The media had reported that the amount of US$300,000 intended to pay staff and senators for the extra sitting called by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was allegedly pilfered by the three senators, which elicited the setting up of an internal Senate investigation headed by Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga.
Information gathered by the media said based on the refusal of the embattled Senators to cooperate with the investigation, other members of the Senate who did not benefit from the extra sitting fees called for the expulsion of the three Senators from the Liberian Senate.
But in a special press statement from the Liberian senate, the Liberian Senate clarified that there is no evidence of embezzlement carried out by any senator or group of senators in the Liberian senate, contrary from reports of manhandling of US$300,000.00 from the Liberian President for the special sitting of the Liberian senate.
The Senate press statement admitted that the amount in question was intended for the payment of salaries and benefits for members of the legislature and staff for the extraordinary sitting upon the request of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
According to the statement, the plenary committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget; and confirmed by the Ministry of Finance, Development and Planning, through its Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) only secured 50% to be paid upon improvement in revenue performance.
Senators named in the scandal were tight-lipped, despite all attempts by journalist last week Wednesday to have them comment on the allegation; but sources say the Senate is expected to come up with the full report this week Thursday for a decision. The amount in question according to sources is US$425,000 but only USD$300,000.00 was reported, our source said.
The reports also indicated that the three senators received the full amount from the Ministry of Finance as payment for the extra sitting; while our source said of the amount of US$125,000 was intended to pay the staffers at the Legislature who were compelled to return with their bosses.
Our source further told us that Sen. Milton Teahjay who managed to get a copy of the voucher from a confidant at the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning was the one who informed his colleagues about the alleged syndicate.
Sources close to one of the accused also told FrontPage Africa that though the money was received, only 50% of total amount was released by the Finance Ministry and said amount was disbursed to members of Senate based on positions on committees.
One of the names mentioned in the alleged scandal is Senator Peter Coleman Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health. He was early this year accused of receiving payments from the JFK Hospital which was contrary to Article 90b of the Constitution. Senator Coleman however argued that the money he received from Hospital was a professional fee.