Monrovia, Liberia: As the National Legislature returns from break and resumes business today, a senior Legislative staff, Mr. Darius Dillon has joined members of the international community in the call for forensic probe of the bribery allegation against Speaker Alex Tyler and others.
“It took them a week to pass the financial autonomy bill given the National Legislature autonomy to control its own budget; it also took them one day to spread US$500 each on their earnings from government coffers. Why is it taking two years to commence a probe into the bribery allegation brought against the House of Representatives?” Dillon quizzically inferred in a NEW VISION interview Sunday.
Mr. Dillion is strongly calling for the resignation of Speaker Alex Tyler who stands accused of bribery by some colleagues of the Lower House including Representatives Edwin Snowe of Montserrado County .
Mr. Dillion, a one time Chief of Staff of the office of dethroned Speaker Edwin Snowe, recalled that Representative Saah Gborlie and Bong County lawmaker Bono public confessed in a jointly signed written statement carried in the January 8 publications of some local dailies that they were offered US$5,000 bribe by the present Speaker Alex Tyler and representative Edward Forh as inducement to remove former Speaker Snowe from office.
Dillion further said he wants Speaker Tyler to resign because he is accused of bribing colleagues to perform their constitutional duties. He said the resignation of Speaker Tyler will restore the dignity and the moral integrity of the House of Representative in particular and the National Legislature in general.
“It’s an unspeakable offence for people stand accused of an offence to resist call for a credible probe intended to clear their names,” Dillion propounded.
According to him, “the refusal by the accused to allow an independent probe sends a signal that something is at stake.”
Recently, during the turnover of keys of the newly rehabilitated and refurbished Capitol Building – the home of the National Legislature – Ambassador Booth called on the House of Representatives of the Republic of Liberia to clear itself of the bribery allegation brought against it.
The background of the Ambassador’s comments was grounded on allegation by Mr. Snowe that some members of the House were trading bribe as inducement to remove him from office.
The ICGL subsequently came up with a position statement calling for a probe but there is apparently debate of who should conduct the probe, as some lawmakers say the House will not allow itself subject to outside investigation.
Speaker Tyler is on record saying that the House’s Judicial Committee was conducting a probe of the bribery allegation, but added that the delay was caused by the absence of accusers to come forth with evidence.
“We want to send a note of caution that the people of Liberia have realized the power inherent in them in keeping with Article 1 of the Liberian Constitution”, Mr. Dillion noted.