The next day, my aunty and I went on the campus to appeal for Miemie to end the school year but they told me that their decision is final,” Miemie’s mother continued.

Miemie’s grandmother, who sells boiled cassava and coconut to pay the child’s tuition, could not hold back her tears at the allegation. “How can this six-year-old child kill her teacher, principal and suck her classmates’ blood? I took care of this child from birth because her father is not working I have never seen anything relating to witchcraft about my grandchild,” she said.

The proprietor of TYNECEPLOH Education Foundation, Napoleon Chattah, confirmed to this reporter that the child has been expelled from the school but declined to state the actual reason for or details concerning the expulsion.

When asked to see the Principal of the school, the proprietor, who was now visibly irritated, said that the principal was not available to speak because he had gone out to run some errands for the school.

“I’m the best person to provide answers to all the inquiries,” Mr. Chattah sharply replied.

But a source from the school that asked not to be named hinted that the administration of TYNECEPLOH Education Foundation told Miemie’s parents to take her to pastors for what they termed as ‘deliverance prayers’, after which the parents will provide a note from the church or pastor confirming that the child is free from witchcraft practices before being accepted back in school.

According to the source, Miemie’s expulsion is on the basis that she’s a witch and that her presence at the school would be dangerous for other kids sharing a class with her.

With this argument, the source continued, the school is insinuating that little Miemie has the power of the ‘dark world’ and could potentially initiate other students.

Sources who are well experienced in the deliverance of suspected or known witches told the Daily Observer that those who practice witchcraft activities have the ability to initiate others. “It is often held that parents, close relatives or friends who are witches often find it easy to initiate other children into the practice. It is also believed that children who are members of the dark world are frequently sent on missions by their superiors to recruit or sometimes harm their peers,” one deliverance minister, who requested not to be named, explained.

Miemie’s parents are however calling on the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Internal Affairs, and Child Rights advocacy groups to probe what they consider to be an unjust decision by the school.

Asked why Miemie cannot be taken to another school, the mother said she cannot afford it because there is no money.

“The little money we had at the beginning of the school year is what we used to register our daughter. We do not have any money to take her to another school,” she said, adding, “If even we could raise a little money, we will not be able to also send her to a faraway school because schools within the community might not accept her because of the allegation. This is why we are calling on relevant authorities to probe into the situation to clear our daughter’s name.

Source: School Expels K-1 Pupil for Alleged Witchcraft