Liberia: Statistics Show Killing of Spouse, Lover on the Rise in Bong County

Samuel Dolo, 45, admitted to killing his girlfriend in April this year for reportedly answering another man’s phone call

Gbarnga, Bong County – Sordid details and betrayal appear to be the twin dominant factors behind murders and attempts to murder in Bong County, crime statistics with police in the county have shown. 

According to the police data accessed by FrontPageAfrica Monday, illicit relationships accounted for 10 percent of the 31 cases of murder registered in the county in October 2014.

The figure is nearly 5 percent higher than the premeditated homicide cases the previous year.

“The victims in most such cases were done away with brutality,” a senior police official, who is an expert in homicidal cases, told FrontPage Africa.

“In almost all cases, the accused is found to be a first-timer. And a sense of betrayal or feeling of revenge precedes the act,” the officer said, requesting anonymity.

Moses Porkpah, who was convicted for the murder of his wife Doris Nyah, was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court sitting in Gbarnga last year

The data reveals that a murder takes place every three or four months in Bong County where reasons were found to be the suspect learning about an illicit relationship of his or her partner, finding one’s partner in a compromising position with another person and argument over sexual problems or incompatibility.

Until June 10, 2019, as many as 31 cases of murders and 54 of attempts to murder were reported in Bong County.

An analysis shows that out of total murder and attempts to murder cases, about 6 percent were related to illicit relationships or inappropriate sexual indulgence.

Last year, similar motives were established in about 8 percent of murder cases.

“In most of these cases, sharp-edged weapons or firearms have been used by the killer to ensure the death,” a senior police officer said.

Police officials said that the victim need not necessarily be a woman in these cases. There were numerous cases where a woman conspired to eliminate her lover or husband, with the help of a male partner.

“At times, these motivated murders follow arguments and altercations over 

sexual behavior,” the officer said.

A look into the recent spate of sleaze and revenge murders proves the points of social pressure and brutality as pointed out by officers and doctors.

In April, a 29-year-old woman was killed by her husband over suspicion of an illicit relationship in Gbarnga. The victim was attacked with a cylinder and her husband slit her throat.

Meanwhile, citizens of the county and government officials have joined the police in condemning the rising number of murder cases in Bong County with two people being killed in the last two months.

28-year-old Sulon Mulbah slit the throat of his girlfriend last week, Hawa Gbokolo, 22, on suspicion of having an extra relationship

In an interview, Bong County police chief superintendent, Frederick Nappy, expressed concern that people continued to ignore calls to respect the sanctity of life.

“We are reminding people that police have tightened their security measures against murderers. We will not hesitate to arrest all those who are turning themselves into social monsters,” he said.

“The two people who died in this year lost their precious lives over petty issues and that cannot be tolerated at all.”

Nappy said the majority of murder cases were a result of domestic disputes, while others involved persons with mental illness. 

Meanwhile, the head of the Bong County Women Organization, Olivia Weetol has urged women who face domestic violence to report to responsible authorities to avoid unnecessary loss of life.

“We are encouraging women to report all cases of domestic violence to relevant authorities. Some women are dying silently because they are afraid of divorce if they report their violent husbands to police,” she said.

She added that “people should remember that life belongs to God” while urging aggrieved people to seek counseling from the elderly or church leaders to resolve their differences rather than to take the law into their own hands.

“Misunderstandings are common even among couples but the best solution is to seek counseling from your superiors. It is true that people are killing each other over issues that are not worth dying for,” she said.