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Friday, June 14, 2024

VALID CONCERNS? AMARA KONNEH’S ALARM AMID SUSPECT’S DENIAL OF CASH AND DOCUMENT THEFT, ADMISSION OF LAPTOP THEFT

Date:

MONROVIA – Recently, several senators’ offices at the Liberian Capitol were burglarized, including those of Senator Amara Konneh of Gbarpolu, Senator Joseph Jallah of Lofa, and Senator Yaya Nimely of Grand Gedeh. The break-ins have raised serious concerns about the security of public buildings and the safety of lawmakers and their staff.

The Liberian Senate Security, in collaboration with the Anti-Burglary Unit of the Liberian National Police (LNP), recovered four out of six stolen laptops. The suspect, Nana Gobah, admitted to the burglaries but denied taking cash, gas slips worth L$10,000 and US$700, or documents belonging to MedTech from Senator Amara Konneh’s office. Gobah confessed to stealing the laptops with the intent to sell them for profit. Additionally, one of the Senate security personnel, Siafa Kamara, was also arrested in connection to the incident.

The burglary incidents came to light on May 27, 2024, when Senator Amara Konneh reported a break-in at his Senate office. Senator Konneh, a prominent critic of the Unity Party government under President Joseph Nyuma Boakai and former Finance Minister during the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration, expressed his alarm over the breach.

In a statement, Senator Konneh detailed the break-in: “I am sad to report that my Senate office in the Capitol Building was burglarized over the weekend. The burglars entered through the back window, ransacked the office, and made away with documents related to the MedTech investigation, a log of compensation and gasoline benefits my staff and I have received since February, and LRD 10,000 office petty cash for staff lunch.”

The impact of the burglary extended beyond Senator Konneh’s office, also affecting the offices of Senators Joseph Jallah and Yaya Nimely. Senator Konneh emphasized the importance of public awareness regarding such incidents. “I’m reporting this here for two reasons: 1) the public needs to know when criminals break into a public building. We and our staff’s safety matters, and 2) to create awareness concerning any stringent security measures the Legislature may put in place to protect lawmakers, their staffers, and public records to prevent a recurrence,” he stated.

The stolen documents included crucial investigative materials related to the MedTech investigation, a significant probe that Senator Konneh has been actively involved in. The loss of these documents represents a setback for the investigation and raises questions about the motives behind the burglary. Additionally, the theft of the log detailing compensation and gasoline benefits poses a risk to personal and financial information security.

Senator Konneh expressed his concern over the incident, calling it “very unfortunate.” He underscored the need for enhanced security measures within the Capitol Building to prevent similar incidents in the future. “Our Pro Temp has launched an investigation,” he added, indicating that steps are being taken to identify the perpetrators and understand how the security breach occurred.

The burglaries have prompted calls for increased security at the Capitol, highlighting vulnerabilities that need urgent addressing to protect the integrity of the legislative process and ensure the safety of those who work within its walls.

Socrates Smythe Saywon
Socrates Smythe Saywon is a Liberian journalist. You can contact me at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or reach out via email at saywonsocrates@smartnewsliberia.com or saywonsocrates3@gmail.com.

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