Tyler’s Speakership Threatened

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.

House Speaker J. Alex Tyler Sr. has again been allegedly trapped in a corruption web; and once more, his position as Speaker of the House is in trouble, so much so that Maryland County District # 2 Representative, Dr. Bhofal Chambers, a strong supporter of the re-election and non-removal of Speaker Tyler, is calling for an investigation.

Rep. Chambers, the Chairman of the Committee of National Defense, said in his letter read on Tuesday, May 17 during the 30th Day Sitting of the 5th Session of the House of Representatives, that the ongoing corruption saga emanating from the Global Witness Report, which implicated prominent public officials, including some members of the Legislature, has the propensity to bring the government to public ridicule, demean its image and thereby erode public trust and confidence.

Dr. Chambers urged his colleagues to institute and support the necessary safeguards that will ensure an independent investigation of the matter so as to protect the sanctity of the House of Representatives.

The House Defense Chairman insisted that it is incumbent upon them at all times to maintain and protect the public trust, calling for the establishment of an independent investigation.

Dr. Chambers, in his argument on Thursday, also told his colleagues that it would be sensible for the Speaker to recuse himself.

According to the Global Witness Report, The Deceivers, in which several former and current public officials were named, Speaker Tyler allegedly received US$75,000 in an effort to secure the Wologizi iron ore concession in northern Liberia for Sable Mining, a company based in the United Kingdom.

Two years ago, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) invited the Speaker over a US$25,000 payment for ‘consultancy’ involving the late Michael Allison.

The Daily Observer has gathered that on Thursday, May 19, due to a ‘secret meeting’ in the office of the Speaker, there was no ‘quorum’ in the House Chambers for Session, despite the distribution of the Session’s agenda after the restoration of electricity.

A lawmaker, who requested anonymity, told the Daily Observer that high on the day’s agenda “was the essence and effect of the setting up of an independent committee and for the Speaker to recuse himself.”

The Daily Observer also gathered that there would be resistance from some members of the House of Representatives to allow Speaker Tyler to continue to preside over the House.

According a report, about 33 lawmakers have resolved to vote in favor of establishing an independent investigation and also to demand the Speaker recuse himself as Presiding Officer of the House of Representatives, until the end of the investigation by the special Presidential task force headed by Cllr. Fonati Koffa.

Today – the 32nd Day Sitting of the 5th Session of the House of Representatives – the House is expected to finalize signatures for an independent investigation to be founded and the Speaker to be recused.


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