By: Stephen G. Fellajuah
MONROVIA – The Chairman of the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms (LNCSA) Attorney Teklo Maxwell Grigsby, has announced that the commission will destroy ammunitions and firearms worth over five million United States dollars (US$5M) at the Edward Binyah Kesselly Military Barracks (EBK) on 27 October, 2022.
At the same time LNCSA Chairman emphasized that after December this year, the Commission will proceed to issue search and seizure warrants effectively in January of 2023.
He clarified that the search and seizure warrant is not a campaign strategy of the Government but “the law says you should not be in possession of firearms, .if you want to possess it then you can make application, the Commission can make a decision whether or not you are qualified to possess firearms, the LNCSA boss cautioned.
Continuing on the destruction exercise, Grigsby, said the ammunitions and firearms were purchased to be used by the Liberia National Police, but rusted therefore, he said the Commission has the authority to effect their destruction with supervision from the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), National Security Agency (NSA), and the Liberia National Police (LNP).
“Over 255,000 arms and ammunition, explosives and related material will be destroyed. The minimum cost of one of the rounds is twenty one United States dollars and the total worth is over five million United States dollars”, Chairman Grigsby said when he spoke yesterday, October, 6, 2022 at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs & Tourism (MICAT) regular press briefing.
He said to the government of Liberia the ammunition has eroded, saying with the support from the government of Germany most of these ammunition were imported into Liberia and got eroded. He added that as part of the Commission statutory mandate the materials will be publicly destroyed.
Additionally, he noted that LNCSA is working with the AFL who collected over 130 explosives, hand- made grenades, and some dynamites.
Also, he mentioned that the Commission has over 3,000 arms, to include single barrel and assault rifles, and AK47 that will form part of the disposal exercise.
Attorney Grigsby that this is the first time the government of Liberia in more than 30 years is conducting such exercise, adding that this is the Commission effort to transparently dispose of illicit weapons seized.
Speaking further he said for many years the court of Liberia could not make available to other institutions arms or ammunitions seized or used I’m mitigation. However, he made it known that the LNCSA has reached out to the court through the administrator and understanding has been reached.
“The court has issued an order to magisterial courts in seven counties, our team including the LNP, AFL and NSA were able to collect from the depots. We assure the court that we will do a transparent and public disposal exercise”, he assured and said his institution has received approbation from the President of Liberia.