July 23, 2024

Jeremiah Koung, Vice President of Liberia

The Vice President of Liberia, Jeremiah Koung, recently embarked on a visit to Ghana in what was a thank-you mission to express gratitude to a Ghanaian police officer who saved his life some 24 years ago.

The now-retired officer, whose name is Emmanuel Ekow Addison, displayed remarkable professionalism to avert what would have been a potential lynching and killing of the now-Liberian vice president and his friends after they were falsely accused and arrested on suspicion of being armed robbers.

Speaking in an interview with Accra-based JoyNews while seated alongside the retired police officer, the Liberian vice president recounted the traumatic ordeal which took place in the late 90s.

He shared that during that period of heightened civil unrest in Liberia, he [Koung] along with five of his friends embarked on a business trip to Togo in hopes of purchasing some vehicles for re-sale in Liberia.

Koung recounted that their trip however landed them in Ghana after they made an unexpected stop to purchase gas cylinders, but this single decision would change their lives forever.

“We were a group of five who arrived in Accra from Danale in Côte d’Ivoire between 1:00am and 2:00am on a bus belonging to an Ivorian transport company named STIF, which was on the way to Togo. We should’ve gone to Togo but we used to buy cylinders in Ghana and take them to Liberia to sell so, we made a stop in Ghana.

“Upon arrival into Ghana at the time [2:00am], one of my friends suggested we head to a nearby entertainment centre called ‘Yakiki’ to spend the night instead of lodging into a hotel,” he narrated.

Jeremiah Koung added that at around 4:00am on Sunday morning, the five of them boarded a bus that was to send them to Togo, only for them to realise that they had mistaken two individuals in the bus as the drivers’ assistants.

From the long night they had after partying and consuming alcohol, the five friends were completely exhausted and fell asleep during the journey, while unaware of the looming danger ahead.

During the journey, Koung said a vigilant Togolese in the bus quickly alerted them of the suspicious behaviour of the driver and his two accomplices, who were plotting to conduct a robbery.

“While we were asleep, the driver and his two accomplices engaged in a conversation in Twi, plotting a robbery during the journey. However, the Togolese understood the conversation and subsequently raised an alarm, which prompted a confrontation,” he narrated.

This later resulted in some of the passengers beginning to hurl shouts at Koung and his friends, while labelling them criminals as they seemed like the odd people in the bus.

“These are criminals,” Koung recounted the words as he said some of the passengers kept repeating them.

Soon after, they realized that the driver and his two accomplices abandoned the vehicle in the middle of the road and ran into a nearby bush.

This then forced Koung’s friend to drive the vehicle to the nearest police station to report the matter.

However, upon their arrival, the driver and his accomplice – who had fled earlier, had also run to a nearby naval base and alleged that some Liberians had robbed a Ghanaian driver of his vehicle.

Unfortunately for them, this SOS message had been sent to the very police station they went to report the matter and it was there they met Officer Emmanuel Ekow Addison, who listened to their ordeal and assisted them in filing a police report.

Jeremiah Koung said Officer Addison committed to properly investigating the matter, which later led to their exoneration.

He shared that the police officer ensured that every valuable information was properly sourced and investigated.

“Officer Addison followed us to the crime scene and also took us to the Naval base to find out about the incident but when we got there, one of the officers confirmed and told them the Togolese and another friend were picked up as suspects and sent to the Fishing Port Police Station. It was there that me and my friends were arrested and placed behind bars as suspects who escaped.

“But during the investigations, I was able to prove that we were indeed businessmen. I had to lead the police officer to a spot where we had buried an amount of US$40,000 meant for our trading activities in Togo,” he recalled.

Koung emphasized that it was the discovery of this hidden money that provided key evidence of their innocence and subsequent release from police custody.

After their release, they attempted to express gratitude to Officer Addison by offering him a monetary gesture of US$3,000 but Koung said Addison refused the gift and emphasized that he was only doing his job as an officer of the law.

Now, some 24 years later, Jeremiah Koung was bent on locating Officer Addison in order for him to properly show his appreciation to the Ghanaian police officer who exhibited exemplary conduct and commitment to bringing justice.

Watch the video below from 4:50 minutes:

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