Liberia: Justice Minister Ordered Mo Ali Release to Police Hours before Informing the Media

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MONROVIA – Contrary to the assertion from the fourth in command at the Liberia National Police, Col. Prince Mulbah (103) that the release of opposition figure Mo Ali from detention was delayed because the police had not received any instruction from the Justice Minister at the time he spoke with the media announcing the release, Justice Minister Frank Musa Dean says he spoke with both the Inspector General of Police and Col. Mulbah before informing the media of his order.

Col. Mulbah told Truth FM on Friday that the police received the order from the Minister of Justice at 4:00 am, Friday morning.

 “This is an institution we are running and we can in no way disrespect the Justice Minister but, again, the Justice Minister’s instruction to us cannot be in the media before reaching out to us. This is why we acted at the time we did. It was at that time we received his instruction through our boss, Col. Patrick Sudue, and we acted accordingly,” said col. Mulbah.

“My orders were clearly communicated to the Inspector General of Police in a telephone conversation and to Prince Mulbah, head of the Investigation Panel, in person, in the presence of the Solicitor General on Thursday, March 25, 2021, hours before the newspaper publication.”

Cllr. Frank Musah Dean, Minister of Justice

He said: “Speaking to the media before speaking to us, I don’t know whether that is the right thing to do but the Justice Minister is a seasoned and a well-respected lawyer in this Republic. Being a Justice Minister, it takes one to be of legal mind, it takes one to be well-grounded in the legal profession and he controls the Police.”

“So, whatever medium he chooses to channel his information, I don’t know, but what I do know is that he spoke with the Inspector General, our boss, and he instructed us to release Mo Ali,” Mulbah said.

Mulbah further that upon receiving Cllr. Musa Dean, who happens to be the Minister of Justice order, at 4 am today, they immediately released Ali from prison and had him turned over to his lawyer when daylight became clear.

But in reaction to his assertions, the Cllr. Dean told FrontPageAfrica, “My orders were clearly communicated to the Inspector General of Police in a telephone conversation and to Prince Mulbah, head of the Investigation Panel, in person, in the presence of the Solicitor General on Thursday, March 25, 2021, hours before the newspaper publication.”

The Minister of Justice on Thursday afternoon informed FrontPageAfrica that he had instructed the police to release Mr. Ali until the evidence backing his charges are produced.

“Until the evidence, when produced, reviewed and a determination made by the Attorney General, the LNP is ordered to release Mr. Ali,” Minister told FrontPageAfrica moments ago.

The minister said: “Consistent with section 22.2 (b) of the New Executive Law, which requires the Minister of Justice to “institute all legal proceedings necessary for law enforcement”, the Minister of Justice has, today, March 25, 2021 called on the Liberia National Police to produce the proper evidence to support charges levied against Mr. Mo Ali. Mr. Ali is reportedly charged with terrorism, criminal attempt to commit murder, arson and terrorist threat.

FrontPageAfrica followed up with the police hours after the Attorney General’s order on why Mr. Ali was still being held in detention. Police spokesman, Moses Carter, said he was not aware of any such order coming from the Minister of Justice.

According to him, he had not received any information that the order had been communicated through the proper channel to the LNP. He said, he could not confirm with the Inspector General of Police whether the Minister of Justice had communicated with him as the police chief is on the county tour with the President.

Mr. Carter could also not confirm whether any high-ranking officer of the police had received such order or communication from the Ministry of Justice.

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