NEC Hearing Officer Grants UP-LP Subpoena Request


Monrovia – The National Elections Commission’s (NEC) Hearing Officer, Cllr. Muana Ville, has granted with amendment, request to subpoena NEC to provide several electoral documents.

Report by Henry Karmo – [email protected]  

The legal request was made by lawyers representing the interest of Liberty Party (LP) of Cllr. Charles Brumskine and Unity Party (UP) of Vice President Joseph Boakai.

Cllr. Ville in his ruling said, with exception to these documents—report on police investigation of a polling staff in Nimba County allegedly caught in electoral fraud and report on the investigation involving a staff from the office of the President who was alleged to have being in possession of voting cards and printing materials and all polling records—as requested by the UP and LP legal team, other records requested have been granted.

On Tuesday, November 7, lawyers representing the legal interest of UP and LP, in the case Charles Brumskine and Harrison Karnwea Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates of the Liberty Party versus the National Elections Commission (NEC), requested to subpoena the Hearing Officer of NEC to provide several documents in the on-going case.

Cllr. Ville said cases involving police investigation are criminal cases so neither he nor NEC has the authority to request Criminal Court “C” to provide such record to him because of that he could not grant such request.

“All extra documents, including addendum to final registration roll are all locked up at various magisterial centers.”

“On count two if the movants make specific allegation of any polling place the NEC is mandated to produce document relating to that polling place as alleged.”

On count three, which requires making available Presiding Officers’ worksheets, Hearing Officer Ville stated that the officers’ worksheets were rough copies of the works done and by the end of day, their records were transmitted on the records sheets which were received by the Magisterial Offices.

However, he added that if the movants have a specific case, NEC will provide that record.

“Wherefore in view of the foregoing, it is the ruling of the Hearing Officer that the National Elections Commission will comply in our ruling just read and it is hereby so ordered,” he stressed.

On behalf of the UP-LP legal team, Cllr. Varney Sherman, took exception to Hearing Officer Ville’s ruling and announced that he and his team will file a bill of exception to the Board of Commissioners of NEC.

The Board of Commissioners on Monday granted UP the opportunity to intervene after an appeal filed by the party to intervene in LP complaint was heard.

The Hearing Officer had earlier thrashed this motion for intervention filed by the ruling party.

Lawyers representing the Elections Commission have requested up to midday Thursday to file a respond to Hearing Officer Ville’s ruling.