KAKATA, Margibi – The corpse of a suspected Nigerian armed robber killed July 2016, during an exchange of gunfire with officers of the Liberia National Police has been apparently abandoned by the government at the Solomon Tubee Funeral Home in Margibi.
The suspect only identified as ‘Akin,’ had engaged police officers who went to rescue Ecobank’s branch in Kakata from being robbed by the suspect and his accomplices. Four other suspects were also injured and arrested by the police.
Patrick Tubee, who owns the local funeral home, said the police deposited the corpse for the purpose of its criminal investigation, including a possible autopsy. However, Tubee said since the incident, no autopsy was commissioned, although the three other suspects have since been convicted and sentenced to jail.
Tubee complained that he continues to use chemicals to preserve the body, but the officials of the Justice Ministry are refusing to make any payments towards his service, which has now reached US$75,000. He said communications to the former county attorney, superintendent, and police authorities in Margibi requesting payment has yielded no result.
“I have made a lot of efforts by even making it public on the media, and [even] informing stakeholders about my plight,” he said. “Before the government, I am a man without relevance – that’s why they don’t care. If it was other big names, they would have never being treated like the way [I’m] being treated.”
Meanwhile, Tubee is appealing to President George Weah’s administration to settle its debt with him and take delivery of the corpse, noting that the body has overstayed and the cost of care is increasing.
Police Inspector General Patrick Sudue had told Journalists in Margibi during a recent visit to the county that it was during the administration of his predecessor that the corpse was deposited at the funeral home, and not under his command. However, he promised to work with the relevant authorities to have a settlement with the funeral home.
Margibi’s former county attorney, Isaac George, had also disclosed that prior to his reassignment from the county in 2018, he had no information that the corpse was still at the local funeral home, especially when the case had already been closed.
The 13th Judicial Circuit Court in Kakata has since sentenced Samuel Davis to 10 years in jail for the attempted armed robbery. Alex Yarkpawolo and Abraham Doe also received 15 years in jail for their participation in the crime.
The chairman of the Margibi chapter of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia, Edward Travis, also issued a statement calling on the county’s legislative caucus to intervene in what he said was straining the finances of the local funeral home.
Travis’ statement comes in the wake of continuous media reports over the failure of the government to settle its responsibility to the funeral home and dispose of the corpse of the suspected robber.
Feature Photo by Emmanuel Degleh