By: Eldred Wlemongar Thomas/Legislative Reporter
The legislative battle taking place at the Capitol Building on the recusal of indicted Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alex J. Tyler seems to be endless with Anti-Tyler bloc doing all to compel their Speaker to concede defeat in their quest for him to recues himself from presiding over session, the anti-Tyler yesterday overwhelmingly resolved to freeze the House’ account.
In their bid to overpower him, members of the bloc have requested authorities of the Central Bank of Liberia and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to freeze all accounts of the Lower House at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL).
The anti-Tyler lawmakers took the decision Tuesday, during a separate session presided over by Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue, and Corpu Barclay of Grand Bassa and Bong counties respectfully.
The anti-Tyler lawmakers are currently convening separate session in the Joint Chambers of the Legislature vowing that they cannot sit under the gavel of Speaker Tyler amidst intense battle to have him remove.
The Majority lawmaker’s decision was prompted by an observation flagged by Bong County Representative George Mulbah.
Representative Mulbah indicated that the strength of any individual or organization depends on the finance of said institution, and as such, the House’s accounts must be frozen at the CBL.
He further narrated that since majority lawmakers of the House called on Speaker Tyler to recues himself from presiding, the authority to manage the account of that August Body at the CBL may likely be seized by the Bomi County lawmaker.
He noted that reports of the alleged hiring of those he termed as thugs by Speaker Tyler requires money, and as such, the necessary actions must be taken to ensure that funding allocated to that body is not misapplied by Representative Tyler.
Representative Mulbah said if nothing is done to an halt to it, funding will be withdrawn from the account of the House illegally to the detriment of majority members of the House of Representatives, stressing, saying if steps are not taken to ensure that the account is safe the majority bloc will regret it at the end .
“The intent of his observation is not meant to remove the signatures of the House Chairman on Ways, Means and Finance, Moses Kollie, but to ensure that before disbursements are made from the account at the CBL, it must meet the consensus of the presiding officer of the Majority Block, Hans Barchue, Representative Mulbah intoned”.
Lofa county Representative Moses Kollie, Chairs the House Committee on Ways, Means and Finance, and is currently the Chairman of the newly formed Liberia People Democratic Party headed by embattled Speaker Alex Tyler.
The lawmakers have in recent time in the eight count resolution expressed uneasiness over Speaker’s party Chairman being Chair on Finance citing budget manipulation to support their political bid in 2017.
Meanwhile, a motion for authorities of the CBL and Finance to with immediate effect freeze the House account, until up to date briefing backed by bank statement is provided by the Ways, Means and Finance Chairman of the House, was filed by Montserrado County Representative Munah Pelham Youngblood.
In a related development, the Civil Service Association (CSA) in Monrovia has threatened to stage a three-day protest within a week to demand members of the House of Representatives to stay focused on “doing the Liberian people’s business.”
The Association made the threat against the backdrop that lawmakers have for weeks been spending time fighting to ensure that House Speaker Alex Tyler, who was indicted in May by Criminal Court “C” for his alleged complicity in a bribery scandal, recuses himself from presiding over plenary.
CSA acting President Edward Eddoe told a local radio station Tuesday that the lawmakers were elected to the National Legislature to work on issues that will serve the best interest of those they represent.
Eddoe pointed out that the 2016/2017 fiscal budget is still lingering in the House while the House is divided and fighting over Speaker Tyler’s recusal.
“The lawmakers are impeding the work of the state,” he said, adding, “This has paralyzed the National Legislature, making them not to hold together and causing a big setback to the country.”
According to Eddoe, the protest is intended to draw the attention of the lawmakers so that they can devote themselves to the responsibilities for which they were elected.
He said the association’s leadership addressed their concerns to the lawmakers in a letter recently, but their effort yielded no fruitful result, leaving them to resort to the protest.