The plenary is the highest decision making body of the Liberian Senate. The report was the result of finding into an official complaint filed before the leadership of the Liberian Senate by Lofa County Senator George Tengbeh against Senator Dillon.
In his official letter of complaint dated May 27, 2020 and addressed to the leadership of the Liberian Senate, a copy of which is in the possession of the Heritage, Senator Tengbeh accused Senator Dillon of willfully and intentionally distorting the image of the Liberian Senate, thus causing massive injuries to the characters of Senators and the institution.
Among other things, The Lofa County Senator called on the leadership of the Liberian Senateto conduct an investigation into the alleged act of the Montserrado County Senator through a due process in line with the Senate’s standing rules,adding that if he (Dillon) does not desist, will lead them-senators with no options, but to have him (Dillon) expelled.
Accordingly, following a week of thorough review and analysis of the complaint, the leadership reported to plenary on yesterday that it has set up a three-man adhoc committee headed by Grand Cape Mount County Senator, Varney N. Sherman. Other members of the committee include: River Gee County Senator, Matthew N. Jaye and Bong County Senator, Dr. Henrique Tokpa.
But Senator Dillon and several of his colleagues-senators in plenary claimed that there is no reason for a committee to be set up because there is no reliance of the complaint.
The senators, who supported Dillon during the plenary debate, included: former President Pro-Tempore Armah Zulu Jallah and Daniel Nathehn of Gbarpolu County, Sando D. Johnson of Bomi County, NyonbleeKarnga-Lawrence of Grand Bassa County, Conmany B. Wesseh of River Gee County, Stephen Zargo of Lofa County, Oscar Cooper of Margibi County, among others.
They averred that the proceedings were in violation of Rules 20 and 23 of the Standing Rule of the Liberian Senate, describing the ongoing saga as a “witch-hunt” against their man-Dillon.
Dillon, in particular, alleged that the “plot” against him is being spearheaded by President Pro Tempore Chie, who, according to him, threatened him from the first day of his inauguration on August 15 of 2019.
“The statement during my welcoming is being manifested. The speech by the Pro-Temp was hostile and unfriendly and that motive has continued here,” stated Dillon.
Senator Chie, when given the floor by the President of the Liberian Senate, Vice President Jewel Howard -Taylor, widely opened up on the Montserrado County Senator, stating that he has paid Dillon from his personal pocket even before he (Dillon) became a senator.
Senator Chie disclosed that he even provided US$3,000 to the Montserrado County Senator to enable him (Dillon) pay his poll watchers following the by-election that brought him to power at the Senate.
“Let me speak to these issues that someone is trying to get Dillon out of this place. I have been accused in the process. But that is not the issue. The issue is that Dillon has misbehaved, contrary to our rules,” the Grand Kru County Senator intimated.
“Dillon is my very good friend. He is my own junior brother. Let me tell you very clear in this open manner today that Dillon worked for me and I paid him from my pocket before he became a Senator. In fact, upon his election as senator, he texted me, requesting that I assist him with US$3,000 so that he would pay his poll watchers in the election, which I did. Copy of that text is still in my phone and I bet Dillon to deny this. I have given him over US$15,000 since he became a Senator. He’s here let him prove me wrong,” President Pro Tempore intoned.
Meanwhile, Dillon, who briefly spoke to the media, admitted to the assertions by the President Pro Tempore, but challenged him to disclose the nature of work that he did for him (Sen. Chie).
“I must admit, yes; he did help me with US$3,000 to pay my poll watchers. Is that a crime? I say no. I requested and he provided it to me, so it means that was not illegal,” Dillon stated.
Meanwhile, following the heated debate back in plenary, the Senators voted for the matter to be turned over to the specialized committee following a motion filed by Montserrado County Senator, Saah H. Joseph.
However, Senator Sherman resigned his post to chair the special committee on ground that the investigation can be independently carried out since he was accused of his colleagues of already having a side in the case.
Senator Sherman will now be replaced and the committee will report back to plenary within the course of one week.