A letter allegedly written by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to the ‘Majority Members’ (also known as Anti-Tyler lawmakers) of the House of Representatives read in the Thursday, August 18 session, is said to be fake because it lacks the conventional reference code/index (Document Code) and is riddled with spelling mistakes and ink-pen corrections, as well as an unusual signature of the President.
The alleged presidential communication acknowledged receipt of the Anti-Tyler lawmakers’ letter and the attached resolution, dated August 11, 2016, including the installation of Deputy Speaker Hans M. Barchue as Presiding Officer.
The alleged presidential letter reads: “I present compliments to you and… acknowledge receipt of your letter dated August 11, 2016 with attached Resolution taken by the majority of the House of Representatives leading to your installation as President Officer. Please be assured that every lawful and constitutional act of the House of Representatives will be honored and respected by the Executive Branch of Government.”
And at first glance, the note appeared to be official, because it had what appeared to be the Presidential letterhead at the top and the President’s signature on the bottom.
Features of the alleged Presidential signature to the Anti-Tyler lawmakers however, appeared irregular, legislative staffers say.
“As of the 1st Sitting of the 52nd Legislature in 2006, all the letters from the Chief Executive to the Legislature, either to the Liberian Senate or the House of Representatives, are coded as a key method of organizing and controlling information which helps to file or locate documents,” a Senate Secretariat staffer told the Daily Observer.
“All letters from the President are coded as EJS/MOS/RL – including the number of communication and the current year,” the staffer said.
The staffer added: “Any letter from the President’s office which isn’t coded is suspicious or fake because the office of the Chief Executive must determine the relevance of the document to a particular authorized or factual issue.”
The House’s Deputy and Acting Chief Clerk, Sayfurh Geplay, did not comment on the authenticity of the alleged presidential letter, but instead displayed many letters from the Chief Executive, which all have references or document codes, including the most recent letter with code: EJS/MOS/RL/415/2016.
However, a staffer in the office of the Chief Clerk, who also spoke anonymously, it is has never happened in this staffer’s experience that letters from the President were riddled with spelling mistakes and corrected with ink-pen as is with the one in question.
“That’s outrageous and un-presidential,” the staffer said. “I have seen letters with spelling mistakes and run-on sentences but they are not corrected with ink-pen.”
The staffer added: “Coding is official and it helps an institution to record documents in either manual or electronic database. Even lawmakers and cabinet ministers have codes and why won’t the President’s letter have a reference code,” the staffer asked.
“Every document from the President is coded,” she said. “And on closer inspection, the correction is made in the second paragraph over the word “there” with an ink-pen with the word “this.”
A member of the Legislative Joint Budget Committee, who begged not be named said the letter is fake with a forged signature and believed the letter is not from the President.
The lawmaker said the President has always used the diction: FY 16/17 Proposed Budget or sometimes 2016/17 FY Draft Budget, or National Budget instead of 2016/2017 Annual Budget.
“That isn’t the financial diction of the President…and it tells me this communication isn’t from her,” he said.
The lawmaker who laughed-off the so-called President’s letter said the letter is very confusing in the first paragraph, because the so-called majority members’ meeting in the Joint Chambers contravened both the Constitution and the House’s Rules and Procedures.
Besides the reading of the alleged Presidential letter, the renegade lawmakers have suspended the House’s Sergeant-at-arms, Martin Johnson, for two months without pay, for grossly refusing to come in the Joint Chambers and, instead, remaining with the Pro-Tyler lawmakers in the official chambers.
The renegade lawmakers, among other decisions, have also written the House’s Press Director Isaac G. Redd and his entire staff to come in the Joint Chambers on Tuesday, August 23, at 8:00am. The lawmakers were 34 present; 4 distance.
Thirty eight (38) members of the House of Representatives reaffirmed their confidence in the Constitution and their support for the leadership of Speaker J. Alex Tyler, Sr., through a resolution.
A week ago, however, 39 lawmakers also signed a resolution to compel the Speaker to recuse himself as Presiding Officer.
In their resolution six lawmakers, who have signed the resolution also affirmed their commitment to the Speaker, including: Reps. J. Gabriel Nyenkan, Byron Zahnwea, Richmond Anderson, Saah Joseph, Morais Waylee and Samuel Worleh.
The House’s Plenary has also agreed for the Leadership to write international organizations, including UN, AU, ECOWAS, embassies among others on the President’s alleged ‘diabolical ploy’ to unseat the Speaker through bribery, blackmail and financial inducement.
The Justice-in-Chambers, her honor Jamesetta Wolokollie has invited the leadership of the renegade lawmakers, in the persons of Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue and Reps. Numenne Bartekwa and Munah Pelham-Youngblood, to appear for a meeting on Monday, August 22.
Chief Karwor’s Mediation
Up to press time yesterday, House Speaker J. Alex Tyler, along with some members of the leadership, and Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue, presiding officer of the renegade members, including top officials, were in a meeting at the Traditional Palaver Hut in the headquarters of the National
Traditional Council of Liberia (NTCL) on 24th Street Sinkor to resolve the conflict in the Lower House.