3 June 2013

Liberia: Senate Probes PYJ

The Liberian Senate has launched a probe into Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson's recent claims of personally influencing the 2011 legislative election results in the County.

Senate President Pro-tempore Gbehzohgar Milton Findley said the entire plenary of the upper House will assemble as a committee to thoroughly probe the embattled political leader of the National Union for Democratic Progress (NUDP). Sen. Findley said the Senate took the decision last Thursday during an executive session, and those senators that attended overwhelmingly accepted to question their colleague, Sen. Johnson on his accusations.

"The Liberian Senate deems it necessary to question Sen. Johnson about recent comments attributed to him by the media and following that the Senate will come with the decision and the findings will be made public soon", said the pro-tempore.

Sen. Johnson recently claimed on Radio Kehkayma in Nimba County that three lawmakers from his National Union for Democratic Progress (NUDP) party: Garrison Yealu, Samuel Korgar, and Worleah Dunah did not win free and fair elections in 2011 in the county. He disclosed that it was through his personal intervention that enabled the listed Nimba lawmakers to win their seats.

The controversial Senator , who earlier announced here that he was resigning from his NUDP party, further revealed that Representative Garrison Yealu, who had earlier been declared winner of the county's electoral District #4, was challenged by Independent candidate George Buokene, who came second hence, he (George) requested a recount.

Johnson narrated on the broadcast that the recount by NEC turned the results around, putting George Buokene on top, instead of Garrison Yealu. According to him, he immediately received a call from Samuel Korgar, one of his NUDP candidates, who informed him that Yealu was losing votes, so they needed his (Johnson's) intervention.

Johnson continued that upon receiving the call from Korgar, he immediately went to the residence of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf near Fish Market, opposite the James Spriggs Payne Airport in Sinkor, Monrovia and he talked to the President's senior sister, Aunty Jennie, who contacted President Sirleaf on the situation, informing the President that her intervention was urgently needed in the Nimba elections because Yealu was losing votes to Independent colleague George Buokene.

Johnson further alleged that Madam Sirleaf told him (PYJ) that since she needed votes from Nimba County at all cost to defeat the Congress for Democratic Change in the runoff presidential poll, she was immediately instructing former NEC boss James Fromayan to declare Garrison Yealu of the NUDP winner of the votes from District # 4.

But the former NEC boss James Fromayan has rubbished the Senator's claims, and asked him to visit a psychiatric home instead of being in the Liberian Senate, which an apparently enrage Fromayan said, is meant for sound-minded people.

Fromayan described the Senator's claims as a big lie, saying "Senator Johnson is lying; there were no point in time where he and I or Madam Sirleaf ever discussed that." He challenged the Senator to prove his claims to the people of Nimba, and added that he is prepared to challenge Johnson in court.

The statement by Senator Johnson has raised eyebrows both in and out of the country with the main opposition political party here Congress for Democratic Change calling for a probe of the Senator.

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