Speaker Under Pressure TO Submit To Corrupt Probe

Recent allegations of corrupt act by House Speaker Alex Tyler and Montserrado County Representative, Adolph Lawrence continue to claim public concern and attention.

The concern was heightened when some lawmakers attempting removing the speaker for his alleged involvement. It drew a greater attention after it was learnt that there has been recommendation for the prosecution of the Speaker on the matter.

Last week it was widely reported that the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) recommended prosecution for Speaker Alex Tyler and the House Committee Chair on Gas and Oil after completing the first phase of investigations into the Speaker’s alleged US$25,000 corruption saga.

Since investigation into the US$25,000 scandal linking Speaker Tyler and Rep. Adolph Lawrence was announced, tension has engulfed the Capitol Building especially after the Speaker, with calls for the Speaker to rescue himself and submit to the LACC investigation.

However, those lawmakers calling for this have withdrawn their communication as the situation was obstructing the function of the lower House.

It has been reported that the Speaker and Rep. Lawrence have been under investigation for their alleged role in a consultancy contract awarded to a Liberian consultant, Michael Allison, whom reports say Rep. Lawrence gave US$25,000 as pre-finance from Speaker Tyler, who was to get reimbursement following completion of the contract.

It is also said that during investigation Rep. Lawrence admitted to the Speaker’s involvement in the transaction claiming his role was to take delivery of the US$25,000 intended for the Speaker.

But after the completion of the first phase of investigation in the US$25,000 saga involving the Speaker and Rep. Lawrence, the LACC said both Lawmakers should face prosecution for violating the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC) law.

It is in the wake of the LACC’s decision there have been calls for the honorable Speaker to submit himself to this investigation as his failure to do so would continue to bring the lower House into public disrepute and ridicule.

Some individuals who spoke to this paper said this would be in the interest of the Speaker and to due process; as such a forum is necessary to explain his involvement in the contract.

“The Speaker should even be the one to call for a probe because this is damaging to his reputation,” one person said while others are saying that it would be a complete embarrassment to that body that corruption charges hang over its head who continues to preside; this would be as mockery to the country’s fight against corruption.”

Meanwhile, those interviewed said the Speaker should not see this as an indictment, but an opportunity to explain his involvement and are also calling on his colleagues to ensure that the Speaker does not preside, as this would continue to make that body a laughing stock and would deprive them of any moral ground to speak about corruption in society when “it is right under their feet.”