VEx Press Statement for Immediate Release – October 19, 2020
Voices from Exile (VEx), a pro-democracy, pro-people and pro-research movement, has been closely working with the families of the deceased auditors from LRA and IAA in pursuit of justice for Mrs Gifty Asmah-Lama, Mr Albert Peters, Mr George Fahnbutu, and Mr Emmanuel B. Nyeswa.
We want to reassure the families of the deceased auditors of our fullest support as they endure this depressing moment of grief and distress. We have been cautiously following several attempts by the Weah-led government to compromise this murder case, distort the facts, and misinform the public. VEx has been able to promptly expose these ploys.
Latest of these is the refusal of the government to adequately inform the families and the public about today’s autopsy and the pathologists involved. VEx, in its wisdom, had to quickly research and release dossiers on the two (2) government-sponsored pathologists (Dr Benedict Kolee and Dr Zoebon Kpateh) that have been duly authorized to conduct separate autopsies.
Based on our research findings on those pathologists and other contentious circumstances surrounding the mysterious deaths of Gifty, Albert, Fahnbotu, and Nyeswa, the families have clearly expressed “Lack of Confidence” in the outcome of any government-sponsored autopsy and/or investigation.
The families have clearly stated that they do not TRUST the government in handling this matter. We support the withdrawal of the families from the stage-managed “ongoing investigation” by the Government of Liberia. This has been the clearly-expressed position or view of Voices from Exile (VEx) since this case began on October 3, 2020. We have consistently called for international forensic investigation and have insisted that the Government of Liberia be treated as prime SUSPECT in this case.
We want to join the families to restate that the autopsies that have been commissioned by the Government of Liberia lack credibility, independence, integrity, and reliability. This post-mortem examination which is expected to be conducted by Dr Benedict Kolee and Dr Zoebon Kpateh has already been undermined and compromised as a result of CONFLICT OF INTEREST which Voices from Exile (VEx) has succinctly established forthwith.
The below establishes clear “Conflict of Interest” in this case (blood relationships and links):
1) The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), as government’s fiscal arm, remains at the centre of accusations relative to the misuse of the COVID-19 Fund and other financial accounts which were being audited by Gifty, Albert, Fahnboto, and Nyeswa before their mysterious demise.
2) The two (2) pathologists, Dr Benedict Kolee and Dr Zoebon Kpateh have a direct link to the government’s interest. Their current roles have already compromised any independent outcome of the expected autopsies. Dr Zoebon Kpateh is currently the Director for Clinical Laboratory Services at the government-run John F. Kennedy Referral Hospital (JFK) and he is also heading the Department of Histopathology at JFK. Dr Benedict Kolee also works in this Department of Histopathology as a government’s doctor. In these roles, both clinical pathologists have been and remain purely dependent on GOL’s monthly paychecks.
3) The current Deputy Minister for Fiscal Affairs at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), Samora P. Z. Wolokolie, is the blood brother of Dr Zoebon Kpateh, one of the two pathologists. Both Dr Zoebon Kpateh and Minister Samora Wolokolie are biological brothers from mother’s side. We have photo evidence in our possession to prove this established blood relationship. Furthermore, Minister Wolokolie has publicly admitted to this reality on Facebook after VEx released Dr Zoebon Kpateh’s profile on yesterday. The screenshots are in our possession to prove.
4) The wife of Dr Benedict Kolee, Madam Theodosia Kolee, is currently the Chairperson of the National AIDS Commission (NAC) and she is also an influential member of JFK’s Board. These appointments were directly made and sanctioned by the Government of Liberia through the office of President George M. Weah. Furthermore, Madam Theodosia has a very close relationship with Pres. George M. Weah.
5) Here is another clear link that these pathologists have to government’s interest. The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Justice fully sponsored the post-graduate studies of Dr Benedict Kolee and Dr Zoebon Kpateh at the University of Ghana Medical School (UGMS). Dr Kolee, Dr Kpateh, and Dr Anthony Quayee were beneficiaries of this sponsorship. But Anthony Quayle dropped later.
Both Dr Kolee and Dr Kpateh finally earned their post-graduate credential in Clinical Pathology from UGMS. We have a 240-page report to prove this. Access this link to read: http://moj.gov.lr/data/uploads/downloads/moj_annual_report_2015_version-charles.pdf.
With these facts, the families of the deceased made a conscious decision to disqualify this autopsy and withdraw from the government’s investigation. The supra visibly violates the general principle and/or global standard of Conflict of Interest (COI). Therefore, any outcome of a government-sponsored autopsy would certainly be vitiated or impaired as a result of our facts above. Voices from Exile (VEx) insists and reiterates its initial call for international forensic investigation.
Who are those government-sponsored pathologists?
1) Dr Zoebon Kpateh
Dr Kpateh hails from Bong County, central Liberia. He is an alumnus of the Cathedral Catholic High School, Ashmun Street, Monrovia. Dr Kpateh has a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Biology from Cuttington University. He is a graduate of the A. M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, University of Liberia. Dr Kpateh holds a post-graduate degree in Clinical Pathology from the University of Ghana Medical School (UGMS) and he has practised at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital on Guggisburg Avenue, Accra, Ghana.
Currently, Dr Kpateh is the Director for Clinical Laboratory Services at the government-run John F. Kennedy Referral Hospital (JFK) and he also heads the Department of Histopathology at JFK.
2) Dr Kolee
Dr Kolee hails from Bolahun, Lofa County, northern Liberia. He is an alumnus of the St. Augustine High School in Bolahun, Lofa County. Kolee has a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Zoology major and Chemistry minor, University of Liberia.
Kolee furthers his studies in Medicine, Specifically in Clinical Pathology, University of Ghana Medical School (UGMS). His speciality (post-graduate credential) focuses on Emergency Medicine, Kerk School of Medicine, University of Southern California, USA.
By profession, Kolee is a Laboratory Medicine Specialist Pathologist. He is a former Medical Officer (MO), Korle-Bu Technical Teaching Hospital, Guggisburg Avenue, Accra, Ghana. He served as CMO of Jackson F. Doe Regional Referral Hospital, Tappita, Nimba County, Liberia. Kolee is one of the government’s doctors assigned in the Department of Histopathology at the John F. Kennedy Hospital. He is also the Vice-Chairman of Health Page Liberia, Inc.
Note: VEx is not questioning the qualification and/or competence of Dr Benedict Kolee and Dr Zoebon Kpateh. But we are mostly concerned about independence, non-interference, and credibility.
B) Assumptions and Circumstances:
1) Both pathologists, Dr Kolee and Dr Karteh, are clinical pathologists and not forensic pathologists. There are 3 types of pathologists, namely: Anatomical Pathologists, Clinical Pathologists, and Forensic Pathologists.
Medically, what is required in this murder case is forensic autopsy. And forensic autopsy primarily is conducted by forensic pathologists and not clinical pathologists. Here is a difference:
a) An anatomical pathologist is involved in examining tissue specimens taken from the human body;
b) A clinical pathologist is involved in conducting and overseeing laboratory tests on body fluids, such as blood;
c) Forensic pathologists examine evidence collected in sudden, unexplained deaths, such as homicides and accidents. Among these 3 types, forensic supersedes (Ref: https://www.globalpremeds.com/blog/2014/10/08/types-of-pathologist/).
2) Almost all the crime scenes were tempered with and pieces of evidence somehow contaminated according to the Liberia National Police (LNP). There are indications and reasons to believe that these crime scenes were intentionally tampered with to distort the facts and erase any possible trace to the perpetrators of this heinous crime (murder). The Liberia National Police (LNP) is to be blamed for this misstep. For instance, the dead bodies of the deceased were rushed to JFK Hospital and subsequently to various funeral homes without the consent of the families. Why? Those corpses of dead bodies could as well be tempered with at various funeral homes. This disturbing precedent points to CONSPIRACY THEORY.
3) The Government of Liberia (GOL) through the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has consistently refused to legally request and make public the call logs of the deceased auditors even though the families and the public have raised continuous concern about this. It takes less than 24 hours for GOL through MOJ to make a formal request of any victim’s call log from Lone Star GSM Company and Orange GSM Company. The delay on the part of the government points to SINISTER MOTIVE.
4) The denial of the families by the government to see the corpses of dead bodies of the deceased raises more unanswered questions. The families have even been denied access to the gadgets (phones, laptops, etc.) of the deceased according to Mr Sylvester Lama, husband of the late Gifty Lama. The gentleman (Otiga), in whose possession some of these items were tracked down or found, has been unjustifiably released by LNP. Such egregious denial and coverup by the Government through MOJ and LNP point to an attempt to DISTORT and DESTROY EVIDENCE.
5) Furthermore, the investigation is being delayed due to the government’s interest according to Mr Sylvester Lama. This can be visibly seen. This morning on a local talk-show (50-50), Mr Sylvester Lama bluntly said, “They murdered my wife and Mr Peters in cold blood. We do not trust the government. We do not trust the system. Our families are hurt and grieving. We are sending an SOS call to the International Community to help us seek JUSTICE.” This points to DISTRUST and MISTRUST in the government.
6) The initial statements or comments from President George M. Weah, Police Inspector General Patrick Sudue, and Information Minister Ledgerhood Rennie are reasonable grounds for doubts and interferences. Pres. Weah said, “The deceased were boyfriend and girlfriend”. Inspector General Sudue said, “They were unceremoniously unconscious while en route to JFK” while Ledgerhood Rennie said, “They were not auditors”. These vague comments and outright lies have EXPOSED the government, and they do point to INSINCERITY and DECEPTION.
7) President George M. Weah made a verbal request to the US Government for assistance in the “ongoing investigation”. To date, this request has not been formalized or made official like IIA’s request because his verbal request was only intended to calm down rising public pressure. This precedent points to SUBTLEFUGE (Trick) and PRETENSE. We applaud the formal request of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) through its President Richard F. Chambers to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
8) The venue of the government-sponsored autopsy, St. Moses Funeral Parlor, is not scientifically equipped to conduct a forensic investigation. The proprietor of this funeral parlour, Moses Ahoussouhe has a very close relationship with President George M. Weah and the Government of Liberia.
9) The families have consistently debunked several false claims made by the government. For instance, the government said that the sand that was seen on Ms Gifty Lama was not beached sand. Later, the families established that it was beach sand. Hence, they concluded that both Gifty and Albert were killed on the beach by their predators/perpetrators.
10) We have photos of the 4 deceased auditors in our possession. And these terrifying photos of the deceased are pointing in the direction of a gruesome murder. Additionally, we have photos of their alleged assassins. In one of those photos in our possession, one of the alleged assassins “Anthony Tobor” alias “Belcharming” is seen in full military regalia on a local beach in Monrovia.
Considering these facts, assumptions, and circumstances, VEx can scrupulously conclude that Gifty, Albert, Fahnboto, and Nyeswa were murdered in cold blood. Hence, the Government of Liberia is a party to this case/mystery. Therefore, the government cannot play the role of the plaintiff and the defendant, and at the same time the judge. This investigation must be conclusively handled by an independent international forensic investigative panel. We maintain that the government be treated as a prime suspect. It is painful and outrageous to kill 4 Liberian professionals in just 8 days. Our utmost concern now is “IMPARTIAL JUSTICE”.
VEx joins the families of the deceased and the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) to compassionately call on the US Government as well as the African Union, ECOWAS, UN, EU, and other international partners to promptly take charge of this investigation and quickly intervene to guarantee JUSTICE and set deterrence. We believe that only International Forensic Investigation can unravel this mystery.
If this mystery is not unravelled, fear will be instilled in the Liberian population and professional Liberians will be frightened to expose public graft/institutionalized thievery which continues to undermine good governance, national security, economic stability, and peace.
Once more, VEx extends its earnest sympathy to families of the deceased. We assure them of our fullest support in pursuit of justice. May God save Liberia. JUSTICE is imperative.
Done and issued on this 19th Day of October A.D. 2020.
Signed: Martin K. N. Kollie
Voices from Exile (VEx)
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