10 April 2012

Liberia: What's Happening With Tandapolie Final Autopsy Report ?

The final report of the autopsy conducted on the remains of the late Montserrado County District #11 Representatives, Moses Saar Tandapolie, has fallen behind schedule, despite a commitment by the Government of Liberia (GOL) to release said report within ten days.

The remains of the late Tandapolie were interned Saturday, April 7, 2012 at his farm in Todee District, Montserrado County following funeral rites occasioned by tributes from senior government officials, including President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf at the Rotounda of the Capitol Building-the seat of the Legislature.

The final autopsy report was due in ten days following the release of the preliminary autopsy report on 20 March 2012.

The final report is predicated upon the result from "specimen of vital organs" taken as a result of the autopsy conducted on the remains of the late lawmaker.

These "specimen of vital organ" were sent to the Philippine for an in-depth analysis since two weeks ago.

Pilipino pathologist Savalano Ratualo, who performed the autopsy on the deceased lawmaker on Mach 17, 2012, said he was seeking advice from his country (Philippine) on the "specimen".

His decision followed the preliminary report by him (Pilipino pathologist).

Solicitor General M. Wilkins Wright, who released the report to the public, the late lawmaker died of heart failure.

Quoting the report, the Solicitor General said this was caused by heart disease.

The preliminary autopsy report followed several "conspiracy theories" surrounding Rep. Tandapoli's death.

The autopsy was requested by the family of the late Tandapolie in bid to establish the actual cause of his death.

At least US$3,500 was spent by the House of Representatives for the autopsy.

It is believed that the final report of the autopsy will determine the cause of the death, amid several "conspiracy theories" regarding the death of the fallen lawmaker.

The late Tandapolie, who was re-elected as Representative of the District on the ticket of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change(CDC) during the 2011 Presidential and Legislative Elections, died during the early morning hour of Friday, March 16,2012 in Gbarnga, Bong County while attending a two-day retreat by the House of Representatives.

The CDC's lawmaker death has since sent shock waves across the country, especially amongst his constituents, with some people linking the traditional leaders to it.

His death followed a heated argument between him and the traditional leaders over allegation of bribery.

It can be recalled that Tandapoli accused the National Traditional Council of Liberia (NTCL) of bribing the Senate, when the NTCL through its Chairman, Chief Zanzan Karwor, presented 15 kola nuts to the Senate before the confirmation hearings of Internal Affairs Minister, Mr. Blamo Nelson at the Capitol Building in Monrovia.

The late Montserrado County lawmaker claimed that the act of offering kola nuts to the Senators as done by the council was in another form of bribery.

He pointed out that ritual performed by the traditional leaders could in some ways undermine the independence of the Senate to confirm Mr. Nelson, noting, this should have come after the confirmation and not before it.

He averred that the kola nuts were not only given to the Senators, but they were given with instruction from Chief Karwor indicating: "We, the traditional people, have endorsed Blamo as our Minister, and we want him confirmed."

But in response, Chief Karwor described the assertions by the lawmaker as pre-mature and anti-cultural. He argued that the action of the traditional council was in no way a form of bribery, but a form of support to the minister-designate (now confirmed Minister).

Against this backdrop, he called on Rep. Tandapoli to retract his statement within four days or else, he (Tandapoli) would face traditional action. But he (Chief Karwor) did not state what traditional action.

However, when he appeared on the Truth FM Bread Fast Show on February 8, 2012, Rep. Tandapolie vowed not to heed to the demands of NTCL to what he called "unnecessary" apology for linking the council to bribery.

He contended that he was wrong and that he owed no apology to the traditional council.

Hear Rep. Tandapolie: "I said the truth and that needs no apology. What is that, the kola nuts were to be presented after the confirmation and not before, because this could in some ways undermine the entire confirmation process."

"Traditionally, kola nuts are even more valuable than money, so giving it to a group performing a specific duty is a form of bribery. This is what I have said and I maintained." He among other added.

The controversy was not amicably resolved between the lawmaker and the traditional leaders until his death.

The deceased was a stalwart of the CDC and the House's Committee Chair on Claims and Petitions.

His death brings to two the death of re-elected lawmakers at the 53rd Legislature.

It can be recalled that Sinoe County District # 3 Representative re-elect, Nelson Wah Barh, was pronounced dead few days after he was declared winner in the 2011 Presidential and Legislative Elections.

Meanwhile, House Speaker J. Alex Tyler has described the Montserrado County lawmaker as a visionary and a truthful person that was always willing to work in the interest of the country.

For his part, the acting political leader of the CDC, Ambassador George M. Weah, described the death of the CDC's lawmaker as a major blow to the constituents of district # 11 and Liberia at large.

He termed as regrettable and unforgettable the death of Rep. Tandanpolie.

It remains to be seen how the autopsy report will settle the "conspiracy theories" regarding the death of late Tandapolie.

Copyright © 2012 Heritage. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.