The National Legislature, comprising the Senate and the House of Representatives has expressed disappointment and detestation against President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, and said it has observed that the Executive has failed to observe the principle of coordination consistent with the Constitution and the rules of the Legislature.
In a joint statement by both Houses yesterday evening, President Pro Tempore Armah Z. Jallah said the Legislature has 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 statement was issued in the office of the President Pro Tempore with attendance of scores of Senators and Representatives.
Pro Tempore Jallah said the Legislature has resolved to establish a joint committee of both the Honorable House and the Honorable Senate to thoroughly investigate this matter, commencing with a Public Hearing, and a subsequent public debate before an ultimate decision by the
Legislature is made.
The press statement, which was signed by Pro Tempore Jallah and House Speaker J. Alex Tyler, Sr., said they “are aware that search and seizure writs were issued against the home of Senator Varney Sherman and it was widely reported that the Senator’s home was put under siege by security forces on May 23, 2016; and that there are further attempts to go after other Legislators in like manner.”
“The Legislature has seized itself of this matter for several reasons and has appointed a joint committee of both the Honorable House and the Honorable Senate.
“What prompted the Legislature to seize itself of this matter is that the Executive has failed to observe the principle of coordination consistent with the Constitution and the rules of both Houses of the Legislature,” the statement said.
The statement added: “It has also come to the attention of the Legislature as alleged in the Global Witness report that laws were changed in 2010 to give Sable Mining favorable treatment to enable it secure Wologizi outside of competitive bidding. The joint committee of the legislature will investigate this allegation as the legislature is the branch of government constitutionally charged to make laws.”
“There are several other issues which warrant the attention of the Legislature which will be exhaustively covered during the public hearing and the Legislative debate. The Legislature therefore calls on the President to instruct the Special Task Force to cease attacking the person and property of any present or former member of the Legislature while the Joint Committee carries out the investigation.”
The President Pro Tempore has also said the names of the members of the Joint Committee of the Legislature to investigate the Global Witness report will be announced to the public not later than May 26, tomorrow.
“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.
Meanwhile, the Senate has summoned Cllr. Fonati Koffa, the head of the Special President Task Force, the Acting Justice Minister, Cllr. Frederick Cherue, as well as the Chairman of the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission (LACC), Cllr. James Verdier.
The trio are expected to appear before the Senate’s Plenary today (Wednesday, May 25,) in a Special Session in their Chamber, at 11:00am.
The invitees are expected to explain why was the residence of Grand Cape Mount County Sen. Varney Sherman besieged by officers of the Liberia National Police and staff of the LACC.