Police Launches Probe In CBL Staff’s Death – Warns Against Propagating Hasty Conclusions

In the wake of concern over the mysterious death of 48 year old man identified as Matthew Innis, the Liberian National Police (LNP) says it has launched full investigation into the incident. The latest came in the wake of concerns over the death of the Central Bank of Liberia employee who was reportedly killed for his alleged knowledge of the US$25 million mop-up exercise that this becomes one of the key findings of findings of the 16 billion dollar investigative reports of the USAID sponsored Kroll Investigative Team and the Presidential Investigative Team-Technical Community (PIT-TC) both of of whom are calling for further investigation.

Both reports spoke of the unorthodox way the mop-up was being conducted by the Economic Management Team   of the Government headed by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr. Samuel Tweah. It is widely said that the late Innis was one of the supervisors for the exercise who was not comfortable with the manner in which the mop-up was been conducted,

Innis was said to have been killed on early Sunday morning, and it was noted that he was killed in an accident while crossing the road; an account has controversially been discussed. Speaking on the Costa Show yesterday, Henry Costa and other discussants questioned why body was removed to mortuary with a death certificate, and also questioned while Innis’s vehicle was removed from where he parked his car at the time of the accident.

By so doing, discussants on the show believe that the police people owe the public explanation, especially considering removal of his vehicle and the absence of death certificate from a licensed medical practitioner.

Joshua S. Harris, a Facebooker, wrote” The death of Mr. Matthew J. Innis is highly suspicious as to how it occurred and the time.  Mr. Harris said the shocking death news of Mr. Innis who works at the CBL came when two reports just came out. On these counts I am of the conviction that there was a foul play.

He said there was no pronouncement of Mr. Innis’ death by a professional/licensed health practitioner, but rather pronounced by the LNP.  He also indicated that the scene of action was not declared as a crime scene as per the law; the LNP took the body at the funeral home without a death certificate for which was wrong; and that the car of Mr. Innis was driven away by one of the officers of LNP from the crime scene.   “With all of these, as evidence was destroyed by removing the body and the vehicle from the crime scene without investigation, it’s very much suspicious,” he asserted.

But an LNP release Launches Full Investigation into the Mysterious death of the former CBL Staff, Police. The Tuesday March 4, 2019 said the Liberia National Police has launched an immediate investigation into the death of a 48 year old man identified as Matthew Innis, a resident of 72nd Community in Paynesville and a former employee of the Central Bank of Liberia who allegedly died in a fatal road traffic accident on Sunday, March 3, 2019 at 0200hrs.

According to an LNP release, quoted on the Liberia Media Professional Facebook Messenger Group, the LNP urged the public to remain calm as it investigates the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident.

The release further urges members of the public to desist propagating hasty conclusions ahead of a Police investigative outcome.

It may be recalled, the late Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) senior official, Mr. Matthew J. Innis, who was Deputy Director for Micro-finance in the Regulation and Supervision Department. According to family sources, Mr. Innis died “mysteriously” on early Sunday morning.

Innis’ family members at his home are of the conviction that he did not die of a “hit-and-run” accident as being widely speculated in the public.

Relatives expressed belief that Innis was allegedly murdered by unknown men pointing out that  Innis left home in the morning hours of Saturday to attend to office matters at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL).

“After he left the house for work, my uncle called him by 2pm but couldn’t get him. His phone was off. We tried again at night, his phone was still off. We didn’t hear from him again until we went to bed. Surprisingly at about 2:30AM Sunday, we heard some people from the community knocking our gate telling us that my father was found lying on the main road near his car,” Innis’ daughter explained in tears to friends who had gone to sympathize with her.

She also explained that she was told that her father was found without his shoes on his feet, but were in the car.

“We don’t believe that he was hit by a car, how can car hit someone and only his head is affected? No other parts of the body got hit only his head had bruises like he was mobbed,” one of the family members noted.

A family member source told this newspaper that: “By 2 a.m., we only heard a group of young men banging on our gate saying that the pappy had been hit by a car and his body is on the road. Before we got to the road, his body has been removed. We were told that the police had taken him to Stryker Funeral Home and the police was driving his car.”

Most of the young people, especially men, who knew him called him “Skip.” One Francis told this newspaper that the late had, few days ago, promised to help him and another colleague with some finance to start a mini business of their own. “My brother that is what our brabie (big brother) used to do for us in this community,” Francis added.

Innis’ “mysterious death” follows the immediate release of two damning reports about shady deals at the Central Bank of Liberia, which billions of Liberian dollars are unaccounted for, according to the reports. At least five persons, including the immediate past former Executive Governor of the Bank, Mr. Milton Weeks and the present Deputy Executive Governor for Operations, Mr. Charles Sirleaf, were picked up over the weekend by the Liberia National Police. Mr. Sirleaf is son of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who some believe seriously played a role in bringing the present Liberian government into power.

Since the unfortunate death of the late Innis, there has been no official statement from the family or his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Teta Harris-Innis, who currently resides in the United States of America. However, sources close to the family in Liberia and US have hinted that Mrs. Innis, like the rest of the family, is in a state of total shock and disbelief.

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