Tyler’s Appointment Revoked

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Former Speaker J. Alex Tyler (pictured) is yet to be cleared from a series of high-profile corruption cases that he got entangled with when he served as speaker of the 53rd Legislature.

President George Weah has withdrawn the nomination of Alex Tyler from the Board of ArcelorMittal Operating Company. The President provoked the ire of Liberians on Tuesday when he announced the appointment of the former House speaker. This is a man that has been dubbed ‘corruption King Kong’ as a result of his alleged involvement in numerous corruption cases in the country.

President Weah, in an Executive Mansion statement over the weekend, said he withdrew Tyler’s appointment. The President’s decision did not came out of the blue sky as many believed, but was provoked by the barrage of criticisms that occasioned the Tyler’s appoint.

His replacement, according to the president, will be announced shortly.

Some Liberians feel that the worst any leader could do to an enraged nation such as Liberia — which continues to feel the pinch of the menace of corruption — is to bring back into public service a man like Tyler, whose integrity and personality has been shattered by litany of corruption cases. And this is exactly what President Weah did last Tuesday and, given the backlashes he received, was compelled not just to act, but immediately.

While many of the President’s supporters are hailing him for the decision to withdraw Tyler’s nomination, his critics and many neutrals have frowned on the decision to have even appointed the former speaker in the first place.

Tyler’s nomination was embedded among a plethora of appointments the President made last Tuesday, June 18. He was appointed as one of two representatives of the government to ArcelorMittal Liberia. He is the founder and political leader of the Liberia People Democratic Party (LPDP), one of the three political parties that make up the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), and he serves as a council member of the Coalition.

Tyler is yet to be cleared from a series of high-profile corruption cases that he got entangled with when he served as speaker of the 53rd Legislature. He is currently on trial for allegedly soliciting and receiving bribes in the Sable Mining saga that was reported by Global Witness.

The Sable Mining alleged bribery scandal is prime among the corruption cases that have overwhelmed the former Bomi County Representative, and it was regarded as one of the largest corrupt syndicates in administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, involving many of her top officials.

The Sable Mining alleged bribery report led his colleagues of the 53rd Legislature to have him impeached and dethroned from the speakership — practically disgracing him as as the third most powerful man in the country for over five years.

Many feel Tyler’s appointment was one of the many poor decisions President Weah has made since his he came President of Liberia.

“You cannot say you want to fight corruption and, at the same time, appoint someone like Tyler. It is a complete contradiction on the part of the President. I want to believe that President Weah was testing the water to see how Liberians would have reacted to this appointment,” Student leader Martin Kollie said.

Some of the corruption cases that rattled Tyler’s integrity include, but not limited to the Sable Mining bribery scandal, Bong County Technical College corruption saga and his involvement in an illegal logging company.

The Sable mining corruption case that was unearthed by Global Witness practically brought Tyler to his political end, not just at from the helm of the Legislature, but in public service as a whole. This was a scandal that saw top government officials receiving nearly US$1 million to manipulate the country’s procurement laws in favor of Sable Mining, a British company.

Details from evidence presented to the court by the Special Presidential Task Force that was set up by former President Sirleaf revealed that former Speaker Tyler threw himself into the alleged bribery syndicate by demanding US$250,000 from Sable Mining to effect changes in the Public Procurement Concession Commission Act to pave the way for Sable Mining’s attainment of an iron ore mining concession at the Wologisi Mountain in Lofa County.

In the Bong County Community College (BCCC) saga, Tyler was named alongside Maryland County Representative Bhofal Chambers, former Representative Ketehkumehn E. Murray, along with a Chinese national as co-owners of the construction company that presumably won the contract for to construction the Bong County Technical College – a project which began in 2010 and was expected to have been completed in 2011, but is still ongoing.

The BCCC project was originally expected to cost US$4,394,776.97, but the contract’s worth grew to US$7,604,926.97 and the completion date changed to May 2017, without any significant changes to the original design of the building.

The former Speaker also surfaced a Global Witness Report on Liberia, titled: “Hold The Line.”

In this one, he is reported to have been a joint owner along with two other colleagues, Moses Kollie of Lofa County, and Ricks Toweh of Nimba County, all members of the 53rd Legislature, of a logging company which is, according to the Global Witness, among a group of illegal loggers that lied, shortchanged the country in several shady deals and through illegal logging activities.

9 COMMENTS

  1. The King Kongs Saga

    There are so many King Kongs today in Liberia. We have King Kongs of looting, killing, religious bigotry, tribal and ethnic cleansing, King Kongs of Xenophobia, nepotism, war financier, etc.

    Getting rid of one King Kong, is just the beginning of a long marathon. To the Liberian People, let us open our eyes wildly and purge out the rest of the remaining King Kongs, if we will build a better

    All’s well that ends well..if it begins well.

    • I think you’re right! Because the criminal justice system is so corrupt and unable to prosecute these savages like Alex Tyler who rip-off the scarce resources of the country, the Liberian people themselves will have to apply pressure on the President to prevent him from appointing corrupt officials. Condemnations, and protests work is the way to pressure dumb*ss Weah.

  2. Let’s break no bones. Neither should we hide behind the truth. The truth is, “a wise man changes, but a fool does not.”

    Weah made a decision to hired Alex Taylo to be a board member of Mercelor Steel. A few days later, Taylor’s hiring was rescinded because an in-depth background check revealed more dirt than before. From this episode, two winners have emerged:

    1. By changing his mind, Weah is a winner. Weah’s critics will bicker over this issue. But it will be a complete waste of time on their part. The truth is that the line has been drawn in the sand. Taylor has been canned. And,

    2. The people of Liberia are winners. The Liberian people have been spared a well-known corrupt individual who would have continued to juke his evil fingers in the teary eyes of the hoi-polloi.

    It is hoped that Taylor’s replacement will come soon.

    Peace

  3. Well, it’s about time as a member (citizen) of Liberia takes the a county or a district to court for wantonly ellecting an individual that has such a gruesome past like war lords, past rebel generals, you name them. Knowing that they will continue their ilk act of impunity when they are given legal authority. ( Not sermon, just a thought).

  4. Alex Tyler should never even have been appointed, in the very first place. No one can make me to believe that President Weah was not aware of the controversy surrounding the said Tyler. Tyler is bogged down in scandal and corruption and he has not even begin to attempt to start to clear his name, but then, his name means nothing to him.

    there is a huge disparity in the dispensation of justice of Liberia and it is little wonder the common man feels that the law is not on his side.

    Where are we headed?

  5. Mr Joe Moses,
    Every man or woman deserves to be given a second chance. The issue of a second chance started a long time ago.
    Let’s briefly start from the Old Testament.
    A Babylonian Strongman named Nebuchadnezzar ordered his powerful army to fight the Israelites to the ground. No one knows what got Nebuchadnezzar so enraged! He just became berserk like all tyrants do! The Babylonian army was so successful in carrying out the King’s mandate that the Temple that once housed the valuables of the children of Jacob (otherwise known as the children of Israel) became ransacked beyond measure. But guess what? Nebuchadnezzar was punished for an X number of years. He ate grass like an animal during his ordeal. However in the end, God gave Nebuchadnezzar a “second chance”. We know this because in the book of Jeremiah, God refers to Nebuchadnezzar as His servant. Can you believe it?

    The New Testament:
    Our Lord appointed the Apostle Peter to be a Spokesman for the Messianic gospel. But during the crucifixion, our man Peter denied any knowledge of the Lord. Guess what? The Apostle’s transgressions were known. But Jesus gave Apostle Peter a “second chance”.

    I know profoundly in my heart that Weah was aware of Tyler’s excesses. Irrespective of that, Tyler was given a second chance. But I think something mysterious went on and that’s why the gentleman’s recall from the dark room was rescinded. Now, I cannot convince you that Weah was unaware of Tyler’s iniquities. But I can vouch for Weah. Weah did the right thing to give a corrupt man a second chance.

    In an earlier post, I referred to Tyler as Taylor. It’s all your fault. Your second chance is purposely withheld until you chuckle!

  6. Mr. Hney, we appreciate your efforts to sugar this man’s profile but the Liberians are not fools, least not second time around. If anything, he should be in jail for bringing unimaginable pain and suffering to our country and people! The president and the people around him should know better! Do they have any clue about something call vetting/background checks?

  7. Dave,
    It may seem so, but it’s not my intention to sugarcoat the Tyler debacle. I know that lots of people need jobs. Any of the neediest job seekers in Liberia who is less corrupt will be hired.

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