Liberia Seeks US Help To Probe Mysterious Death Of Finance Officials

Liberia’s President George Weah attends the plenary session of the Paris Peace Forum on November 12, 2019 in Paris. (Photo by ludovic MARIN / various sources / AFP)

Liberia has asked the US to help probe the mysterious deaths of four senior officials in finance-related posts.

The deaths of Mr Emmanuel Nyeswua, whose remains were discovered in his apartment in the capital, Monrovia, on Saturday; an official at the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) who died in a car crash in Monrovia on 4 October; and two other officials at the tax-collection agency who were found dead in a car in the city the next day, had sparked rumours of an assassination campaign.

To unravel the mystery, Liberia’s President George Weah has asked the US to help with investigations.

The president also asked Liberians not to speculate about the deaths and to await the outcome of investigations.

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Weah said the US embassy in Monrovia had been asked to help, including in finding a pathologist to examine the corpses to determine what caused the deaths.

Weah had instructed Justice Minister Frank Musa Dean to coordinate his efforts with partners of the government, including the US.

Meanwhile, Information Minister, Ledgerhood Rennie, has defended the move to seek help from the US to investigate recent deaths, explaining that the Liberian government wanted a transparent investigation involving the best experts.

“Ourselves as government do not know what happened that is why we have launched a full scale investigation,” he said.

Mr Rennie said a preliminary report would determine if a criminal or non-criminal investigation is needed.

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“People will come out with conspiracy theories and speculation about things when they happen. So we want to be clear and open so that tomorrow when the conclusions are made they can be convinced that whatever conclusions that are derived as a result of these investigations will be accepted by the public,” he said.

Mr Rennie said the investigation will involve the families of the deceased civil servants.

The officials who died include the head of the Internal Audit Agency, Emmanuel Nyeswua, and three other officials who worked for the Liberia Revenue Authority.

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