EPS’ Double-Faced Probe Draws VP Taylor’s Ire -Commitment to Serve, Protect VIPs Questioned

MONROVIA: Since the takeover of state power by the governing Unity Party led by President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, the elite security force long been charged to serve and protect the crème de la crime of Liberia’s political elite, both former and current, the Executive Protection Services (EPS), has come under enormous public censure bordering its professionalism and dutifulness. The EPS’ contemporary public utterances and demeanors, particularly directed at former government officials, have given skeptics reason to label it partisan and unethical, something a far cry from its statutory responsibility. The name of the elite presidential security guard has once again flared up in the public domain, yet again not for any good reason. As The Analyst reports, the office of former First Lady and former Vice President of Liberia, Madam Jewel Howard Taylor, is airing its exasperations over the EPS’ questionable handling of a reported attack on the person of their boss, the former VP.

What is considered as moot behavior of the Executive Protection Services (EPS) in the reported attack on the life of former Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor has drawn the consternation of her office, which has stated in a release that is “saddened” by a statement of the EPS following its professed investigation in the matter.

In a press release issued, a copy in the position of The Analyst, the office of the immediate past vice president of the country, who is also a former first lady, asserted that it “is saddened by the statement issued by the Executive Protection Service (EPS) regarding the recent attack on the vehicle in which the Former Vice President was traveling”.

The former VP’s office unpacked the EPS investigative report which indicated that even though the security investigation found out that “there was no evidence of an attack” on the VP, the EPS contradictorily also said “the investigation is still ongoing”.

Such a premature conclusion, Madam Taylor’s office says raises “serious concerns about the EPS commitment to fulfilling its mandate to serve and protect those under their authority, of which the former Vice President is a priority”.

On May 25, 2024, while traveling through the Duport Road community in Paynesville, Montserrado County, Former Vice President Howard-Taylor’s vehicle was subjected to a violent act that resulted in the destruction of the rear windshield.

According to the former VP’s office, the incident, which was reported immediately to the authorities, was met with a lack of responsiveness and support from the EPS, despite the former Vice President’s repeated requests for enhanced security measures.

The former first lady’s office also said rather sadly that the statement released by the EPS on May 29, 2024 is “unsubstantiated and failed to acknowledge the urgency and seriousness of the threat posed to the former Vice President by this incident”.

The release further added: “It is deeply concerning that from the date of the incident on Saturday through Tuesday, May 28, 2024, the EPS did not contact Former Vice President Howard-Taylor to gather firsthand information, or to provide updates since the incident.

“After the intervention of several stakeholders, a meeting between the EPS and the former Vice President was held on Wednesday, May 29, 2029 to discuss ways to correct the security lapses around the former Vice President; as well as conclude the necessary investigation to ascertain the facts and bring to justice those involved.”

Pundits familiar with security investigation say the EPS exposed its own ineptitude announcing the conclusion of “no evidence” in reports of attack of the former vice president and at the same time announcing “investigation continues”.

“If investigation is continuing in the report of attack on the former vice president as the EPS said it is doing, is it not possible that evidence could be found during the process?” said former top security operative who asked not to be named.

“What if evidence is found as a result of the continued investigation? Will the EPS retract its earlier finding that there was no evidence? Why the haste to report and in the end entangle yourself in a web of questions that impact your integrity negatively? Or is a big bluff? Is it that no investigation was actually done by the EPS in the matter?”

Meanwhile, the office of the former vice president has expressed gratitude to “the Senate leadership, the Committee on Defense, Intelligence and Security, the Liberian National Police, the National Security Agency, the media and others who raised this issue to highlight the necessity for urgent actions.”

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