House Speaker Alex Tyler was thoroughly ridiculed when he appeared at Criminal Court ‘C’ at the Temple of Justice for his alleged involvement in bribery as reported by Global Witness.
As the Speaker was emerging from the courtroom, a huge crowd which gathered in the courtyard were heard chanting, “Big rogue, big rogue,” referring to him as one of the most corrupt officials in the Unity Party led Government.
Others in the crowd shouted, “Criminal lawmaker, criminal Speaker,” among other humiliating words.
Speaker Tyler, Grand Cape Mount County Senator Varney Sherman and others are implicated in recent reports published by Global Witness alleging that Sable Mining gave bribes to create a loophole in the Liberian law so that the British company could successfully negotiate for concession rights to operate the Wologizi mines in Lofa County.
The House Speaker’s past records were also recalled in the booing, with the crowds making references to the US$25,000 scandal in which Cllr. Michael Allison met his death, and another US$10,000 allegation surrounding him in the House of Representatives.
Shouts from the crowd also branded Speaker Tyler as a man who was doing peasantry business but has now become prosperous through corrupt practices as a lawmaker and Speaker of the House of Representatives.
In a related development, partisans of the ruling Unity Party and their Chairman, Senator Varney Sherman achieved their goal when instead of facing the taskforce set up by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to investigate him and others for bribery, went to the court as he had demanded earlier.
Senator Sherman had insisted that he will not appear before the taskforce but preferred to go to the court with any party that has a case against him.
UP partisans were jubilating and terming the role of the taskforce as “illegal” while others believed to be opposition to the ruling party were referring to Cllr. Sherman and the rest as “Criminals.”
After the appearance of Cllr. Sherman, partisans of Unity Party led by Wilmot Paye, Secretary General and Amos Tweh, chair of the youth league, were also seen moving in the square of Criminal Court, ‘C’ while Chairman Sherman sat in the office of the Sheriff.
“This is the quest of Senator Sherman to come to the court instead of the President’s Taskforce, which other people are questioning and we are happy that he is here. We believe strongly that our chairman is innocent of this Global Witness Report, and we pledge our full support to him,” one partisan said.
Prince Kamara, a member of the Unity Party said, “We are here to provide maximum support to the chairman and we will continue because our chairman is not to be disgraced publicly for US$950,000. This is just peanut money to disgrace a chairman of a ruling party. And we continue to say that the situation is political and we will ensure that this process dies naturally.”
According to partisans of the Unity Party, the fight against corruption is not all-inclusive as other officials who stole millions of dollars, including President Sirleaf’s son, Robert, continue to enjoy without facing the law.
“The President is playing a political game, because she is not ready to fight corruption but just to make our chairman look ugly. This is unfortunate and disgraceful to drag a chairman of a ruling party to court because someone wants to score a political goal,” said Prince Kamara.
Cllr. Sherman who spent about four hours at the court was released after filing his bond.