‘I Did Not Receive US$75K to Change Any Law’

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Alex Tyler.jpg
Former House Speaker Alex Tyler denies all claims that he received bribe to change the PPCC law in favor of Sable Mining.

-Former Speaker Alex Tyler claims

The third witness for the defense in the ongoing Global Witness US$950,000 alleged bribery case that involved several present and past public officials on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, told Criminal Court ‘C’ in Monrovia that he did not receive any US$75,000 as a bribe from Grand Cape Mount County Senator, Cllr. Varney Sherman, for the passage of the amended Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) Act of 2005, when he served as speaker of the 53rd Legislature in 2010.

The House of Senate and the House Representatives approved the controversial law on September 16, 2010, and subsequently published it on September 18, 2010.

But prosecution claimed that Cllr. Sherman was then a lawyer for Sable Mining, a UK Mining Company which provide him over US$950,000 to convince lawmakers to  change Section 75 of the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC) laws containing the provision for the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy to have the power to declare a concession area a non-bidding area “so as to create easy access for the awarding of the Wologisi Mountain in Lofa County to Sable Mining.”

In his testimony, the third witness, Alex Tyler, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, denied receiving any bribe to change to law, describing the accusation as baseless, unfounded and have no iota of truth.

“This is a blatant and calculated lie. I did not receive any money from Cllr. Sherman or any other person for that matter for the passage or changing of the any law,” Tyler was heard screaming in open court on Tuesday.

However, prosecution had claimed that there were email exchanges between Cllr. Sherman and executives of Sable Mining, naming Henie Van Neikerk and Klaus Piprek, of which Neikerk informed Piprek that Tyler demanded US$250,000 for the act to pass through the senate.

The prosecution had dropped charges against Van Neikerk and Piprek, meaning that they would not testify in the case anymore.

As of the accusation, the former Speaker again claimed it was unfounded and a blatant lie, because I do not know Van Neikerk and Piprek, and I never met them. I never interacted with them, or had any discussion with Cllr. Sherman concerning the passage of the law.”

Tyler: “Until the publication of the Global Witness Report, I did not know the existence of Sable Mining least to say I interacted with its officials.”

On the issue of demanding US$250,000, Tyler (defense witness) explained that to say that he demanded that money to pass the law through the Senate appears to him that the prosecution did not understand the inner working of the Legislature.

Tyler said that he was never a member of the Senate or the presiding officer of that august body.

”There is the president of the Senate, who is the Vice President of the country, and also presides over that body. In his or her absence, as the case may be, the President Pro Tempore or temporary presiding officer takes charge of the working of the Senate.

“So how can I demand money to pass a law through the Senate, when I don’t control that body of elders?” Tyler asked.

Further, Tyler said that on August 5, 2010, then President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf wrote a communication in which she requested from the lawmakers to amend the PPCC Act of 2005.

According to Tyler, when he received the Sirleaf’s communication, he allowed it to be read during one of their plenary sessions and, later, some of the lawmakers agreed to have it submitted to Representative Edwin Melvin Snowe, who was then chair on concession, for review and passage by the House.

“This was done without any change and so we forwarded the document to the Senate for concurrence. They returned it to us and it was passed. Later we submitted the document to then President Sirleaf, who affixed her signature on it for publication,” Tyler said.

Meanwhile, the defense team request was President Sirleaf to testify had been denied the court.

11 COMMENTS

  1. This Tyler guy is trying to be slick, as one smart aleck about his particular role or what exactly happened in this bribery case, it appears. For instance, if he Tyler was given $100. and it is alleged he was given $200., he has all reasons to deny ever receiving the alleged amount and on that technical ground. Just as he is saying, “I never saw or met any Sable Mining officials,” etc. Tyler did not have to meet any of those officials in order to be culpable or incriminated as accomplice in this case. It is obvious Varney Sherman was the contact man or conduit between the company and his Liberian counterparts. So Tyler can technically say he never laid eyes on any of those company’s officials, or received any amount for the task they were supposed to carry out. But the fact remains that Tyler could have received bribe as one of the movers in the house at the time and intended for swaying others to pass the bill in question, not that he would do it unilaterally. Varney Sherman too, could come up with the same porous defense as far as the exact amount in question and/or who received what. Tyler makes lots of sense in Liberian circles and why? Simply because our sorry incompetent government lawyers are so slothful and inept, that the case will end up being thrown out again, for “lack of sufficient evidence.”

  2. Mr Tyler is damn right. I challenge anyone to provide the PPCC Law that gives Sable Mining the Wologisi Mountain. Simple. Bring it. Because I have a copy and did not see such a statement. Secondly, the process of amending the PPCC law was assisted by international consultants and was done in the Monrovia City Hall where former Information Minister was present.

  3. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf simply fabricated this witch hunt with her boyfriend George Soros who is the de facto financier of this Global Witness to get at those she perceived as her political enemies. The courts should throw this shit away, for it is a WITCH-HUNT.

  4. A good prosecutor would have done an investigation of the defendants finances to buttress their case but I doubt it was done because Liberian government prosecutors are not that sophisticated. In America, that’s what prosecutors do; they don’t just rely on testimony. You have to produce evidence of the money trail.

  5. Instead of wasting time on a score-settling caper, Justice Ministry should reopen the suspicious death case (many insist murder) of former LPRC managing director Harry Greaves, who was a very articulate contributor to Daily Observer. That this worldly man would enter a well-known hotel in broad daylight, leaving his car with the driver in a parking lot, and ended up castrated and dead on the beach must be revisited.

  6. I am in total agreement with Sylvester for the government to revisit gruesome murders of Fayah Saah Gbollie, Atty. Michael Allison, Keith Jubah and Harry A. Greaves. Those who are responsible for these murders’ SINS are visiting their children – it is only the beginning!

    Regarding Greaves, there is something FISHY about his death; we will soon expose the women and men who murdered my godfather’s son. Their sons will be disgraced! You watch it! The perpetrators should remember that nothing stays hidden under the sun. Eventually, what is done in the dark will surely come to light. To put it another way, chickens normally come home to roost’; and bad deeds done in the past will never go unpunished; they will someday haunt the perpetrators. YOU WAIT AND SEE!

    Siahyonkron Nyanseor

  7. Alex Tyler states, “I did not receive $75,000 to change any law”. Tyler’s statement of defense does not pass the smell test. Tyler will not be exonerated anytime soon.

    On the flip side, Tyler’s denial can easily be deciphered in number of ways:
    1. Tyler may not have received $75,000 as he rightfully or falsely states. But the possibility cannot be ruled out that he may have received a hefty sum of money that’s smaller or bigger than the said amount. For instance, Tyler could have received $25,000 or $76,000. The courts or his accusers may say the money he received was $75,000. Of course prosecutors are humans. If a prosecutor is in a cognitive mental decline, a false amount could have be reported. So, Tyler is saying, “look people, it wasn’t $75,000 that I received”, and

    2. If he did not directly receive $75,000, it cannot be ruled out that an unknown amount of money could not have been deposited in and account that he was familiar with. Any amount of money could have been given to an Indian businessman, a Lebonese businessman or a trusted friend of his.

  8. Tyler as Speaker received communication from President Sirleaf requesting that the PPCC Act of 2005 be amended, which the House did and she approved. The question is, why would she receive a Global Witness Report that Sable Mining bribed officials for what she demanded, and then bypassed Justice Ministry and LACC to launch her own enquiry, which later cost government more than the alleged bribe of US $950, 000; more especially, after ignoring President Obama public offer to help her fight corruption?

    Yes, that’s true. When President Sirleaf In a media covered meeting with Obama at the White House thanked the American government and people for sending US soldiers etc. to contain and eradicate Ebola, she tried to excuse earlier well-published news reports of Liberia’s shameful medical unpreparedness on corruption. So, Obama, who unquestionably knew the truth, told her that US Federal agencies could be made available.

    The offer was repeated by his incoming US Attorney General Loretta Lynch. But cunning EJS didn’t take a bait surely to open a Pandora’s box of her dysfunctional unaccountable governance. The upshot: after arrogantly empowering corruption, it’s ludicrous supporting her vendetta. Because had she felt any compassion for people her vaulting ambition decimated, providing opportunities for the survivors would’ve been a priority. She got wa-billion dollars plus glory and left most Liberians very hungry and angry; a recipe for cascading crises and commotion: God have mercy!

  9. Too much has been said and heard. Or maybe what is known so far about the Sable Mining deal is the tip of the iceberg. So since Johnson-Sirleaf was president when bribery in the Sable Mining deal was alleged, it makes ample sense for the former president to be called before an oversight committee of one of the legislative Houses of Liberia. Maybe Johnson-Sirleaf knows something that the general public is unaware of.

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