Pres. Sirleaf Accused of Interfering With Independence of Legislature
Monrovia – Nimba County Senior Senator, Prince Y. Johnson has accused President Ellen Johnson of direct interference with the Legislative Branch of government, hindering that branch of Government from functioning independently.
Report by Mae Azango [email protected]
Making this startling revelation and addressing many other issues recently in an exclusive interview at his Christ Chapel of Faith Ministry in Paynesville, Senator Johnson said:
“There is no one who becomes Pro Temp or Speaker without the President’s involvement.
She has to lobby the colleagues to make sure her agenda go through, so we are not independent in the Legislature. I tell you, if I control your belly, it means, I am controlling you,” Said Senator Johnson.
He further revealed that he blames himself and his colleagues in the 53rd National legislature for not exercising their oversights and being robust because they make allocations and pass the budget while the Executive authorizes the expenditure.
“We have oversight but if we were properly exercising our oversight, some of the blunders we see happening around here won’t be happening. Like for example, Senator Oscar Cooper who was exercising his oversight and discovered millions had disappeared from the Ministry of Public Works under Minister Gyudee Moore, and for fear of being linked to it, the Executive wrote the Senate Pro Temp to have this man removed from his committee, which was a direct interference on the part of the Executive.”
“I called the Pro Temp when I returned from ECOWAS Parliament and told him it was not the reason we elected him,” Senator Johnson said.
“If the three branches of government had their own financial autonomy, it won’t be a problem, but our money is with the Executive. When we enacted a law for a financial autonomy to be put into hand bill, the president vetoed the bill, and what we should have done was to override the veto, but we did not, as to why it did not happened, I do not understand my colleagues anymore.
The three separate branches are supposed to be coordinating without interference from either branch, so I do not see why a tough talking Senator should be relieved of his duty because the Executive interfered.”
Free, Fair Elections
Speaking about free and fair elections, come 2017 and the National Elections Commission being independent, Senator Johnson said he believes President Sirleaf would support someone who will protect her. And as Cllr. Brumskine and President Sirleaf are second cousins, so many people presumed that Madam Sirleaf would move in the direction of Liberty Party, and many people in the Unity party are encouraged to join Cllr. Brumskine’s party.
“Our fear is that our election commission will not be like the Gambia, who stood their grounds and announced that the dictator did not win. So we would like to see that happen here, because anyone who wins, and if you do not uphold protect, defend the international protocol for which Liberia is a signatory to, you will be doing it to your own detriment, because the international community will give you no assistance, and you will have problem with paying salaries and the youth,” said Senator Johnson.
It was once speculated and reported by a local paper that the FBI was in Liberia to arrest Senator Johnson for war crimes. But when Senator Johnson was asked as to whether he was worried about the US persecutors who want to bring a case against him, he replied in a sharp laughter;
“If they come, I am here; I just do not believe people in newspaper talking all sorts of things. If they feel that I went the extra mile of just killing innocent people during the war let them come with the evidence to prove it.”
“If there is a war crimes’ court coming for everybody and they single me out, they should have evidence, but I do not go by what people say. Like Rodney Sieh put in the newspaper that FBI came to Liberia to arrest me,” said Senator.
He added, “Dr. Allen White invited me to Ghana to be running mate to Urey, and I have all the text messages between Dr. White and I that he sent me.”
“Dr. White and I met in Ghana along with two persons and they said they wanted me to be running mate to Urey and they would have my name cancelled from the war crimes list, and we will start the proceedings from 1994.”
“And when I asked what happens to Urey whose name was also on the list, and he said they would also erase Urey’s name as well. Then I told him to tell me the truth, that if we were wanted for war crimes against humanity, why would he want to remove my name from the list just to be running mate to Urey?
It was when I broke the coalition because I told Urey to go as the VP to me because I have an election history and he does not have. The next day FPA published that FBI was in town for me.”
“If FBI came here, they will go through our Interpol to invite me because I am still a sitting Senator.”
“We are not afraid of FBI or world crimes’ court because we just did not come to kill people like Doe government”.