26 March 2019

Liberia: Rep. Adolph Lawrence, Another CDC Ranking Defector, Dies

The founding Chairman of the Committee on Hydro Carbon of the House of Representatives, geologist and Rep. Adolph Akwe Lawrence, age 50, is dead.

Rep. Lawrence formerly served the Committee on Lands, Mines, Energy & Environment before the founding of Hydro Carbon, were he served as its first Chairman, up to his death. He also served the Investment and Concessions and Youth and Sports and the Contracts and Monopolies committees.

Montserrado County District #15 Rep. Lawrence died early Monday morning near the Tower Hill Community, Robertsfield Highway in a tragic motor accident, following the celebration of his 50th birthday in Buchanan on Sunday, March 25 at the home of his wife, Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence.

The vehicle conveying the representative also had on board Carlos Tingban Edison, Chairman of the UL-based Students' Unification Party (SUP); as well as Gwendolyn Dabah Wilson, a recent graduate of the University. Ms. Wilson died, while Edison survived, severely wounded.

He was the second ranking defector of CDC, and member of the 54th Legislature. The first ranking defector, Senator Geraldine Doe Sherif died at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana, on Saturday, February 10, 2019, four days after her 52nd birthday.

In 2011, the Montserrado County lawmaker was elected as Representative, and in 2017, he was reelected on the ticket of the Congress of Democratic Change (CDC) of the Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC), but defected early in 2018. His wife, Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, was in 2018 named the political leader of the opposition Liberty Party, succeeding three-time presidential contender, Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine.

Rep. Lawrence was one of the proponents of the 2013 Nationwide Oil Consultation tour, which was intended for the passage of the New Petroleum (Oil & Gas) Laws.

Prior to his election at the House of Representatives, Rep. Lawrence served as Vice President for Operations (VPO) at the Liberia Football Association (LFA), 2006 - 2010, and he also served as Education Officer in the Catholic Secretariat.

Last Communication

The former Montserrado County District #15 Representative tendered his last communication, on March 19, imploring the Speaker and members of the House of Representatives to summon Justice Minister Cllr. Frank Musa Dean, Police Inspector General Patrick Sudue and the Chairman of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) to appear before the full Plenary on Tuesday, March 26, 2019.

The three officials from the executive branch are expected to appear in Today's (Tuesday, March 26, 2019) session to provide detailed report over the mysterious deaths of Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Deputy Director for Micro-finance Department, Matthew Innis; former LPRC boss, Harry Greaves and Cllr. Michael Allison.

The House's Plenary reached the decision on Thursday, March 21, 2019 during the 21st day sitting of the 2nd Session of the House of Representatives of the 54th Legislature following pressure from the late Rep. Lawrence, after his communication was snubbed for more than three weeks before it was finally placed on the House's agenda.

Independent Legislative Caucus

Rep. Lawrence was also one of the aggrieved members of the House of Representatives and a founding member of the Independent Legislative Caucus.

The Independent Legislative Caucus aims at restoring independence, sanity and credibility to the House of Representatives as well as to resurrect the Legislature from its current state of a partisanship Legislature.

Lawrence and other members of the Independent Legislative Caucus, including Reps. Jay Nagbe Sloh (Sinoe County Dist. #2) and Yekeh Kolubah (Montserrado Dist. #10, Independent), had criticized Speaker Chambers, citing 'poor leadership' arguing that the Speaker has made the House of Representatives to appear "weak and inconsistent."

The late Montserrado County District #15 Representative Adolph Lawrence was twice thrown out of Tuesday's session on the orders of House Speaker Bhofal Chambers over what the Speaker called his "continuous disturbances to stall the business of the session. Sinoe County District #2 Representative J. Nagbe Sloh and Montserrado County District #10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah, in defense of Rep. Lawrence, argued that the Speaker and his majority bloc are "ostracizing and denying" them their benefits and participation in debates during sessions.

The trio (Reps. Kolubah, Sloh, and Lawrence) had also revealed that they had in their possession documents showing that some lawmakers, with the consent of the Speaker, have over the months received, and personally disposed of a "huge quantity" of duty-free gasoline that was intended for the entire body. Rules, Order & Administration Chairperson, Rep. Mariamu Fofana was also linked.

Following their revelation, a letter from Rep. Munah E. Pelham-Youngblood was read in session, during the House's 3rd day sitting, on Thursday, January 17. In her letter, she called for the three representatives to be investigated for attempting to tarnish the good name of the Speaker. They were subject to a probe by the House's Rules and Procedures, that was to report to the body within a week.

Bong County District #3 Representative J. Marvin Cole, then acting as chairman of the Rules, Order, and Administration Committee, was expected to investigate the trio (Reps. Kolubah, Sloh, and Lawrence). According to reports, the investigation was never held.

In another episode, at the House of Representatives, earlier this month, Rep. Lawrence referred to the Plenary's adopted agenda as "trash", prompting Speaker Chambers to order the Sergeant-at-arms, Brigadier General Martin Johnson, to escort the Montserrado County lawmaker out of session for what he (Speaker Chambers) termed as his disturbance and unruly behavior.

SUPIST and Catholic

The Rep. Adolph Lawrence stood as a 'Veteran SUPIST' during the tribute paid by the Student Unification Party (SUP) at the special requiem for the late Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif held at the Rotunda of the Capitol Building on Thursday, March 14.

He nodded, smiled and responded to 'Amandla' as other SUPISTs, when SUP in its tribute , upbraided the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) for mourning fallen Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif after calling her a 'betrayer.'

In its tribute at the crowded service, SUP Chairman Carlos T. Edison said the fallen Senator was bashed and chased out of the CDC and labeled as "traitor and betrayer' in 2011; and then the CDC, was again tactically planning to obviously unseat her in the pending 2020 Senatorial Elections the SUP Chairman noted.

Also, like the fallen Senator Doe-Sherif, the late Rep. Lawrence was a Catholic.

Meanwhile, President George Manneh Weah, on his facebook page, expressed his condolences to the Lawrence and Karnga families, as well as the 54th Legislature, for the death of Rep. Adolph Lawrence.

This morning, Our Nation woke up to the shocking and sad news of the death of Honorable Adolph Lawrence, Representative of District 15, Montserrado County. According to reports, Honorable Lawrence's death came as a result of a tragic motor accident resulting into two fatalities--Hon. Lawrence and another lady; with few others being seriously injured. The incident took place early this morning while on his way home from celebrating his birthday.

"On behalf of the Government and in my own name, I wish to extend heartfelt sympathy to the Lawrence and Karnga families, the National legislature, most especially the House of Representatives, and the entire [Montserrado] District 15 constituency. Profound condolences also go out to the family of the lady who lost her life; and prayers for those that were seriously injured as a result of this catastrophe," the President's message read.

He urged Liberians to keep the bereaved families and all those affected by the tragedy in prayers as they go through this moment of deep sorrow.

"The last few months have been very tough and challenging for our Nation," the President continued, "with the passing of two members of our National legislature and a member from our Executive branch of Government. As we mourn these losses, Let us use these testing times as a tool for solidarity, national healing and seek God's protection and guidance upon our leaders and Nation; as we work collectively towards Nation building and a prosperous Liberia for all.

"Honorable Lawrence, until we meet again, may your soul, and the souls of all faithful departed rest in perfect peace and may light perpetual shine on you. Your service to our Nation, most especially the people of District 15, will forever be cherished."

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