Speaker J. Alex Tyler Sr., in consultation with the House’s Leadership, has named a 7-man Special Investigative Committee to form part of the ‘Special Legislative Joint Committee’ to probe the Global Witness Report on alleged bribery of former and current legislative officials to amend the PPCC Law in favor of Sable Mining Company for the Wologizi Mountain iron ore concession in northern Liberia.
Maryland County District # 1 Rep. James P. Biney is the Chairman of the House’s Special Investigative Committee. He is also the Chairman on the House’s Committee of Foreign Affairs and an immediate Former Chairman on Public Account and Expenditure.
Members of the Committee include: Bong County District # 4 Rep. Lester M. Paye (Chairman on Committee of Youth and Sports); Nimba County District # 9 Rep. R. Matenokay Tingban (Chairman on Resettlement, Repatriation, Relief and Re-adjustment); Lofa County District Rep.
Mariamu B. Fofana (Co-Chair on Rules, Order & Administration); and River Gee County District # 2 Rep. Christian S. Chea Sr. (Chairman on Labor).
Others are Maryland County District # 2 Rep. Dr. Bhofal Chambers (Chairman on National Defense) and Montserrado County District # 16 Rep. Dr. Edward S. Forh (Chairman of Public Works and Rural Development).
In a letter to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Armah Jallah, the House’s Chief Clerk, Mildred Sayon, said: “I present compliments and have the honor, by directive of the House of Representatives (IN SESSION), to officially inform you that it has today, May 26, 2016 constituted its Committee to form part of the Special Legislative Joint Committee to investigate the Global Witness Report on alleged bribery by the Sable Mining Africa/Liberia.”
Hopefully, the Senate is expected today to also constitute its Committee, to be known as a ‘Joint Special Committee,’ with the mandate to only investigate present and current members of the Legislature involved in the alleged US$950,000 bribe.
It may be recalled that on Wednesday, the Legislature in a joint statement, announced the establishment of a joint committee of both the House and the Senate to thoroughly investigate the alleged bribery, commencing with a public hearing, and a subsequent public debate before an ultimate decision is made by the Legislature.
Pro Tempore Sen. Armah Jallah said the Legislature has seized itself to investigate for several reasons, and would appoint a joint committee of both houses.
He said the Executive has failed to observe the principle of coordination consistent with the Constitution and the rules of both Houses of the Legislature.
The Senator also urged the President to instruct the Special Task Force, headed by Cllr. Fonati Koffa, to cease attacking the person and property of any present or former member of the Legislature.
“The Joint Committee will also be charged with the responsibility to establish whether or not the Executive exceeded its constitutional mandate through its recent actions,” Sen. Jallah said.
According to the Global Witness report, those who are expected to be subjected to the Special Joint Committee include: Speaker J. Alex Tyler Sr. (US$75,000 for consulting fees); Sen. Morris Saytumah (US$50,000 Consulting Fees); and Rep. Henry B. Fahnbulleh (US$25,000 Inducement Fees).
Others include former President Pro Tempore Cletus Wotorson (US$5,000 Consulting Fees); and former Senator Sumo Kupee (US$5,000 Consulting Fees).