Homicides, Not Suicides -STAND Rejects UP, CDC Accounts In Manneh, Melvin’s Deaths -Wants ‘Mysterious’ Passing Of AFL, EPS Officers Investigated

MONROVIA – Thursday, May 30, 2024, Camp Sheifflin, Margibi County. The Ministry of National Defense announced the death of Sergeant Bobby Manneh, reporting that he fired himself multiple times; alleged suicide. February 19, 2021, Tappita, Nimba County. Agent of the Executive Protection Services (EPS), Melvin Early, announced dead. EPS explained he shot himself multiple times. Both incidents, suggesting suicide. The two state security guards shot themselves multiple times in two separate incidents—one under the CDC-government and the other under the UP government. These official versions don’t seem to make sense to one of Liberia’s forthright civil society organizations. Something fishy must have happened, and the Solidarity and Trust for a New Day (STAND) wants cogent answers in these somewhat mysterious deaths. The Analyst reports.

The civil society movement, Solidarity and Trust for a New Day (STAND), while announcing its mourning of the tragic death of AFL Sergeant Bobby Manneh is calling on the Joseph Boakai administration to commission an impartial investigation in the mysterious death of the AFL officer whom the government claimed killed himself but also to reopen investigation of a comparable incident that occurred in 2021 under the George Weah administration.

Extending its heartfelt sympathy to the families of the bereaved, STAND says the death of Sergeant Manneh is shocking – an incident revealed in a statement released by the Armed Forces of Liberia’s (AFL) Public Affairs office suggesting that on Thursday, May 30, 2024 at approximately 10:45pm, Sgt Manneh shot himself guard duty at the Edward Binyah Kesselly Barracks in Schiefflin, Lower Margibi County.

STAND quoted an AFL statement claiming that it had notified the Liberia National Police (LNP) which immediately dispatched officers from the Homicide Division to the scene and that in the same statement, the AFL concluded that the death of Sergeant Manneh was caused by suicide.

“This conclusion, reached by the AFL high command, raises several questions, pertinent among them is whether the AFL high command rely on the outcome of a forensic investigation from its own Military Police unit before concluding that Sergeant Manneh died by suicide.

“The Liberian army, being a professional institution with a Military Police unit, with responsibility for maintaining law enforcement and discipline within the military, is expected to have carried out a preliminary investigation of the incident,” the civil society group asked whether this would have provided the basis for any early assumption for cause of death.

STAND also pondered a number of questions and concerns: “Now that the Homicide Division of the Liberia National Police has been invited to investigate Sgt Manneh’s death; does this suggest that the LNP is the lead investigator, or are they simply assisting the investigation?

“Weapon and Eyewitnesses: During Sergeant Manneh’s duty on the night of the incident, was he assigned a weapon? If so, what weapon was he assigned, and which of his army colleagues served with him that night? Were there any eyewitnesses to his alleged suicide?”

Further questioning the AFL’s conclusions, STAND asked about injury analysis: “How many ‘self-inflicted’ gunshot injuries did he suffered and what is the pattern of projectiles on his body? Are there visible upper or lower extremity injuries?”

On Sergeant Manneh’s history, the organization further wonders: “According to the AFL high command, Sergeant Manneh’s military characteristics and history were impeccable and in accordance with high military standards without any kind of psychosocial abnormalities showing suicidal behavior. However, apart from his professional service records, which would make suicide surprising, has he ever attempted to harm himself or commit suicide before?”

These questions are crucial to understanding the circumstances of Sergeant Manneh’s death and ensuring a thorough and transparent investigation, STAND contends, urging the Boakai administration to authorize or support a swift and impartial investigation to ensure justice and strengthen public confidence in the nation’s troubled justice system.

“Subsequently, His Excellency President Boakai is encouraged to prioritize a credible investigation, which is further reinforced by the diverse narratives already circulating in the public square,” the group further noted, pointing to the atmosphere of stunned disbelief among Liberians, particularly the improbable narrative that Sergeant Bobby Manneh shot himself in the head six times before his death.

Like Manneh’s Death, Like Early’s?

STAND notes that this is not unique to the Army, regardless of which administration is running the country.

In 2021, the organization recalled, “a trained and professional Executive Protection Service (EPS) Agent Melvin Early was reported by Law Enforcement to have ‘Shot himself in the head three (3) times and died in Tappita, Nimba County.

“This kind of reported suicide death reflects a pattern of a probable dangerous subculture operating within the Liberian security apparatus, outside official corridors,” said STAND, adding that AFL’s claim of suicidal death of a professional and patriotic soldier, gives cause for alarm.

In the Melvin Early case, the civil society group further noted, “upon seeing the dead body of this patriot, the deceased’s family rejected the Liberian government’s suicide claims, offering an entirely different narrative that Mr. Earley was allegedly shot in the abdomen, chest, and head, contrary to government information sources”.

Like the previous administration, which stands accused of failure to conduct a transparent and credible investigation into the death of EPS Agent Melvin Earley, the group asserts that the current administration risks similar accusations if it fails to ensure a credible, transparent, and unbiased investigation into the tragic death of Sergeant Bobby Manneh.

STAND says it is therefore calling on the Liberia National Police to reopen the Melvin Earley case file to conduct a more thorough, transparent, and unbiased investigation into the claims and counterclaims surrounding the EPS agent’s death.

“This request is particularly pertinent given the swirling controversies surrounding Sergeant Bobby Manneh’s death, which shares many similarities with the death of Agent Melvin Earley,” the organization said further, divulging that research it has conducted indicates that experts in such cases note that multiple gunshot wounds to the head are typically indicative of homicide rather than suicide.

“Law enforcement and forensic experts generally regard multiple head wounds with suspicion, and such circumstances warrant a thorough investigation to rule out foul play,” the group indicated. “Given this background, STAND believes the death of Sergeant Bobby Manneh should be treated as a homicide, not a suicide.”

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.