By Julius T. Jaesen II
The late Sumo was billed to testify in an investigation being conducted by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) over the embezzlement of government funds.
According to reports, Sumo who was until his death, a Senior Analyst in the Department of Communication at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication, was beaten until he became unconscious on the 30th of August 2019 at his residence on 14th Street Sinkor, Monrovia Liberia.
Investigations by the Democracy Watch Newspaper further revealed that three days to the deceased’s testimony, the unknown men who were masked had stormed the family’s house and demanded some vital documents in his possession.
When Sumo refused to comply, his family was locked up in a room in the house, and he was badly beaten until he became unconscious which subsequently led to his death
According to family sources and community members, after the sad incident, Mr. Sumo was taken to a nearby hospital but was pronounced dead after a few hours.
According to the LACC, over $2 million disappeared from the Ministry’s account without trace, thereby necessitating in house investigations as to the whereabouts of the funds
The Democracy Watch recalls that there was grave corruption allegation uncovered at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication linking key officials of the government and investigation to this effect is being conducted by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission.
The wife of the deceased, Mrs Esther Sumo, alleged that her life and those of her children and nephew were at risk. She further claimed that those who murdered her husband were after their lives as they had been receiving death threats by those who are heavily linked to the corruption scandal on grounds that they as family members of the deceased may have in their possession, copies of the documents the deceased, Sumo, would have presented before the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission.
The closed family members of late Joseph Sumo were thereby forced to flee Liberia. Sumo is survived by his wife and two children: Kenneth and Naomi, and his nephew Fred Massaley.
This is not the first of its kind to reportedly hear news of mysterious deaths of eminent citizens and some junior officials of government during crucial investigations bordering on grave corruption scandals in government.
It can vividly be recalled that in 2015, the late Cllr. Allison reportedly blew the whistle that led to corruption investigation by the LACC that involved former Speaker J. Alex Tyler of the House of Representatives, and the late Montserrado County Representatives Adolph Lawrence.
After blowing the whistle on corruption and whilst the investigation was ongoing, his body was found on early Friday morning, 13th February 2015, on a local beach on 5th Street, Sinkor in Monrovia in his underwear with foam pouring from his mouth.
The cause for his death, which some are blaming on suspected murder, remains unclear, but Allison, former Managing Director for the BRICS Mano River Union Legal Consultants, had prior to his death in the past few days complained to friends and aides that his life was in danger.
In 2016 February, another former official of government, Harry Greeves, who later began outspoken critic of the government of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and energy advocate, died under mysterious circumstances. Prior to Mr. Greeves’ death, he advocated for the privatization of electricity in the country and later sued the government at the Supreme Court. But after his death, his brother, who was the spokesperson of the family, Alocious Greeves, went into hiding alleging repeated visits by unknown men threatening to kill him if he does not back down from calls for independent pathologists to establish the actual cause of his brother’s death.