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Liberia: House Chief Clerk Siryon ‘Vindicates’ Tyler, Others of Changing PPCC Law

House Chief Clerk Mildred Siryon

Monrovia – Mildred Siryon one of defense counsel’s rebuttal witnesses in the ongoing Sable Mining bribery case involving former Speaker Alex Tyler and seven other defendant says she is not aware of the Public Procurement Concession Commission Law being changed.

The House Chief Clerk Siryon testimony comes when she and Senate Chief Clerk Nagborlor Singbe were subpoenaed by the court to come and testify in the Sable Mining bribery case.

The court’s decision to summon the Legislature’s two Chief Clerks was based on the defense counsel’s request  for them to come and rebut claim by the prosecution that the PPCC Act  was changed after its draft was presented to the House of Representatives by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for enactment into law while the Bomi County District #1 lawmaker Alex Tyler was serving as Speaker.

Testifying ahead of Singbe as defense counsel first rebuttal witness, Ms. Siryon said that as Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives she is to oversee the clerical works of the House. She also serves as a custodian of the records that carry the mandate of the House.

She told the court that she knows former Tyler as former Speaker, Senators Varney Sherman, Morris Saytumah as the other Defendants who she interacted with at the House while they were serving in government.

On the question of the PPCC Act of 2005 which is claimed by the prosecution was changed by the Defendants by inserting Section 75 in the law. Prosecution claimed that Section 75 was changed at the Legislature allegedly through the influence of former Speaker Tyler in favor of the British Company Sable Mining to mine the Wologisi Mountain in Lofa County.

The prosecution made the claim against the Defendants following the Global Witness May 2016 Report in which the London watchdog accused the former and current government officials of allegedly receiving bribe of US$950,000 through Cllr. Varney Sherman to amend the PPCC 2005 Act in favor Sable Mining.

House Chief Clerk Siryon, while testifying on Wednesday July 10, 2019, confirmed to the court that on August 5, 2019 she received a communication office from former President Sirleaf with the draft of the PPCC Act to be sent to the Legislature for enactment.

“Yes, I received a letter on August 10, 2010from former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf directed to former Speaker Tyler on the amendment and restatement of the PPCC Act of 2005,” said Siryon.

She added that when she received the letter and the PPCC draft. She did not read the draft in its entirety because at the time the draft was presented it was session time so she had to take it to the plenary where it was given to the PPCC committee for review.

“Your honor as I speak to you now, I have in my possession the copy of the draft from President Sirleaf and the final draft from the National Legislature – the same thing nothing change,” said House Chief Clerk Siryon.

The case was adjourned to resume on Thursday, July 11, 2019 at 10:00 am for Senate Chief Clerk Singbe to take the stand.