A member of the House of Representatives, J. Gabriel Nyenkan, has threatened to impeach President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, “for criminal facilitation and her role in the alleged changes in the Public Procurement Concessions Commission (PPCC) Law to favor the London-based company,Sable Mining to own the Wologizi Mountain, if the Global Witness Report were treated with credence.”Nyenkan, who represents Montserrado County District #11, said the President could also face impeachment for taking full responsibility for the bankruptcy of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL).An impeachment is an expressed power of the Legislature that allows formal charges to be brought against an elected officer of the Executive for crimes alleged to have been committed in office.Typically, the House of Representatives has the sole power of impeachments, while the Senate has the sole power to try all impeachments.On Thursday, June 23, in the House’s first floor conference room, Rep. Nyenkan quoted the Global Witness Report, ‘The Deceivers’, as saying that PPCC Chairman Prof. Willie Belleh admitted that the President was involved.“We finally got the Revised PPCC Act completed,” Belleh allegedly wrote to Sherman on August 6, 2010, according to Global Witness. “The Minister of Justice and I met with the President last night and reviewed areas of concern to her. She approved. The document has been forwarded to the National Legislature. It is expected to be fast-tracked.”Rep. Nyenkan, a former executive member of the ruling Unity Party (UP) who crossed over to the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), is also the House Chairman for Lands, Mines Natural Resources and Environment. According to him, those who don’t believe the Report is credible should urge the Executive to stop the discriminatory indictment of some top members of the Legislature, arguing that the President should also be indicted. He said the President’s alleged role, including the approval of the amended PPCC Law, which originated from her, is tantamount to her being indicted.“Before an Act becomes a Law, there are five signatures: the House Chief Clerk, the Speaker, the Secretary of the Senate and the Vice President, and then the President,” Rep. Nyenkan said.“If we are serious about fighting corruption, the President and the Vice President should also be indicted… maybe also include the 103 lawmakers that put their hands up to vote for the changes,” Rep. Nyenkan said.“Let’s stop the political witch hunt,” he cautioned, adding, “Rep. Edwin M. Snowe, the then Chairman on Rules, Order and Administration and who is on the vanguard for the Speaker to recuse himself should be also indicted because he was Chairman on the Joint Committee that advised Plenary to pass the law.”Meanwhile, Rep. Nyenkan has also accused the Executive of instilling confusion in the government to perhaps upset the 2017 elections so that an interim government would be established, in an apparent bid to avoid members of the Executive being dragged to court for corruption, as was done to former Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia the late Gyude Bryant and other officials from his administration. “There is a political theory that they want us to have an Interim Government in fear of their necks,” Rep. Nyenkan said.This is the third opposition lawmaker who has threatened the President with impeachment.Montserrado and Maryland counties’ Representatives, Acarous M. Gray and Dr. Bhofal Chambers had also threatened to bring impeachment proceedings against President Sirleaf.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
“The government’s allegations of wrongdoing have been categorically denied by the indicted partners, and the firm intends to join with them in vigorously defending against the charges,” it said. Bershad’s attorney, Andrew Lawler, said his client “categorically denies the allegations of the indictment.” Lawler also asserted that the use of the racketeering law was unjustified. A telephone message seeking comment from Selzer was not immediately returned. There was no answer at a telephone listing for Lazar. The indictment alleged that “unlike other class members in the lawsuits, the paid plaintiffs purchased the securities at issue anticipating that the securities would decline in value, in order to position themselves to be named plaintiffs in securities fraud class actions and to obtain kickbacks” from the firm and others. On Tuesday, the firm announced that Bershad and Schulman were taking leaves of absence. Selzer was charged with acting as an intermediary in the payment of the kickbacks to Lazar and others. The indictment charged the firm, Bershad and Schulman with conspiring to obstruct justice, make false declarations under oath in court proceedings, commit mail and wire fraud, and to make illegal payments to a witness. Those three defendants were also charged with mail fraud counts, conspiring to commit money laundering, and criminal forfeiture. Bershad and Schulman were charged with racketeering conspiracy. Lazar was charged with conspiracy, racketeering conspiracy, mail fraud, money laundering, false tax returns and obstruction of justice. Selzer was charged with the money laundering conspiracy and criminal forfeiture.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! One of the nation’s highest profile class-action law firms and two of its top partners were indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday on charges alleging a scheme that paid more than $11 million in illegal kickbacks to get people to serve as plaintiffs in lawsuits. In a 102-page indictment, New York-based Milberg Weiss, Bershad & Schulman, and attorneys David J. Bershad and Steven G. Schulman were charged with secretly paying about $2.4 million to Seymour M. Lazar, a Palm Springs lawyer involved in real estate, and others to act as class-action plaintiffs since 1981 and concealing the payments. Lazar was also named in the indictment along with Paul L. Selzer, another lawyer from Palm Springs. The indictment’s 20 counts included conspiracy, racketeering conspiracy, money laundering, mail fraud, filing false tax returns, obstruction of justice and criminal forfeiture. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals“Because of the secret kickback arrangements,” U.S. Attorney Debra Wong Yang said, “Milberg Weiss had a stable of individuals ready and willing to serve as plaintiffs. This benefited Milberg Weiss by in many cases allowing the firm to be among the first to file a lawsuit on behalf of shareholders.” The government seeks to recover at least $216 million in “tainted attorneys’ fees.” The charges follow years of investigation into the way Milberg Weiss conducts shareholder lawsuits against major corporations, which the indictment alleges generated hundreds of millions of dollars in attorneys’ fees. The firm was a lead plaintiff in more than half the federal shareholder suits settled from 1997 to 2004. The law firm defended itself in a statement posted on its Web site.