MONROVIA: The President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate Albert Tugbeh Chie has vehemently denied all allegations levied against him by the United States Government through the Department of State and has opted American legal system to pursue the course of justice that would exonerate him from allegations labeled against him and some senior government officials in the wake of the designation placed on them, denying the allegations contained in his designation citation as not only false and misleading, but also untrue and unfounded.
In a statement issued at the Capitol Building on Monday, Senate Pro Temp Albert Tugbeh Chie made reference to the sanction announced early this week by the United States Department of States which designated 30 prominent former and current government officials from developing countries for US Visa Restriction under the United States Department of State’s regulation 7031(c)
The Grand Kru County Senator said the sanction designation including visa restriction imposed on him along with two of his colleagues, including Margibi County Senator James Emmanuel Nuquay and Finance and Development Minister Samuel D. Tweah is to his understanding accusing him of soliciting from bribe from public and private sources using some legislators to influence them in the legislative processes.
He refuted the allegations that he solicited money or other instruments of value from the public and private sectors and offered them to senators and/or representatives to pass laws and other legislative instruments, terming the allegations as “unfounded”.
“We categorically deny and refute these allegations. They are false and misleading, untrue and unfounded,” he said, noting “Since my stewardship as administrative head of the Senate, never have I taken a dime from any source and offered it to any of my colleagues in any of the legislative Chambers or to any of our staff to manipulate legislative processes.”
The Senate Protemp said in his statement, “clearly, Washington has been misinformed and misguided by detractors,” and averred further that in pursuance of justice and to remove our names and those and those of our targeted family members from visa restriction list of the US States Department, we will take advantage of the legal process available through the US legal system.”
Directing his statement to those he called ‘the highest decision makers in the Government of the United States, Senator Chie said “If your Embassy in Liberia or the Desk Officers and other low ranking officers in the State Department have not told you, let me inform you of just two things.”
He mentioned one of the two things by recounting that the Liberian Senate under his watch has instituted many procedural reforms which have improved legislative processes such as the elimination of yea and nay votes for crucial legislative instruments and the abolishment of Executive or Closed Door Sessions to erase any doubt of secrecy.
Besides, Senator Chie indicated, “Everyone, including the US Embassy and other low key officials in the State Department know that the process for elections for the President Protempore of the Senate for the 55th Legislature has started.”
He therefore said that the timing of the action taken against the two senators is of concern, noting that “We always hear that the United States believes in a free and fair electoral process. So we are taken aback by the visa restriction just a few weeks from the Senate leadership elections.”
“Distinguished colleagues: Let me make you to know, (and I know you are already aware) that the allegations that Chie, Tweah and Nuquay have solicited bribes from public and private sources and given them to you to influence the legislative process impugn on our integrity,” he lamented.
He implored his colleagues to take the appropriate action individually, severally and collectively as their wisdom dictates, irrespective of which angle they may consider, adding that the attack is on all Legislators, whether from ruling position, from opposition or from no position.