A local women organization, Liberia Women in Democracy (LWD), is urging members of the National Legislature to prevail on House Speaker Alex Tyler and Grand Cape Mount County Senator Varney Sherman to step aside from all legislative functions until they can clear their names from the ongoing legal battle in the Global Witness bribery scandal involving UK based Sable Mining Africa limited.
The group, in a statement issued over the weekend at the Capitol Building, said the two men have been indicted by the court on multiple charges and therefore, they cannot maintain their seats while being held for criminal offenses. Both Speaker Alex Tyler and Cape Mount County Senator Varney Sherman were last week indicted and charged with multiple crimes by Criminal Court ‘C’ at the Temple of Justice for their alleged involvement in the Sable Mining bribery case. They were later released on bonds. In a statement read on behalf of LWD, the Executive Director of the organization, Annie Murphy, averred that while it is true that the two men have not yet been found guilty by the Court, it is also important for the accused to refrain from all functions at the National Legislature until they can exonerate themselves from the allegation. Madam Murphy outlined several statutory reasons why both men should be suspended from their various positions, especially Speaker Alex Tyler. She said under the statutory order an indictment is measured as inadequacy under the law; therefore an accused must have sufficient times to prepare himself or herself to conduct legal consultations. The LWD Executive also said her organization has also observed that the bribery allegation is more compounded with politics and sentiment, rather than legal procedures. She said LWD is closely following the trial and it will ensure that justice is served on all those involved in the Sable Mining inducement case which has become a national concern in the country. Madam Murphy commended President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for constituting a national taskforce to probe and prosecute where necessary the allegation of bribery, and urged those accused in the report to submit themselves to the Fonati Koffa-led taskforce. She admonished all Liberians to stop creating sentiment in the case and give the court the chance to properly adjudicate the bribery indictment.