MONROVIA, Montserrado – As Sen. Darius Dillon’s recent comments about the Senate’s passing of a recast budget have elicited public interest and rebuke from the Montserrado senator’s colleagues, eight senators have written the Senate to clarify that there is no formal complaint against the Dillon.
“We will like to state clearly and emphatically that as far as we are concerned, and to our certain knowledge of Rule 23 of the Senate Standing Rules, there is no complaint against Senator Abraham Darius Dillon before the Senate, least to mention any ongoing investigation, as is being speculated in the public,” they wrote.
The letter was signed by Armah Jallah of Gbarpolu and Bomi’s Sando Johnson, both of who represent the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change. Other signatories included Henrique Tokpah of Bong, Conmany Wesseh of River Gee, Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence of Grand Bassa, Oscar Cooper of Margibi, Stephen Zargo of Lofa, and Daniel Naatehn of Gbarpolu.
Sen. George Tengbeh of Lofa recently wrote a letter complaining that the firebrand Montserrado senator had insulted members of the Senate. Tengbeh described Dillon’s actions as disrespectful to his colleagues and that his action has brought the image of the Senate to public disrepute.
Tengbeh called on the Senate’s president pro temp, Albert Chie, and the leadership of the Liberian Senate to investigate Dillon and if it is established that Dillon violated the Senate’s rules, he should be made to face the full weight of his action.
As a result of Tengbeh’s letter, the Senate tasked its leadership with investigating Dillon. However, the eight senators are rejecting that there is any such complaint, based on the Senate’s rules. Among the Liberian public, there have been discussions that the Senate may expel Dillon. However, such expulsion would need to be signed by two-thirds of the membership of the Senate. Additionally, it does not appear that expelling Dillon would be effective as the constitution would not bar him from running in the 2020 senatorial elections.
The Montserrado senator has been vocal after a recast 2019/2020 budget was passed, eliciting concern from some senators who say the passing of the budget violated Senate rules. The budget was speedily passed and signed by 19 senators. It was not scrutinized by the Senate Committee on Ways, Finance, and Means as is usually done. The budget was being adjusted to accommodate for changing national priorities due to COVID-19.
During his press conference, Dillon called the Senate “rotten, useless, and meaningless.” This phrase has been the most criticized portion of the senator’s statements.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah