Pilipino Pathologist, Savalano Ratualo, has raised concern over the visibility of two injection marks on the body of fallen Montserrado County District #9 Representative, Moses Saar Tandapolie.
The injection marks, according to the pathologist, could have been traces of medication given the deceased lawmaker, prior to his death.
In his post autopsy comments, the pathologist said it was difficult to know what medication was given, especially in the absence of a death certificate. According to him, the death certificate of the fallen lawmaker was not provided him.
In an effort to ascertain the facts regarding the two injection marks and other issues, he said, “specimen of vital organs” taken as a result of the autopsy has been sent to the Philippine for an in-depth analysis.
He told reporters that he is seeking advice from his country (Philippine) on the specimen. Preliminary findings of the autopsy conducted on the remains of fallen Montserrado County lawmaker said he died of natural occurrence.
Solicitor General M. Wilkins Wright, who released the report last Thursday in Monrovia, said the lawmaker died of heart failure. Quoting the report, the Solicitor General said, this was caused by heart disease.
The late Tandapolie, who was re-elected as Representative of the District on the ticket of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change(CDC) during the 2011 Presidential and Legislative Elections, died during the early morning hour of Friday, March 16,2012 in Gbarnga, Bong County while attending a two-day retreat by the House of Representatives.
The preliminary autopsy report followed several conspiracy theories surrounding his death. The final autopsy report is due soon. It is believed that the final autopsy report will determine the cause of the death, amid several “conspiracy theories” regarding the death of the fallen CDC’s lawmaker.
The CDC’s lawmaker death has since sent shock waves across the country, especially amongst his constituents, with some people linking the traditional leaders to it. His death followed a heated argument between him and the traditional leaders over allegation of bribery.
It can be recalled that Tandapoli accused the National Traditional Council of Liberia (NTCL) of bribing the Senate, when the NTCL through its Chairman, Chief Zanzan Karwor, presented 15 kola nuts to the Senate before the confirmation hearings of Internal Affairs Minister, Mr. Blamo Nelson at the Capitol Building in Monrovia.
The late Montserrado County lawmaker claimed that the act of offering kola nuts to the Senators as done by the council was in another form of bribery. He pointed out that ritual performed by the traditional leaders could in some ways undermine the independence of the Senate to confirm Mr. Nelson, noting, this should have come after the confirmation and not before it.
He averred that the kola nuts were not only given to the Senators, but they were given with instruction from Chief Karwor indicating: “We, the traditional people, have endorsed Blamo as our Minister, and we want him confirmed.”
But in response, Chief Karwor described the assertions by the lawmaker as pre-mature and anti-cultural. He argued that the action of the traditional council was in no way a form of bribery, but a form of support to the minister-designate (now confirmed Minister).
Against this backdrop, he called on Rep. Tandapoli to retract his statement within four days or else, he (Tandapoli) would face traditional action. But he (Chief Karwor) did not state what traditional action.
However, when he appeared on the Truth FM Bread Fast Show on February 8, 2012, Rep. Tandapolie vowed not to heed to the demands of NTCL to what he called “unnecessary” apology for linking the council to bribery. He contended that he was wrong and that he owed no apology to the traditional council.
Hear Rep. Tandapolie: “I said the truth and that needs no apology. What is that, the kola nuts were to be presented after the confirmation and not before, because this could in some ways undermine the entire confirmation process.”
“Traditionally, kola nuts are even more valuable than money, so giving it to a group performing a specific duty is a form of bribery. This is what I have said and I maintained.” He among other added.
The controversy was not amicably resolved between the lawmaker and the traditional leaders until his death. The deceased was a stalwart of the CDC and the House’s Committee Chair on Claims and Petitions.
His death brings to two the death of re-elected lawmakers at the 53rd Legislature. It can be recalled that Sinoe County District # 3 Representative re-elect, Nelson Wah Barh, was pronounced dead few days after he was declared winner in the 2011 Presidential and Legislative Elections.
The remains of the recent fallen lawmaker (Tandapolie) has since been deposited at the St. Moses Funeral Parlour on Somalia Drive, Gardnersville, outside Monrovia awaiting funeral and other arrangements. Members of the 53rd Legislature, the CDC, constituents, friends, relatives and loved ones of the dead are currently mourning the death of the fallen patriotic statesman.
Meanwhile, House Speaker J. Alex Tyler has described the Montserrado County lawmaker as a visionary and a truthful person that was always willing to work in the interest of the country.
For his part, the acting political leader of the CDC, Ambassador George M. Weah, described the death of the CDC’s lawmaker as a major blow to the constituents of district # 11 and Liberia at large. He termed as regrettable and unforgettable the death of Rep. Tandanpolie. It remains to be seen how the autopsy report will settle the “conspiracy theories” regarding the death of Rep. Tandapolie.