-Holds Executive Session to Make ‘Amends’
The majority bloc of the House of Representatives on Thursday, January 24, during the 5th day sitting, bowed to pressure from the Independent Legislative Caucus (ILC), also known as the “minority bloc,” concerning an executive session to discuss the alleged misapplication of a “huge quantity” of duty-free gasoline intended for the entire body as well as the procurement status of their official vehicles.
Members of the majority bloc are chaired by Montserrado County District #5 Representative Thomas Fallah, who also chairs the Coalition for Democratic Change Lawmakers and Montserrado County Caucus, while the ILC (minority bloc) is headed by Nimba County District #8 Representative Larry P. Younquoi.
It may be recalled that on Tuesday, January 15, during the 2nd day sitting, some aggrieved members were denied the opportunity to express their grievances about the “huge quantity” of duty-free gasoline intended for the entire body, and the procurement status of their official vehicles to get redress in an executive session. The session was disrupted for about one hour.
The failure to get redress for members of the House of Representatives to bring back credibility and sanity to the Lower House gave rise to the Independent Legislative Caucus.
During Thursday’s (yesterday’s) session, members of the House of Representative held an exclusive (secret) executive session which lasted for about five hours.
The secret session was provoked following an amendment from Rep. Younquoi that the letter from Representatives Rustonly Dennis, Adolph Lawrence, Thomas Goshua and others, which related to the alleged misapplication of a “huge quantity” of duty-free gasoline, should be discussed in the executive session.
Rep. Younquoi’s amendment came after another amendment from Representative Vincent Willie that the letter from his colleagues should form part of Thursday’s agenda, which was excluded.
He said Montserrado County District #8 Representative Acarous Gray’s amendment that Justice Minister Cllr. F. Musa Dean and Inspector General of the Liberia National Police, Patrick Sudue, be invited to appear before Plenary be denied, because the letter was sent to the House Speaker on the day of the session.
The letter from Montserrado County District #15 Representative Adolph Lawrence said the two men should appear before that august body to explain the current state of the three investigations, including the alleged raping of two females in Barnesville and New Georgia communities, and the armed robbery that affected First Afriland Bank in Gbarpolu County.
Bomi County Representative Edwin M. Snowe rejected the amendment on grounds that there was not enough evidence to prove that the letter was sent to the House Speaker on the day of the session.
The denial of Rep. Gray’s amendments and the acceptance of Reps. Willie and Younquoi’s amendments were characterized by cheers from members of the minority, and the agenda was subsequently adopted and moved to the executive.
It may also be recalled that following the failure of the aggrieved lawmakers to get redress in the “executive session,” they took to the media to point accusing fingers at the leadership on allegations of corruption and marginalization.
During the 3rd day sitting on January 17, a letter from Representative Munah Pelham-Youngblood, chairperson on the House’s Committee on the Executive, mandated Speaker Chambers to place three lawmakers under probe, a decision that agitated many of his colleagues.
Some of the lawmakers, among them Reps. Jay Nagbe Sloh (CDC, Sinoe County Dist. #2), Adolph Lawrence (CDC, Montserrado Dist. #15) and Yekeh Kolubah (Montserrado District #10, Independent), are being investigated by the Committee on Rules, Order and Administration, whose chairperson was implicated, too.
The CDC Montserrado Dist. #9 Representative (Mrs. Pelham-Youngblood) craved the Speaker and colleagues’ indulgence to refer the concerned lawmakers to the Committee on Rules, Order, and Administration to provide proof or be punished.