In its drive to assist national security apparatus maintain peace during the conduct of the October 10, 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections, the Community Watch Forum of Liberia (CWFL) has set up taskforce in the 15 political subdivision of the country. Prior to the setting up of the taskforce, the national leadership of the CWFL conducted a massive awareness on non-violence with its members and citizens within the 15 counties to ensure that the pending national elections are conducted void of violence confrontation among opposing political party supporters. The group which has over 150, 000 members across the country, almost a month ago activated all of its structures in the 15 political subdivision of the country followed by the setting up of the taskforce for the pending national elections. The CWFL national leadership used its three weeks assessment tour of rural Liberia to visit borders points around the country at which time it discovered that out of the 162 borders points only 60 are being manned by Liberian joint security personnel; recommending that the unmanned or porous borders should be tightened by Liberian security personnel and his group to prevent entry of intruders on election day. The CWFL is a civil society conscientious security- alert and monitoring organization established by the defunct United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) with the collaboration of the Liberia National Police over ten years ago to assist various national security apparatus prevent crimes in communities and track down wanted criminals absconding justice. The National Chairman of the CWFL, I. Nyenati Kaffey said refresher training for members of the CWFL’s taskforce and other members of the group in pro-active community policing to deter criminality, curbing violence and prevention riot is regularly conducted at the LNP’s Academy in Paynesville, noting that his taskforce is fully equipped with the skills and techniques to abort any unforeseen ugly eventually. The taskforce, he opined, will be deployed alongside other national security agents at every polling center across the country as agreed by LNP authorities and its mandate is to preserve peace at those centers as well as apprehend trouble makers and turn them over the requisite government security agencies for further action. The initiative for the conduct of the non-violence forum and the setting up of the CWFL’ taskforce, Mr. Kaffey mentioned, was solely handled by his organization with no financial assistance from the LNP as was envisaged; but expressed optimism that with the renew commitment from the LNP leadership, hope is alive as his organization will become more vibrant as financial support starts filtering in sooner. In acknowledgement of the LNP’s renewed commitment of collaborate with the CWFL, a letter dated July 27, 2023 under the signature of police Inspector-General Col. Patrick Sudue indicates: “We present our compliments and expressed our profound gratitude to members and leaders of the Community Watch Forum of Liberia for your unwavering support towards the works of the Liberia National Police (LNP) in sustaining the peace and sanity of our beloved country, Liberia.” The letter further: “As we are gear towards the commencement of the campaign activities for the 2023 general and presidential elections, the LNP has envisaged to embark on a nationwide stakeholder’s dialogue aimed at raising awareness and sensitization among key stakeholders and the citizenry for the conduct of non-violence and peaceful elections come October 10, 2023. The letter highlighted that in view of the aforementioned; the Liberia National Police invites the CWFL to a one day dialogue which was held July 31, 2023 at the LNP Headquarters on Capitol Hill to brainstorm on strides to holding a successful election on October 10, 2023.

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Claims and counterclaims between Judge Ciapha Carey of the 11th Judicial Circuit Court in Bomi County and County Attorney Juma Karnley of the county have rendered the US$135,000 criminal judgment against the convicted Ghanaian national,  Abdul Razak Kawarnu, doubtful of enforcement.

Kawarnu was convicted by then Judge Peter Gbeneweneh, on October 12, 2022 and sentenced to prison, but his sentence was suspended due to Kawarnu’s ill health condition, and ordered immediate restitution of 25% of the judgment amount of US$135, 000 totaling US$33,750.

However, Kawarnu failed and refused to pay the 25% as ordered by then Judge Gbeneweneh, which triggered his arrest and subsequent imprisonment until the payment was made.

Contrary, to his predecessor’s order, Judge Carey with the knowledge of the county attorney Karnley allegedly received the amount of US$500 from Kawarnu’s relatives, James G. Foday and Paulina Karpeh, were accepted as sureties to release the convict.

Unfortunately, Carey and Karnley took the decision to collect the US$500 and released Kawarnu without the consent of the complainant, Hans Armstrong, a British national and his lawyer Abubarkar M. Kiawu.

Currently, Armstrong is filing a complaint against Judge Carey and Cllr. Karnley before Her Honor, Chief Justice Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh and the Justice Minister Frank Musa Dean, on their handling of his case.

Armstrong has initially complained Kawarnu and several other defendants, who are alleged of  scrapping of a D-8 Yellow Machine valued at US$280,000 that was parked in Malama Town, Senjeh District, Bomi County, based on which Kawarnu alone was indicted by the Grand Jury for Bomi County. In  2022.

After the hearing, the court reduced the cost of the property that was scrapped to US$135,000, 

When the reporter placed a call to Cllr Karnley, he admitted having knowledge about the released of Kawarnu, but said, he was compelled by Judge Carey to do so.

“I received a letter from Judge Carey to appear before him in July 2023, to discuss about Kawarnu’s released on health ground ” the county attorney said. 

According to  him, he and Judge Carey did not inform Armstrong about discussion to release Kawarnu. 

“This is my only regret for not informing Armstrong,  the complainant of our decision,” Karnley noted. But, we acted in line of the law. He was sick and since we saw his relatives there and were willing to serve as sureties, we have nothing else but to release,” the county attorney justified.

However, a promissory note in the possession of this paper based on which Kawarnu was released in July 2023 has the signatures of Judge Carey and the two sureties. Without Cllr. Karnley’s signature, along with a receipt of US$500 payment for Kawarnu’s released.

The promissory note rearranged the 25% payment of the judgment amount, which gives the sureties from July 2023 to October 2023.

“I did not know any details planned for the payment that was reached by the judge and the sureties. This is the reason why my signature is not on the promissory note. But, I briefly attended the meeting and left without knowing what was agreed on. You can ask the judge, and the clerk who are aware about the promissory note,” Cllr. Karnley maintained. 

Karnley admitted that US$500 was paid for Kawarnu released on health ground.

When contacted the clerk of the refused to respond to the accusations.

“I can’t speak to the matter, because we, judicial staffs are restricted by our code from speaking to the media. But, if you want the information you can apply for clerk receipt ” the male clerk told the reporter by telephone conversation.

Defendants, Isaac Kollie, Abdul Razak Kawarnu (the Ghanaian national), Bobby Dunor, Amos Sando and Abraham Adams, were arrested and charged by officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) assigned to Bomi County in connection to the scrapping of a D-8 Yellow Machine valued at US$280,000 that was parked in Malama Town, Senjeh District, Bomi County, belonging to the Horizon Company, a company owned by Armstrong, based in Monrovia.

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