As Global Witness Bribery Scandal Rocks Gov’t, Lawmaker Threatens Prez Sirleaf With Impeachment

Montserrado County District # 11 Representative J. Gabriel Nyenkan holds the Global Witness Reports on Liberia
Montserrado County District # 11 Representative J. Gabriel Nyenkan holds the Global Witness Reports on Liberia

As the international environmental watch, Global Witness exposes the Liberian Government of massive corruption which linked the Country’s House of Representatives Speaker, Jenaka Alex Tyler, and the Chairman of the ruling party, Cllr. Varney Sherman to alleged bribery a  member of the House of Representatives, J. Gabriel Nyenkan, has threatened to impeach President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, “for criminal facilitation and her role in the alleged changes in the Public Procurement Concessions Commission (PPCC) Law to favor the London-based company,

Sable Mining to own the Wologizi Mountain, if the Global Witness Report were treated with credence.”

Nyenkan, who represents Montserrado County District #11, said the President could also face impeachment for taking full responsibility for the bankruptcy of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL).

An impeachment is an expressed power of the Legislature that allows formal charges to be brought against an elected officer of the Executive for crimes alleged to have been committed in office.

Typically, the House of Representatives has the sole power of impeachments, while the Senate has the sole power to try all impeachments.

On Thursday, June 23, in the House’s first floor conference room, Rep. Nyenkan quoted the Global Witness Report, ‘The Deceivers’, as saying that PPCC Chairman Prof. Willie Belleh admitted that the President was involved.

“We finally got the Revised PPCC Act completed,” Belleh allegedly wrote to Sherman on August 6, 2010, according to Global Witness. “The Minister of Justice and I met with the President last night and reviewed areas of concern to her. She approved. The document has been forwarded to the National Legislature. It is expected to be fast-tracked.”

Rep. Nyenkan, a former executive member of the ruling Unity Party (UP) who crossed over to the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), is also the House Chairman for Lands, Mines Natural Resources and Environment. According to him, those who don’t believe the Report is credible should urge the Executive to stop the discriminatory indictment of some top members of the Legislature, arguing that the President should also be indicted. He said the President’s alleged role, including the approval of the amended PPCC Law, which originated from her, is tantamount to her being indicted.

“Before an Act becomes a Law, there are five signatures: the House Chief Clerk, the Speaker, the Secretary of the Senate and the Vice President, and then the President,” Rep. Nyenkan said.

“If we are serious about fighting corruption, the President and the Vice President should also be indicted… maybe also include the 103 lawmakers that put their hands up to vote for the changes,” Rep. Nyenkan said.

“Let’s stop the political witch hunt,” he cautioned, adding, “Rep. Edwin M. Snowe, the then Chairman on Rules, Order and Administration and who is on the vanguard for the Speaker to recuse himself should be also indicted because he was Chairman on the Joint Committee that advised Plenary to pass the law.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Nyenkan has also accused the Executive of instilling confusion in the government to perhaps upset the 2017 elections so that an interim government would be established, in an apparent bid to avoid members of the Executive being dragged to court for corruption, as was done to former Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia the late Gyude Bryant and other officials from his administration. “There is a political theory that they want us to have an Interim Government in fear of their necks,” Rep. Nyenkan said.

This is the third opposition lawmaker who has threatened the President with impeachment.

Montserrado and Maryland counties’ Representatives, Acarous M. Gray and Dr. Bhofal Chambers had also threatened to bring impeachment proceedings against President Sirleaf.

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About Cholo Brooks 13364 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.