Monrovia – The Chairman of the National Elections Commission, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, feels threatened by series of SMS messages sent to him by Bomi County Senator Sando Johnson over the Commission’s decision to allow Representative Edwin Snowe of Montserrado County District #6 contest a legislative seat in Bomi County.
“As chairman of this intuition, I have received threats, including SMS, from a member of the Liberian senate, Sando Johnson of Bomi County. I would like to stress these threats are unacceptable."
"The commission sees this is interference in independence of the Commission’s mandates as provided for by law. This will not be tolerated in the election campaign. The NEC will make a formal complaint to the Senate directly” – NEC Chairman, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya
Chairman Korkoyah at a news conference Wednesday said, he will write a formal complaint to the leadership of the Senate because, according to him, the Commissioners of the Elections Commission take the threat seriously.
“As chairman of this intuition, I have received threats, including SMS, from a member of the Liberian Senate, Sando Johnson of Bomi County."
"I would like to stress these threats are unacceptable."
"The commission sees this is interference in independence of the Commission’s mandates as provided for by law. This will not be tolerated in the election campaign."
"The NEC will make a formal complaint to the Senate directly,” Cllr. Korkoya told journalists
Sen. Johnson told FrontPageAfrica in a follow-up interview that he did send the Elections chief text messages expressing his disenchantment, but does not see his choice of words as threat.
He forwarded the messages to FrontPageAfrica. The SMS read as follows:
“Korkoyah, since you have drawn yourself into the body politics of my county and want to decide who becomes a representative in Bomi, instead of doing your work as a neutral person, trust me I will deal with you politically and legally; no more respect for you. Every day during these elections period you will hear [me] loud and clear on the media.”
“Kokoyah, you have forgotten when you said, whoever possesses a voter registration card will be eligible to vote and knowing full well that by obtaining a voter card doesn’t qualify one to vote unless that person name and picture is recorded on the official registry list of NEC. That was a shame on you to have made that terrible error. Instead of thinking on this major error you are talking about complaining.
“I have challenged your ruling to the highest court, these are legal challenges and the political will be to expose you for making a statement that doesn't represent you as a lawyer, as you profess to be, you choose to inform the public that I have threatened you."
"Again, it is a big shame on your part Korkoyah.”
Senator Johnson further told FrontPageAfrica he stands by his comments and promised to respond to an inquiry from his colleagues in the senate.
“I stand by my statement that I will deal with you legally and politically, if this is what you consider threat, then it is sad.
"Thanks for your press conference today and the complaint you have filed against me at the level of the senate, I will equally respond appropriately.”
Recently the board of Commissioners of the NEC ruled in favor of Rep. Snowe against complaints filed by Rep. Samuel Garyah Karmo and Senator Sando Johnson – both of Bomi County.
The two lawmakers grounded their argument on Rep. Snowe decision to cross carpet to Bomi while he remains a sitting lawmaker of District 6 in Montserrado County is a violation of electoral laws, especially so when he has not domiciled in the county for a year or more as required by Section 5.7 of the NEC Regulations and Guidelines Relating to Political Parties and Independent Candidates.
Rep. Snowe is making an unprecedented bid to leave his current district of representation in Montserrado County for a test of the law in the district Rep. Karmo has represented for the past six years.
Last week, in separate rulings, the NEC cleared Representatives Snowe in the cases involving him and the two lawmakers and denied Siebo the chance to contest in the pending elections. In part of the ruling, the commission named Appellant Amos Siebo violation of Article 79 (c) (iii) of the Liberian constitution of 1986 leaves the commission with no other option but to reject and deny his application to contest for District #1 Montserrado County in the pending 2017 General Elections.
“Therefore and in view of the foregoing, the Board of Commissioners confirms the July 2017 ruling of the nomination committee rejecting the Application of the Appellant Amos S. Siebo to contest as a Representative candidate in District #1 Montserrado County.”
Unlike Siebo Representative Snowe had the better of two separate cases filed against him by two lawmakers including Representative Samuel Gayah Karmo and Senator Sando Johnson both of whom are from Bomi County?
In their finding, the board of Commissioners took administrative notice of the records that the provisional listing on which the name of Co-respondent Edwin Snowe appeared was published by the NEC in several newspapers on July 24, 2017.
As per the mandatory requirements of Article 13.1 and 13.3 cited herein, the right to file an objection against Co-respondent Snowe would have accrued to a challenge beginning on July 24, 2017.
“We note that, however, that Senator Johnson filed the instant objection against Co-respondent Snowe on July 19, 2017. With the right to file a challenge to a name on the said provisional listing not having accrued on July 19, the filling of objection by the senator was premature, and the Hearing Officer should have dismissed the objection for lack of jurisdiction,” the ruling read by Commissioner Davidetta Browne Lansanah stated.