As Human Rights Group Blamed for Spreading Sham: Did Eugene Nagbe Fight For NPFL?

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Local partners of the International Justice Group (IJG) in Liberia have been probing allegations as to whether or not the current Commissioner of Liberia’s Maritime Authority, Lenn Eugene Nagbe, fought for the defunct armed rebel group, National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), as alleged by Hassan Bility’s Global Justice and Research Project (GJRP) and his partner, Civitas Maxima.

   NPFL was an armed belligerent group used by Charles Ghankay Taylor for the removal of former President Samuel Kanyon Doe from state power in the 1990s.

   Commissioner Nagbe is accused of being a former fighter of the erstwhile NPFL, and that it was him, Nagbe, who killed former Revolutionary United Front (RUF’s) dreaded Commander, General Sam Bockarie, alias “Gen. Mosquito”.

   He was also documented, along with many others, in a court affidavit by the GJRP boss as being an influential member of the George Weah government who could obstruct justice from being served on the victims of the Liberian civil war or influence the regime not to give in to international justice demands.

   However, investigation the IJG surrendered to its local partners in Monrovia suggests what appears somewhat contrary to the allegation of Bility’s group, and blamed the group for not carrying out fact-finding before levying the grave allegation on Nagbe.

International Justice Group (IJG)

   During the investigation, the local investigators were informed that Commissioner Nagbe worked in Greater Liberia as a journalist for both the print and electronic media institutions, and that he was never a fighter of the NPFL, as it is being wrongly circulated.

   The investigation revealed that Commissioner Lenn Eugene Nagbe also participated in the BBC’s vetted process to select its correspondent for rural Liberia, but Jonathan Paye-layleh won Nagbe with a two-point margin.

   According to the investigation’s findings, Nagbe, who, at the time was working as News Editor of the broadcasting division of the Ministry of Information of the then National Patriotic Reconstruction Assembly Government (NPRAG), in Gbarnga, later resigned and reopened the fearless “DUKPA” newspaper.

   At the time, Nagbe and a few like-minded journalists mended fences and reported on critical issues of national concern in Greater Liberia, especially on reports bordering human rights abuse and other stories.

   DUKPA newspaper was the only media outlet that reported on how some former Mighty Barrolle players were killed near the Benson River, Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County. When Taylor’s ELBC-Gbarnga radio station reported that ULIMO was dislodged in Grand Cape Mount County by the defunct NPFL, the DUKPA newspaper, again, braved the storm when it travelled to the war zone and subsequently discovered that NPFL commanders, who earlier made the assertions, were not telling the truth.

   The paper reported its findings in a front-page news story, then captioned, “ULIMO Hits NPFL Hard—Penetrates Deep Into Cape Mount”. Following that publication, Taylor sent a fact-finding team to Grand Cape Mount, which also reported that the area had fallen to ULIMO and the DUKPA newspaper report was accurate. Thereafter, Taylor, then leader of the NPFL, sent for the DUKPA editorial team, headed by Lenn Eugene Nagbe.

   During the meeting, former President Taylor informed DUKPA’s editorial team that he, Taylor, was coming to Monrovia to transform the NPFL into a legal political party and needed their input.

   In Monrovia, according to the findings, Nagbe served as Managing Editor of the defunct “New Patriot Journal” prior to the infamous April 6, 1996 fracas in Monrovia.

   Howbeit, the investigators were told that Nagbe returned to the Taylor-owned “Patriot Newspaper”, which was in strong competition with Monrovia-based New Democrat Newspaper, headed then by Tom Kamara, prior to the 1997 election.

   The IJG investigation revealed that, after the 1997 presidential elections, Lenn Eugene was appointed as Director of Publication, Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs, office of the Press Secretary.

   Commissioner Nagbe’s public service journey began from there, and afterward former Police Director, Joe B. Tate (late), asked President Charles Taylor for Commissioner Nagbe to work with him.

   Taylor granted Nagbe the opportunity, and he was appointed by Director Tate as his Special Assistant. Later, after Director Tate got killed in a plane crash in Margibi County, Nagbe served the late Paul Mulbah, who became the new Police Chief for Liberia.

   After a few months, Commissioner Nagbe returned to full time journalism. This time, he went to the “Monrovia Guardian” newspaper as Editorial Consultant.

   At the Monrovia Guardian, Journalist Nagbe wrote some strong articles, including “Who Replaces Dogolea”, following the sudden death of Vice President Enoch Dogolea.  In the news article, Nagbe analysed Taylor’s new friends in Monrovia who wanted to replace the late Vice President and the commitment Taylor had with the defunct NPFL Special Forces—that they will always serve as Vice in case of death or resignation,” the eye-witness informed the investigators.

   The findings further suggest that the name Moses Z. Blah (late), Liberia’s former Ambassador to Libya, was selected by Taylor to serve as his Vice. Again, Vice President Blah chose Journalist Lenn Eugene Nagbe as his Chief of Office Staff.

    The IJG investigators were told that, because the United Nations (UN) and the general international community were keen on prosecuting President Taylor for his alleged involvement in the civil war in Sierra Leone but had no tangible proof that Taylor was involved, they needed insiders who were closely involved with Taylor, like Sam Bockarie of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and Johnny Paul Koroma of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC). Both the RUF and AFRC were supported by Taylor against The Economic Community Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) in Sierra Leone.

   Taylor however uncovered the master plan and, in an attempt to destroy their plan of accessing Koroma and Bockarie, he ordered the murder of both men.

   The IJG investigation revealed that Koroma was fighting in Sierra Leone with his AFRC and a notorious group, an offshoot of the AFRC, West Side Boys, and Bockarie was sent in the Ivory Coast by Taylor to fight alongside the Western Forces, led by one Felix Doe.

Johnny Paul Koroma, leader of the defunct Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC)

    The Western Forces, according to the investigation, was also a brainchild of Charles Taylor.

    President Taylor, the investigation says, communicated with both Koroma and Bockarie to return to Liberia for consultation. Upon his arrival in early June 2003, the source said, Paul Koroma was apprehended in Lofa, at the border with Sierra Leone, by the so-called Government Forces, fighting against the forces of the Liberia United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD).

   LURD was a warring faction of the Liberian civil war organized in Guinea to fight and remove President Taylor from power. Paul Koroma was murdered by the Liberian Government Forces.

    On May 5, 2003, the findings of the investigation continued, Sam Bockarie returned from the Ivory Coast in adherence to President Taylor’s order and was apprehended at the border by Vice President Moses Z. Blah and Charles Taylor’s dreaded Special Security Service (SSS) Director and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces, Gen. Benjamin Yeaten. 

   The findings disclosed that Bockarie was murdered by Blah and Yeaten in the home town of Moses Blah.

      The IJG investigation ascertained that Eugene Nagbe, who was the Chief of Office Staff for Vice President Blah, was not there when Bockarie was murdered. The investigation proved that not even the Ministry of Defense, headed by Minister Daniel Chea, and the National Security Advisory, headed by John T. Richardson, Security Advisor, knew about the plot to murder the two men, as the entire episode of Sam Bockarie’s death card was played closed to Charles Taylor’s chest.

    The investigation says only Charles Taylor and his men, Blah, Yeaten and the Commander of the Government Forces in Lofa, were aware of the operation.

   Questioning Bility’s accusation, the IJG investigators said, “If the National Security Advisor and the Minister of National Defense were left out of the loop, what about the little known Eugene Nagbe, who was a mere Office Chief of Staff?”

        The findings revealed that the bodies of Sam Bockarie and his men, murdered with him, were placed in a vehicle and sent to Monrovia.

    Now, being the Chief of Staff of the Vice President, Blah called Nagbe and instructed him to intercept the convoy carrying the bodies of Bockarie and his men, on the Monrovia-Kakata Highway and escort them to the Samuel A. Stryker Funeral Service.

   It was then that Eugene Nagbe was given monies to settle the embalmment cost of the slain fighters. According to the investigators, this answers why Commissioner Nagbe’s name is in the record of the funeral service.

   The investigation noted that Nagbe remained with Mr. Blah until Taylor handed state power to him, but was never a fighter during the civil crisis.

   The findings of the IJG investigation observed that the Bility allegation against Commissioner Nagbe has not an inch of truth, but apparently a calculated one to achieve his personal interest.

   Nagbe was cleared by the investigators based on the testimonies of many individuals spoken to and the empirical evidences obtained during the investigation.    

   Meanwhile, the investigation has blamed Bility and his Global Justice and Research Project for spreading sham, and cautioned that international investigators need to be minded of reports coming from Liberia on human rights violations and those said to have any links to such violations, especially from Hassan Bility and his partners, who have been accused on numerous occasions of falsely accusing people, recruiting and coaching false witnesses to testify against people, and putting protected witnesses, who were recruited by the international community to testify in Taylor’s trial, in harm’s way.

Hassan Bility, Executive Director, Global Justice and Research Project (GJRP)

   For example, the local investigators say, many local and international critics, including the likes of Agnes Reeves Taylor, former wife of detained former President Charles Taylor, who was falsely accused of violations, on multiple occasions questioned the credibility and integrity of Hassan Bility and others.

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