Traditional Leaders Demand Withdrawal of Court Petition
Monrovia– The power struggle among members of the House of Representatives is taking a different trend with lawmakers from the two blocs- Anti and Pro Tyler caught in the middle regarding whether to continue the legal pursuit now before the Supreme Court of Liberia or listen to a decision from Traditional Council of Liberia asking the parties to abandon the court process.
Report by Edwin G. Genoway, Jr. – [email protected]
Embattled Speaker Alex J. Tyler filed a petition at the Supreme Court of Liberia seeking the issuance of a Writ of Prohibition against lawmakers seeking his recusal from presiding over the House of Representatives.
The Supreme Court has cited members of the anti-Tyler bloc to a conference today Monday August 22, 2016.
But during the weekend, traditional leaders held a meeting with Speaker Tyler and the head of the anti-Tyler bloc, Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue where the traditional leaders told the lawmakers not to appear before the court.
The chiefs have mandated lawmakers from the two blocs to recall any petition currently before the Supreme Court.
The head of the Traditional Council of Liberia, Chief Zanzan Karwor told lawmakers from the two blocs during a dialogue meeting to back off their plan of going before the Supreme Court of Liberia.
Chief Karwor in the meeting blasted at the lawmakers for handling internal matter outside, saying, no lawmaker should go to the court for any conference.
He noted that the traditional leaders who own the land have taken charge of the matter.
“Any paper that was sent to the Supreme Court by your, should be taken from there immediately, as the power vested in me as head of all the traditional people in our land, I want to tell you all that we are not happy, we the one that put your over there and we the one can move your from there if we want, so your listen to us, nobody should go to the court, we have taken charge of this matter and we will handle it,” Chief Kawor warned lawmakers at the meeting.
The Traditional Chiefs of Liberia over the weekend invited all of the divided lawmakers to a meeting at the head offices of the chiefs in Sinkor.
During the meeting where journalists were prevented from covering brought together hundreds of traditional leaders and some members from the both blocs of lawmakers.
The Anti-Tyler bloc was headed by Deputy Speaker Barchue followed by Byron Brown, Nuemne Bartekwa, Munnah Pelham Youngblood, Richmond Anderson and Mantenokay Tingban, among others.
While the pro Tyler group was headed by the Speaker Tyler followed by Bhofal Chambers, Moses Kollie, Isaac Roland, Zoe Pennoh and Haja Fata Siryon, among others.
The traditional chiefs’ panel was headed by Chief Kawor and Chief Gangay, followed by Liberia’s Culture Ambassador Julee Endee and chiefs from the fifteen (15) political subdivisions of Liberia.
During the meeting the both parties explained their sides of the story and justified their action to the traditional leaders.
Speaker Tyler in his opening remarks said he has filed petition before the Supreme Court against his colleagues requesting that they return to session, describing the call to rescue himself as illegal.
Invite President Sirleaf
From the side of the pro Tyler bloc, representative Isaac Roland of Maryland County requested that Chief Karwor investigate and invite President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to sit with all of the lawmakers in finding solution to the problem at the Capitol.
He also want the chiefs to investigate rumors of the President involvement in the crises at the Capitol by her alleged dishing out cash to remove the speaker, saying Chief Karwor must listen to the tap of some lawmakers who are claiming that the President gave them money to take action against the lawmakers by calling for his recusal.
“Our chief, I want you to go to the media and get that tape on some of, our friends who said the President gave them money, some say they got US$7,000 and others say they got US$5.000,” he advised.
The anti-Tyler for their part based their debate on moral standings, one of the anti-Tyler lawmakers, Representative Tengban at the meeting said the Speaker has brought the House of Representatives to public disrepute.
He also disclosed that Speaker Tyler is in the habit of trucking people from his party to boo at fellow lawmakers.
“Chief Karwor, we must correct this thing, we are all honorable people that were voted by our people but you see the speaker over there do not want peace, he brought people at the Capitol Building to call us rogue and all kinds of names, if you were at the Capitol Building that day you will know what I am talking about, there were people that the Speaker brought that were chanting pro Tyler and booing us and calling us rogues and he sitting acting like he don’t know,” Representative Tengban told the chiefs in the meeting.
The chiefs after listening to all sides went into a secret session with all of the traditional chiefs only. After the closed door meeting with the chiefs, the head of the Traditional Chiefs and Elders, Chief Karwor told lawmakers to go home and return today Monday for conclusion.
Before the two blocs left the fence of the Traditional Council Office, the Chief gave both sides white handkerchief, saying no lawmaker should appear before the Supreme Court and no lawmaker should talk to the press, as the matter is now in the hands of the traditional leaders.
Chief Kawor also warned those lawmakers in the act of taking people at the Capitol Building to demonstrate on their behalf to desist from such act.
“And let tell your, anybody who will put people in their party car to demonstrate for them will face our wrath, if any lawmaker will do that and we find out, that lawmaker will be dealt with traditionally in their county,” he warned.
The meeting ended with lawmakers from the both sides sharking hands in the spirit of unity. Both Speaker Tyler and Deputy Speaker Barchue shook hands and were seen discussing.