Monrovia — Varlee Tarlee, the officer of the Monrovia City Police who has been accused by Cllr. Jerome Verdier of being hired by Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee to attack former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott that led to the death of her foster daughter says he is innocent and that one of his friends Sheikh Sackor who is in the US is lying to Cllr. Verdier.
By J.H. Webster Clayeh, [email protected]
“The Lady you are talking about I don’t know her. I live Brewerville. From my work area I go home. I don’t know anything about Counsellor. That’s one of my brothers… We fought war together before. His name is Skeikh Sackor. We have a business together but things are not good between us. He is the one spreading lies and linking me to arm robbery,”Tarlee said in a press conference Monday.
In the wake of the horrific incident at the home of Justice Musu-Scott, Cllr. Verdier took to the airwaves, and referring to Tarlee as the Deputy Director of the Monrovia City Police, said he was hired by Mayor Koijee to assassinate the legal luminary at her residence.
Cllr. Verdier alleged that Tarlee has been secretly taken outside the country with the help of Mayor Koijee.
Addressing a press Conference at the Monrovia City Hall Monday, Tarlee said he has not been out of the country and is not a Deputy Director at the Monrovia City Police, contrary to Cllr. Verdier’s assertions.
He told journalists that he joined the Monrovia City Police in July 2022 and since he has been a patrol man. He claimed to be a resident of the Banjor Community in Brewerville where he is also teaching at the Islamist school in the community.
“I teach 200 plus muslin children in Banjor. I don’t know how my name starts to take over the place.”
When asked by a journalist about his whereabouts at the time of the incident, Tarlee said he was not home. Rather, he was at work. Tarlee added: “At the night of the incident, I was to City Hall. I spent most of my time at the Monrovia City Hall.”
In his bombshell allegations, Cllr. Verdier said Tarlee is an ex-soldier of Charles Taylor’s notorious Anti-Terrorist Unit (ATU), and prior to joining the ATU served as a member of the rebel group, ULIMO K. As a rebel fighter, he said Tarlee killed many people in Sinoe County.
Responding, Tarlee said was a member of the Special Security Unit (SSU), and ATU. But admitted to his involvement in the civil war. However, he said he is a changed man now.
He said: “I fought for UNIMO-K and later join NPP. I was sent to the SSU and later join ATU. I and Sheikh fought together we were in a business, a mining business and since the business collapsed we fall apart, that is why he is telling people all these lies about me.”
There is a Facebook account bearing the name Varlee Tarlee that threatens to go after anyone who accuses the City Police officer. When asked whether it his account, Tarlee added: I have a Facebook account. But that Facebook page account is not for me.
Also speakingin Tarlee’s defense, the Monrovia City Police Director, Col. G. Thomas Garwo said despite Tarlee’s ugly past, he has exhibited good working behavior since he joined the Monrovia City Police.
Col. Garwo said the photos of Tarlee that are making rounds on the internet are those taken during his war days, and not current ones. He clarified that Tarlee does not carry firearm; adding that only him, as the commander carries gun because he is a training officer at the Liberia National Police Academy and a licensed firearm carrier.
“These are past photos on Facebook are old pictures from the revolution time. Nobody is authorized to carry a firearm at MCC police except me. The man has changed,” Col. Garwo said.
Cllr. Verdier’s outbursts have sparked huge debate in the public sphere with a segment of the public calling on the police to launch an impartial investigation into the incident.
Earlier, Mayor Koijee, in a communication to Justice Minister Musa Dean admitted of having Tarlee in his employ at the MCC and expressed commitment to turn him over to the Ministry of Justice for onward investigation if the ministry deemed fit.
Koijee also said in the wake of the “wanton” claims by Cllr. Verdier, he has notified his lawyers both home and abroad to pursue a lawsuit against him to ascertain the truth in order to bring to an end what he called these repeated, unprovoked, groundless and cruel attacks on his character.
Also, the Liberia National Police, in a latest statement, gave a 72-ultimatum to Cllr. Verdier to retract his statement accusing the Police Inspector General Patrick Sudue of being one of the suspects in the armed robbery that occurred at former Chief Justice’s home.
Moses Carter, Police Chief Spokesman said failure to retract the statement, civil actions will be taken against him.