Monrovia – FrontPageAfrica has been reliably informed that the Ministry of Justice is investigating an incident that took place last Wednesday, June 24, 2020, in front of the residence of Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, involving Mr. Gerald Smith, Deputy Director for Administration at the National Security Agency.
The VP was reportedly having a meeting inside the fence of her home when the incident took place.
Eyewitnesses told FrontPageAfrica that the incident was sparked off by Mr. Smith’s refusal to adhere to the Vice President’s security details assigned in front of her house in the Sophie Ice Cream Community in Congotown.
Mr. Smith, reportedly threw insults at the security details of the VP, saying among other things: “Where the Vice President we got here? No Vice President here!”
Mr. Smith, according to eyewitnesses then proceeded to roll his vehicle, a black Acura MDX(license plate A511665) over the barricade guarding perimeter of the VP’s home. Smith then pulled out his gun to shoot the VP’s guards before he was stopped, pulled out of the vehicle and wrestled to the ground. In the process.
On the 25th of June, we received a written complaint from the NSA. We received a second complaint from the Vice President’s Chief of Staff, dated the 26th of June. Both complaints relate to the incident of 24th June, which occurred at the VP’s residence. We are in the process of instituting an investigation.”Cllr. Frank Musah Dean, Minister of Justice, Attorney General
The VP’s security managed to take his gun, a 9 mm Smith and Wesson from him.
Mr. Smith was on one of several officials named in a report linking him to atrocities and crimes against humanity in the George Weah-led government by the International Justice Group(IJG), run by Cllr. Jerome Verdier, former head of the erstwhile Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Contacted Saturday, Mr. James Hernic Pearson, II, Director of the NSA told FrontPageAfrica: “The mnister of Justice is handling this.”
When contacted, Justice Minister Frank Musah Dean said: On the 25th of June, we received a written complaint from the NSA. We received a second complaint from the Vice President’s Chief of Staff, dated the 26th of June. Both complaints relate to the incident of 24th June, which occurred at the VP’s residence. We are in the process of instituting an investigation.”
FrontPageAfrica has learned that Wednesday’s incident is the third time Smith has tried to bulldoze his way in front of the Vice President’s home. Both the NSA and the Executive Protective Services(EPS) are said to be aware.
The NSA, according to its mandate is listed to be an apolitical government intelligence institution that is solely tasked with the gathering/collection, analyzing and dissemination of national security information for decision/policy makers including the President of the Republic of Liberia. “The Agency is committed to Service, Knowing that our citizens, friends and allies are relying on us for our dedication, fulfillment and commitment to serve in pursuit of excellence in our critical mission. The Agency’s mandate also states that it is committed to ensuring that all NSA personnel are respected, valued and included for their diverse backgrounds, experiences, skills and contributions to our mission and culture.
The incident is the latest in a long-line of shootings amongst inter security agencies of the government.
In November 2018, six agents of the EPS were disarmed and placed under investigation following a scuffle between some EPS agents and soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia who were assigned at the Samuel Kanyon Doe’s sports complex. The incident resulted into an AFL soldier being shot and five others sustaining injuries. An EPS agent was also injured.
In October 2018, an agent of EPS wounded Deputy Defense Minister for Administration Olandrus Dixon with particles of a gun fire intended for an operator of a vehicle that ran into President George Manneh Weah’s convoy. The incident is reported to have occurred Thursday, 31 October outside the Monrovia City Hall following a program graced by President Weah.The Defense Ministry authorities say the EPS agent’s gun went off and its particles hit Deputy Minster Dixon’s thigh.