LIBERIA: Speaker Tyler Retains Gavel As Recusal Battle Deepens

Indicted  Speaker Alex J. Tayler
Indicted Speaker Alex J. Tayler

Amidst mounting calls for House Speaker Alex Tyler to recues himself from presiding over regular sessions of the House of Representatives, Tyler on Thursday maintained his gavel as he triumphed in an intense debate on the matter.

According to a report released recently by Global Witness (GW), Tyler formed part of a list of current and former officials of Government who allegedly received bribes to circumvent portion of the nation’s Public Procurement Law to grant mining right to the Wologizi Mountain in Lofa County to the Britain-based Sable Mining Company.

The debate was ignited by Margibi County Representative Emmanuel Nuquay, who called on the Speaker to recues himself from presiding over House sessions because of his indictment on corruption charges.

Tyler’s first line of defence was Maryland County Representative James Biney who contended that the bribery allegation against Speaker Tyler is currently before the court and as such it is inappropriate for any member of the legislature to request Tyler to recues himself from presiding over the body.

Biney opined that as a democrat, he cannot concur with any member of the legislature who is threading a path of negative precedence by being disruptive in the quest to usurp an ongoing judicial function.

“Under these circumstances, we will be protecting our Speaker more if we tell him that given the fact that he is undergoing criminal investigation he should recuse himself and engage the process,” Lofa County Representative Eugene Fallah Kparkar stressed.

Several Lawmakers, including Acarious Gray, Thomas Fallah, Julius Berrian, formed part of the group who want Speaker Tyler recuse himself from presiding over sessions and submit to the ongoing criminal investigation.

Although Montserrado County Representative Gabriel Nyeka vehemently defended Speaker Tyler during the debate,  the glass ceiling was broken when Nimba County Representative Garrison Yealue alerted Tyler that the observation which prompted the debate was not an item on the House’s agenda for the day’s session.

According to Yealue, consistent with section 23.1 of the House Standing Rules, the Speaker can either sustain an observation emanating from the floor or overrule it.

Speaker Tyler then immediately struck his gavel to overrule Nuquay’s observation which earlier sparked off the debate, bringing to an end the first intense debate ever held since the Global Witness report emerged.

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About Cholo Brooks 14342 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.