Liberian House of Representatives Speaker Under Siege
September 10, 2001
The speaker of the Liberian House of Representatives, Nyudueh Morkonmana, of Grand Kru County, is currently embroiled in a controversy of his political life. According to several news reports, disputed by the speaker himself, Hon. Morkonmana has been suspended pending resolution of an investigation by a select committee of the House of Representatives. The speaker informed this magazine yesterday that he is not suspended and that he is going to work today (Sept 10, 2001).
The present row involving the speaker stems from charges made by former House Majority Leader Abel Massaley of Grand Cape Mount County that Morkonmana had misused public funds, and counter charges by Morkonmana, accusing Massaley of corruption.
According to press accounts, Massaley said the speaker "had lied about his academic background." Since news of this issue at the Liberian National Legislature including falsification of academic background broke, some news organizations had reported various accounts of the incident. This magazine, however, has decided to ascertain relevant facts and information by launching its own investigation about the inflation of academic credentials.
In this regard, one of our New York associates will call on Columbia University soon to find out if in fact Speaker Morkonmana did graduate from that institution. Also, our Southern Bureau liaison has been asked to contact Stillman College in Alabama where Mr. Morkonmana did undergraduate work.
While The Perspective, as a matter of policy, is keenly interested in output or performance than credentials, the charge of lying about academic background, if made in an official proceeding, could have some serious legal implications for Mr. Morkonmana.
But we would like to refrain from reaching any conclusion one way or the other until we have completed a thorough investigation of this issue and other related matters. We believe there is more to this legislative joggling for power than meets the eye, and we will do in depth analysis.
Until then, let's watch as another episode of the Liberian drama unfolds.