The grounds of the Capitol Building specifically the House of Representatives Tuesday, 14 June was the smell of cash at about 8:30 A.M. when the House’s Chair on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget, Lofa County Representative Moses Kollie dished out US$108,000 to fellow lawmakers on behalf of embattled Speaker Alex Tyler, who is being increasingly pressurized to recuse himself from presiding over session in the wake of his indictment for corruption.
According to sources, the money was distributed among supporters of Speaker Tyler, who are vehemently resisting his removal. Representative Kollie, who is also national chairman for Speaker Tyler’s Liberia People Democratic Party or LPDP, was heavily escorted to his second floor office with two bags filled with American dollars for the sole purpose of convincing his colleagues to support the Speaker’s continuous presiding over normal activities of the House.
Of the 72 representatives excluding Tyler himself, at least 27 allegedly received US$4,000 each to thwart ongoing campaign by Montserrado County Representative Edwin Melvin Snowe, Jr. and CDC lawmakers to have the Speaker removed.
This paper also gathered from the corridor of the House Speaker Tyler has promised to provide a balance of US$6,000 following the passage of the fiscal year 2016/17 national budget. Lawmakers reportedly benefiting from the cash bonanza include Representatives James Biney, Dr. Bhofal Chambers, Dr. Isaac Roland, all of Maryland County; Solomon George, Richmond Anderson and Sekou Kanneh of Montserrado County; Ben Fofana and Stephen Kiafai of Margibi County; and George Wesseh Blamoh of Grand Kru County, respectively.
Others are Representatives Bill Corneh and Corpu Barclay of Bong County; Garrison Yeluea, Richard Matenokay Tingban, Jeremiah Koung and Larry Yonquoi of Nimba County; and Charles Blyde and Christian Chea of River Gee County.
Other alleged recipients are Representatives Alfred Juah and Byron Zanwea of Rivercess County, Mariama Fofana, and Moses Kollie Lofa County, our sour further disclosed. Following the distribution, Speaker Tyler and the lawmakers proceeded to chambers for the normal activities of the House.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives under the watchful eyes of Speaker Tyler during its Tuesday’s session concurred with the Liberian Senate on the ratification of Liberia’s ascension to the World Trade Organization, WTO.
Speaker Tyler along with several other officials including the ruling Unity Party Chairman Senator Varney G. Sherman are currently facing bribery trial as the result of a Global Witness’ report, which linked to receiving more than $950,000 in bribes and other suspicious payments by the Britain-based Sable Mining Company.
Liberian lawyer, Senator Varney Sherman, represents the legal interest of Sable Mining here. They reportedly received the bribes to secure Liberia’s virgin mine -Wologizi iron ore concession in northern Liberia in behalf of the company, a claim the British company has denied.
Speaker Tyler allegedly received US$75,000 as ‘consulting fees’ out of the US$950,000 provided by the company.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor -Editing by Jonathan Browne