‘No Law Was Changed’ – Former Speaker Tyler Breaks Silence on Global Witness Report
Monrovia – Former House Speaker Alex Tyler has again argued that Liberia’s Public Procurement Concession Commission law was never changed in favor of Sable Mining as alleged in the damning Global Witness report.
Report by Augustine T. Tweh,
“Let’s say in my case, if any of you had looked at the law, you would have changed your mind or position because I still maintained up to today, up to this moment that no law was changed,” Tyler said on the Truth Breakfast show on Friday, February 15.
“The way she (former president Ellen Jonhson-Sirleaf) sent it that’s how we passed it, no law was changed. So, if anything was done, [it] was done in her office but nothing was changed. She was clear in the letter she wrote, she was emphatic about everything that she had put in the law and we passed it like that”.
The former House Speaker and others were dragged to court for allegedly taking bribes to favor Sable Mining, a British Mining company.
Their trial is expected to commence shortly at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia.
During his appearance on the radio show, the Former speaker Tyler insisted that if there was a change in the law, then the entire Legislature should have been indicted instead of he alone.
“Why you didn’t indict the whole Legislature? Because the law went to the Senate. You submit to the Senate and the House, we passed it and sent it to the Senate, the Senate was the last group to passed it. So, what makes you believed that they didn’t make the changed if there was a changed? But there was no changed. So, the Senate did not change it, and we did not change it,” Tyler asserted.
The former speaker also blamed media practitioners for not independently investigating the original copy of the PPCC Act and that of the copy that was sent to the Legislature by Former President Johnson-Sirleaf to establish whether there was a change in the law.
“This was a very simple issue, and I hold all of you (journalists) responsible – not anything against you people,” he slammed.
“Did anybody, any journalist who had an interest, not in Alex Tyler, but in the country for tomorrow take the draft of the law that was sent by Ellen Sirleaf and the copy that was passed by the legislature to look at both of them to see whether there was any change? Nobody took upon themselves to do that.
“To do that will not take you more than 30minutes; you go to the particular chapter they said we changed, you read it in one minute and go to the one we passed and read it in one minute and compare both of them, But it tells you the kind of country we live in.”
The former lawmaker noted that he was wrongly accused of carrying out his responsibility, asserting that even if he had changed the law, it was his duty as a legislator.
The only thing I was accused of was that I did the job that I should have been done, to change the law. But even if I changed the law, it’s what I was supposed to do as a legislator,” he said.
However, pieces of evidence presented to the court by the Special Presidential Task Force reveals that Tyler allegedly demanded US$250,000 from Sable Mining to effect changes in the PPCC Act.
It all reportedly started when Piprek (the head of Sable Mining Liberia Ltd.) was in search of suitable premises for accommodation, helicopter landing facilities, and offices.