Jailed ex-Liberian President Charles Ghankay Taylor seems to still have some good friends in Liberia as a lawmaker here is seeking benefits for Mr. Taylor as a former President.
Maryland County district #2 Representative Bhofal Chambers is leading the campaign for Taylor’s benefits, calling on the House of Representatives to inquire from the Executive Branch of government, through President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf information on the benefits of the ex-President, currently serving a 50-year sentence in Britain for aiding and abetting RUF rebels in Sierra Leone.
Rep. Chambers said there has been lot of rumors in the public concerning benefits for Taylor, who served Liberia as an elected President from 1997 to 2003.
According to a letter dated March 31, and read in the plenary of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, 4th April on Capitol Hill, the Maryland lawmaker said, Liberia is a democratic state and if anything happens to any citizen, the law should come to his or her defense.
Dr. Chambers, an ex-member of President Sirleaf’s governing Unity Party, but now a strong critic of the President, argued that there is no link between the family of the former President and him, but stressed that Taylor is a Liberian and desires all rights and entitlement as any former government official.
“It is not time for whatever side the government may have been against the ex-President. If he fought someone or someone fought him, but the law states of benefits and entitlement and when they are thinking they should think Liberia.”
He also noted that former President fought war in Liberia but what belongs to him should be given to him.Also speaking in plenary of the House, Grand Kru County Representative Numene Bartekwa said, the augment of Dr. Chambers is valid and should be taken seriously on grounds that it is one of their functions as lawmakers to advocate for all citizens.
Meanwhile, the plenary of the House of Representatives has turned the matter to its committee on claims and petition to report after the Easter Break.
The family of Mr. Taylor on Monday, January 28, 2013 sued the Liberian Government at the Supreme Court of Liberia in demand of his (Taylor’s) benefits as the 21st President of Liberia.
According to the former spokesman of the Taylor family in Liberia Bomi County Senator Sando Johnson, the family sued the government to fast track the process in getting the former president’s benefits and also to avoid the politicization of the matter.
Senator Johnson provided the explanation on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 when he thanked members of the Liberian Senate for what he called their level of enthusiasm shown over the grievance expressed in Mr. Taylor’s formal communication addressed to that august body.
By Bridgett Milton-Editing by Jonathan Browne