Liberia: 10 Persons Incarcerated for Illegal Mining Activities in Todee District

The ten defendants in the dock at the  Criminal Court A

Monrovia – The Liberia National Police has arrested 10 men in Todee District, Montserrado County for allegedly illegal mining activities.

The defendants are Ekiedzi Sampson, Peter Manjoe, Judah Gadeto, Abraham Johnson, Jeffery Azialfu, Julius Dzrasah, Freeman Kpodo, Thomas Dogle, Emmanuel Atineku, and Joshua Adaglyna.

They were forwarded to Criminal Court ‘A’ on the writ of Habeas Corpus during the morning hours of Tuesday, April 2, 2019.

But they were later set freed by Criminal Court ‘A’ Judge Roosevelt Z. Willie on grounds that they were held in police custody for more than 48 hours without trial.

“Keeping them in detention for more than 48 hours is a violation of their constitutional rights. Therefore, they are hereby set free and granted their constitutional rights,” Judge Willie ruled.

Upon their release by Judge Willie, a Writ of Arrest was served on them for theft of property and economic sabotage.

They were then taken to the Monrovia City Court and later forwarded to the Monrovia Central Prison, where they will remain pending court trial.

According to the Writ of Arrest, the above-mentioned defendants were arrested in March 2019 in Manjoe Town, Todee District where they were carrying out illegal mining activities.

The Writ of Arrest further states that the defendants used dredge machines and other equipment to carry on their illegal mining activities, thereby depriving the government of its revenue and at the same time sabotaging the economy of the country.

The writ: “That during the period of March 2019, in the area of Manjoe Town, Todee District, Montserrado County, Republic of Liberia, the within named defendants being there and then without legal right whatsoever, purposely and intentionally engaged themselves in illegal mining using dredge machines and other equipment with the intent to deprive the government of Liberia of its revenue and in the same sabotaging the economics of the country.”

The Writ Continues: “The alleged act of the defendants being unlawful, wicked, criminal and willful is in violation of section 15.51 and 15.80 of the reversed Code of Liberia there and then crime herein defendants did do commit”.

Section 15.51 of the Penal law of Liberia states: “A person is guilty of theft if he knowingly takes, misappropriates, converts or exercises unauthorized control over the property of another with the purpose of depriving the owner thereof. While section 15.80 provides that: “A person is guilty of a first-degree felony, if he knowingly conspires or colludes to defraud the Government of Liberia”.