‘Baseless Allegation’ – Alex Tyler Denies Sable Mining Bribery Allegation
Monrovia – Former House Speaker Alex Tyler has denied and referred to the Sable Mining bribery allegation leveled against him and seven former and current government officials as “unfounded and baseless allegation that lacks iota of truth”.
Tyler and the seven colleagues were accused in the Global Witness 2016 Report of allegedly receiving US$950,000 bribe from the British Company Sable Mining to change the 2005 Public Procurement Concession Act (PPCC) in favor of the company to mine the Wologisi Mountain in Lofa County.
Other Defendants indicted are Grand Cape Mount Senator Varney Sherman, Bomi County Morris Saytumah, former NIC boss Richard Tolbert, former PPCC boss Wille Belleh, former Mines& Energy Minister Eugene Shannon and Deputy Ernest C.B. Jones and businessman Christopher Onanuga.
The Presidential Task Force set up by former President Sirleaf to probe the Global Witnesse Report accuses former Speaker Tyler of allegedly receiving US$75,000 share to change the PPCC Act and additional US$250,000 to influence the Senate leadership to allegedly change the PPCC Act.
However, on the witness stand on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, Tyler indicated that as former Speaker his duties and responsibilities were to preside over the administrative affairs of the House of Representatives, presided over the plenary section of the House and ensured that decisions reached were properly communicated to the Liberian Senate.
On the question of the PPCC Act, Tyler admitted receiving communication from former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on August 5, 2010 in which the House of Representatives read and put it on the floor of the plenary and was submitted to PPCC Committee headed by Representative Edwin Snowe for review and passage which was done without change and forwarded to the Senate for concurrence.
“The Senate then returned the Act to us as we passed it and it was endorsed by the House of Representatives since that was where it originated from with the appropriate signatures and forwarded to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,” said Tyler.
On the allegation that he also demanded US$250,000 bribe to influence the leadership of the Senate, Tyler added that those who are making the allegations do not understand the working of the National Legislature.
“The Senate has the President of the Senate who is the Vice President of the country who presides over plenary section of the chambers and his/her absence as the case may be the Preside Pro Tempore becomes temporary plenary officer, so how can I demand money to pass law through the Senate,” former House Speaker Tyler said.
The case was ordered adjourned by Judge Peter Gbeneweleh to continue with the testimony of Mr. Tyler on Wednesday, July 10, at 10 am.
Tyler is defense counsel third witness now on the witness stand following the end of testimonies by defendants Varney Sherman and Ernest C.B Jones.