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Liberia: Protest song producer arrested and allegedly assaulted

9 October 2018
A Liberian music producer was arrested and allegedly assaulted by police after revealing he was behind a hit protest song criticising the government.
Photo: Screenshot from Kpanto Ft A.Fo4doe “Bring our Container Back” music video / YouTube

 

Liberian musician Augustine Ford, aka A.Fo4doe, says he will sue police officers who allegedly assaulted him during his arrest on 22 September after he revealed he was the producer behind a hit protest song criticising the government over a missing shipping container said to contain 90 million euros worth of freshly minted Liberian banknotes.

“I’m going to sue them for not only hurting my body but violating my civil right. The way they handled me was embarrassing and humiliating. I’m of the strongest conviction this was a planned thing by the officers and intended to disgrace me. The police attitude toward me is unacceptable and I know the President is not aware of this,” A.Fo4doe told the Daily Observer.

A.Fo4doe said he and Kpanto, who raps on the track Bring our Container Back, were heading home when the bike they were on was stopped by police, and the bike rider was arrested for an alleged violation. The producer was asked to identify himself.

“I told him I’m a musician, the producer of the song about the alleged missing money,” he told the Daily Observer.

Police immediately began insulting him, he said. A.Fo4doe started recording the incident, but police allegedly took his phone and then arrested him for trying to film them.

He was detained overnight and released without charge.

“I was surprised to find later that they told people that my arrest was based on acting unruly in front of the President’s house,” he told the Daily Observer.

“The police report is totally made up,” he said.

Liberia has been gripped by the alleged disappearance of $16 billion Liberian dollars (90 million euros) worth of cash that was printed in Sweden and shipped to the capital Monrovia. It’s worth about five per cent of Liberia’s GDP, according to CNN.

The Central Bank of Liberia has denied losing the money. In a press release CBL said all the money delivered was in the bank’s vaults.

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