Lofa County Senator George Tingbeh is calling on indicted House Speaker J. Alex Tyler to step aside from his position to allow the joint presidential taskforce to probe the Global Witness report linking him and other officials to corruption.
Senator Tingbeh appearing on state radio ELBC in Paynesville outside Monrovia Monday, May 30, 2016 said “If I were speaker Tyler, the best thing I would have done is to sit aside and back off from my post, and allow the joint taskforce to carry out its investigation, because if you have mindset of one thing such will go well, but once you have a rope tie around your neck you find it difficult to move yourself freely.”
The opposition Congress for Democratic Change or CDC made similar call here Sunday, and disclosed plan to stage three days hunger strike before the U.S. Embassy near Monrovia to draw the international community’s attention to endemic corruption in Liberia.
The CDC at a news conference on Sunday afternoon in Monrovia said senior government officials who are linked to the scandal should do the honorable thing by resigning their posts or stepping aside to exonerate themselves before the law.
The party says it makes it very difficult and challenging for any judge to prosecute high profile officials such as senators and the Speaker while they still enjoy the luxury of impunity accorded them under the laws of Liberia.
The Lofa County Lawmaker however explained the reason why the Liberian Senate’s attention has been drawn to the ongoing investigation is as the result of the recent presence of huge security officers at the residence of Senator Varney Sherman, who has also been indicted.
He said the senate doesn’t prosecute, but rather whenever there is an allegation, it conducts hearing and reports to the Executive. Senator Tingbeh added that the uppet House of the 53rd Liberian Legislature has its focus on issues that will curtail corruption, saying “ We know we cannot stop this act, because it is in every sector of this country but what we can do is to put measures in place that will help to curtail it.”
He said the semate’s decision to conducl public hearing on the report stems from the manner in which security officers barricaded the home of Senator Varney Sherman at about 5:00 A.M., noting “that’s not a way to treat a sitting senator; he is an elected senator; he cannot run to go anywhere, so I think their action was unfair to us at the House of Senate, because we thought that it could be any one of us whose home could be barricaded like how the senator’s home was.”
The Lofa County senator also clarified there is no quarrel between the House of Representatives and the Senate as has been speculated noting that in government, there are two things that must be observed, coordination and consultation, if any of those things are lacking, there will always be misunderstanding.
“If we must move this country forward then we should work with consultation and coordination”, he emphasized.
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne