By William Q. Harmon
LNP Deputy for Operations, Melvin Sackor (left) and Rep. Yekeh Kolubah (in red t-shirt) continue their altercation on Capitol Hill, Monrovia. (Courtesy: KMTV)
— Bringing the ever-busy Tubman Boulevard to a momentary standstill
An intense verbal clash between Montserrado County District #10 Representative, Yekeh Kolubah, and Liberia National Police Deputy Inspector General for Operations, Marvin Sackor, disrupted the free flow of traffic early Tuesday morning on the ever-busy, Tubman Boulevard.
The clash ensued when Mr. Sackor pursued Representative Kolubah’s vehicle from the Old Road Community area and caught up with him on 14th street with the intent of having its occupants arrested and the vehicle impounded at the LNP headquarters on Capitol Hill.
An emotionally charged Sackor, also known by his security code #102, said the lawmaker’s vehicle had violated traffic rules while en-route to session. However, he did not state what section of the vehicle and traffic law the lawmaker violated. When he caught up with Kolubah, he ordered his men to have the lawmaker arrested for what he termed as impeding the operations of the LNP.
The situation, therefore, brought traffic to an abrupt halt as Representative Kolubah resisted arrest, while also insisting that his vehicle would not be impounded or taken to the LNP headquarters.
“I was home getting prepared for session when my driver called and told me that my vehicle had been arrested while returning from Sinkor to get fuel for the car,” Representative Kolubah, who was dressed in short jeans, a red t-shirt and practically bare-footed, told journalists in an interview. “When he was arrested, I told him to give the phone to Sackor, since he was not picking [up] my calls. Sackor said he could not talk to me after my driver gave him the phone. That is what got me angry and decided to go there.”
He accused President George Weah and Montserrado County District #8 Representative, Acarous Gray, for masterminding the “disrespect” against him.
“Sackor was instructed by President Weah and Acarous Gray to do what he did to me today. He was acting on their instruction,” the tough-talking lawmaker alleged.
In his explanation, Director Sackor said the vehicle was improperly identified as it had a single plate that was placed at the front. He further noted that the vehicle belonging to Representative Yekeh Kolubah was “recklessly driving” on the third lane and was stopped by the police. The police later ordered that the vehicle be driven to the police headquarters, but Representative Kolubah reportedly resisted after he later arrived at the scene.
Deputy Director Sackor explained: “The driver of the vehicle was driving very recklessly and also on the opposite lane. The man (Rep. Kolubah) was not even in the car, that’s why I told my boys to pull the car over, I told them. This man is very reckless; they should take the car to Central. Instead of the man (Kolubah) asking me upon his arrival on the scene, ‘oh 102, what’s going on,’ he started insulting me and the President.”
As the fracas ensued, few members of the House of Representatives including Bong and Grand Kru Counties representatives, J. Marvin Cole and Fonati Kofa, initially intervened to calm the heated verbal clashes between the lawmaker and the law enforcer, but to no avail.
As Representative Cole and others tried to calm the situation, the LNP Deputy Director insisted on arresting the Rep. Kolubah, though the Liberian Constitution prohibits the arrest of a sitting lawmaker, especially for the offense allegedly committed.
Article 42 of the Liberian Constitution states: “No member of the Senate or House of Representatives shall be arrested, detained, prosecuted or tried as a result of opinions expressed or votes cast in the exercise of the functions of his office. Members shall be privileged from arrest while attending, going to or returning from sessions of the Legislature, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace. All official acts done or performed and all statements made in the Chambers of the Legislature shall be privileged, and no Legislator shall be held accountable or punished, therefore.
Meanwhile, Capitol Building sources said that the situation was later resolved after the intervention of House Speaker Bhofal Chambers, but Representative Kolubah has opted to write a communication to parliament to summon the Deputy Police Boss over an allegation of assault on him.
Source Daily Observer.