Unity Party Wants Elections Commission Held in Contempt by Supreme Court
Monrovia – The ruling Unity Party (UP) has filed a Bill of Information praying the Supreme Court to hold the National Elections Commission (NEC) in contempt for failure to provide evidence to prove its fraud allegations.
Report by Bettie K. Johnson Mbayo, [email protected]
UP, in the Bill of Information, informed the Supreme Court that they filed a motion for subpoena Duces Tecum and subpoena Ad testificadum of which seven things were requested to substantiate their complaint but the NEC has refused.
The documents requested include the final registration for the October 10, 2017, copies of addendum to the voter’s rolls made at the polling centers nationwide in violation of the elections law, and copies of the worksheets of presiding officers’ nationwide.
Others include records of the investigation of the NEC presiding officer, who was arrested in district number 3, Nimba County with pre-marked ballots, records of the investigation conducted by the NEC of the staff, of the office of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was arrested with machine for the printing of voters registration cards and other election materials at his New Georgia home.
They also requested to subpoena the Inspector General of Police, Col. Gregory Coleman, regarding the mater of the arrest of the staff of the office of President Sirleaf, and subpoena the NEC Chairman to testify.
“The chief dispute hearing officer at the NEC [Cllr. Mouna Ville] denied all but two of the seven applications only the application for subpoena Duces Tecum for the Final Registration Roll (FRR) and the request for the records of the investigation of the NEC presiding officer, who was arrested in electoral district No.3, Nimba County with pre-marked ballots,”
“To which ruling, informants excepted and appealed to the NEC Board of Commissioners to review the ruling of the chief dispute hearing officer,” the UP averred.
The informant says on Nov 15, 2017, the NEC unveiled the FRR but failed to give the record of the investigation of the Presiding Officer at the electoral district no.3 Nimba County.
According to the UP the first respondent, Board of Commissioners, heard arguments on the appeal and reserved ruling and has failed to give assignment for its ruling.
“We need these pecies of evidence sought by the subpoena Duces Tecum and subpoena testificatificadum to substantiate and prove the allegations of our complaint and informants cannot continue the trial before the Chief Dispute Officer without the pecies of evidence.”
The ruling party stated that the delay by the NEC to give its ruling on informant appeal is unduly delaying the hearing of the case before the chief Dispute hearing officer, which is contrary to and against the orders of the Supreme Court that all elections disputes pending before the NEC should be expeditiously disposed of.
“The first respondent delaying rendering a ruling on its appeal and not responding to the records of district no.3 Nimba County is also intended to coerce us to rest our side of the case in the hearing before the chief dispute hearing officer without the benefit of these pecies sought by the subpoena.”
In count 12 of the UP bill of information, it states that the NEC Board of Commissioners in delaying disposition of the appeal pending before it, is in violation of the orders of the high court in the prohibition proceeding and is contemptuous of the Supreme Court adding that the Supreme Court should hold the first respondent in contempt.
“Wherefore in view of the foregoing a reasonable and specific time-period within which to render a ruling on informant’s appeal pending before the commission, hold first respondent in contempt of the honorable Supreme Court and punish first respondent for its contemptuous conduct,” The informant said.”
The Bill of Information was signed by Cllrs. Varney G. Sherman, J. Laveli Supuwood, Benedict Sannoh and Atty. Samuel Kofi Woods, who didn’t affix his signature though his name was written.
Meanwhile the clerk of the Supreme Court, Atty. Sam Mamulu, has issued a writ requesting the National Elections Commission and Charles Walker Brumskine and Harrison S. Karnwea of the Liberty Party as 2nd respondent to file their return on today, Nov 16, at 10 a.m. before the full bench of the high court to show cause why the informant (UP) information prayed for should not be granted.