Rebel lawmakers u-turn
Attempt by some members of the House of Representatives to unseat Speaker Alex Tyler has been abandoned with the rebel lawmakers withdrawing an earlier letter they sent to Plenary, calling on the Speaker to step aside to face corruption probe.
Some of the disgruntled lawmakers include Representatives Edwin Melvin Snowe, Henry B. Fahnbulleh, George S. Mulbah, Mary Karwor, Robertson Siaway, Roland Opee Cooper and Emmanuel Nuquoi, among others.
They had earlier written a letter during the course of their last session about Speaker Tyler’s alleged involvement in a US$25,000 deal with the National Oil Company of Liberia or NOCAL.
The three-page communication addressed to the Plenary indicated: “This issue indeed exposes this august body to much public scrutiny, especially given the fact that the entire nationwide consultation was financed by NOCAL in the tune of US$1.2 million from which the Liberian Senate was given US$200,000 and US$1 million was left exclusively for the House. Our records also indicate that all services regarding the nationwide consultation were fully financed from this amount.”
The letter further noted that the payment of the amount by NOCAL was based on a budget submitted by the entire body, and accordingly, it was totally strange for the Speaker to have gone back to NOCAL for a new payment on behalf of the House.
The aggrieved lawmakers recommended that a special committee be constituted by plenary to delve into the matter and report to plenary within one month; that Speaker Tyler, who is involved in the saga, cooperate fully with the committee; that the speaker immediately and unconditionally recues himself from presiding until the matter was resolved; and that the plenary sees this as a matter of ethics.
Speaking to members of the press after the tension, Deputy Speaker Hans Barhcue, described the action of his colleagues as barbaric and uncivilized, urging any member of the House having disagreement with the Speaker to express such in line with the rules of the House of Representatives
But to the surprised of many who had gathered at the House of Representatives to observe the process, the rebel lawmakers withdrew their earlier communication.
The communication dated January 19, 2015, states: “Realizing that there are strenuous efforts to have Speaker Tyler, who is the subject of the investigation to continually preside over plenary, we hereby withdraw our letter of January 12, 2015 and give notice that we shall engage the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission or LACC and all relevant institutions to sure that the dignity of this body remains intact.”
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor