Contrary to rumors being speculated in the public arena that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is under investigation, House Speaker J. Alex Tyler has clarified that the President is not being probed.
Rumors had been circulating that the House of Representatives was investigating President Johnson Sirleaf and other government officials in connection with the open letter addressed to President Sirleaf by former National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) president, Christopher Z. Neyor.
In his letter, Neyor highlighted several “irregularities” in the handling of goodwill petroleum products from Nigeria and Kuwait governments to Liberia among, other things.
The House immediately constituted a committee to probe allegations raised by Mr. Neyor.
However, addressing a news conference Wednesday in Monrovia, Speaker Tyler clarified that the House’s Committee’s jurisdiction does not extend to the presidency but other entities mentioned in Neyor’s letter.
He noted that his committee has a mandate to probe only allegations of mismanagement of the Nigerian and Kuwaiti oil to Liberia, and the committee has a responsibility to investigate government ministries and agencies directly involved with the deal.
The Bomi County lawmaker was quick to mention that the investigation has nothing to do with other allegations as flagged by Mr. Neyor; but is rather interested in how institutions charged with the responsibility of handling the donated petroleum products marketed and expended funds intended for the general public.
The House’s committee was constituted some two weeks ago and is expected to report to plenary later this week.
In a related development, Speaker Tyler dismissed Nimba County Representative Prince Tokpah’s allegation of being assaulted by police officers during last week’s riot in Nimba County.
Speaker Tyler told reporters that after the House’s briefing with President Johnson Sirleaf Tuesday, it was established that “no lawmaker was flogged during the riot,” trashing out his colleague’s allegation.
The Speaker denied ever holding a discussion with Madam Sirleaf on the dismissal of Police Director Chris Massaquoi in connection with Tokpah’s allegation, adding, “We only went to meet the President for a briefing on the situation in Nimba. Our discussion was not any lawmaker’s allegation of flogging.”
On behalf of the House, Speaker Tyler used the medium to condemn the violence in Nimba, noting that government will do everything possible to prevent the reoccurrence of such an ugly incident in any part of the country, whether a concession area or any public places.
“Violence is not the best approach. We have tried that before and it did not work for us as a nation; and so we must discourage that approach,” the Speaker said.