Liberia: Supreme Court Takes ‘Power’ from VP Taylor in NPP

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MONROVIA – The Supreme Court of Liberia on Tuesday, August 4, 2022, ruled that the decision of the former ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP) Executive Committee to revise the Party’s Constitution and execute all policies and decisions under the authority of Mrs. Jewel Howard Taylor as Standard Bearer is illegal and ordered that said authority be taken from her.


Report by Victoria G. Wesseh, Contributing Writer


The Supreme Court in its judgment mandated that the current Party Chairman Mr. James Biney and corps of officers are the proper and lawful authorities within the NPP to convene meetings of the party, issue communications and conduct biennial conventions.

The High Court said had if it not been for the intra-wrangling within the NPP that led to the filing of a petition for declaratory judgment on August 12, 2020, by the NPP Chairman, Mr. Biney in the Civil Law Court and the subsequent appeal and complaints that ensued, the party National Chairman and his corps of officers would have convened and conducted the biennial convention.

“Therefore, it was no fault of the leadership for the expiration of their tenures during the pendency of all these suits and counter suits,” the High Court said.

The Supreme Court, meanwhile, instructed the Civil Law Court to resume jurisdiction over the Jewel Howard and others versus NPP case emanating from the petition for declaratory judgment and enforce its final ruling of September 18, 2020, nothing that the said ruling is conclusive and binding on all NPP members.

It can be recalled on August 12, 2020, the NPP through its National Chairman, Mr. James Biney and corps of officers filed a petition for declarative judgment in the Sixth Judicial Circuit Civil Law Court, before Judge J. Kennedy Peabody against Vice President Jewel H. Taylor and all those acting under her authority and control.

Chairman Biney requested the court to declare him and his corps of officers legitimate leaders of the NPP; that the Vice President and others have no power to convene meetings, established sub-committees, issue communications in the name of the party or revise the party’s constitution.

He further stated that the 2004 NPP constitution and its amendments adopted in 2016 in Tubmanburg City, Bomi County are the only valid constitutional instruments of the party; and that the NPP be allowed to hold its Biennial Convention on the 2nd Saturday, December 2022.

Upon receipts of the trial court’s precepts, Mrs. Jewel Howard Taylor and others filed returns wherein they alleged that the Vice President is the Standard Bearer of the NPP, by virtue of which is responsible to execute all policies and decisions of the National Executive Committee of the party.

Mrs. Taylor noted that the National Executive Committee of the party under her leadership was within the pale of the law to review the NPP Constitution; that all the tenure positions of the petitioners had expired; and that declaratory judgment is inapplicable to the petitioners.

On September 18, 2020, the Resident Judge President over the Sixth Judicial Circuit Civil Law Court, J. Kennedy Peabody upon listening to oral arguments, enter final ruling in favor of Mr. James Biney and corps of officers.

Judge Peabody in his ruling stated that Mr. James Biney and corps of officers are the proper and lawful authorities within the NPP to convene meetings of the party, issue out communications and to conduct Biennial Convention.

Judge Peabody further said the decision of the NPP Executive Committee to review the Party’s Constitution under the authority of Mrs. Jewel Howard Taylor as Standard Bearer is illegal.

The Vice President noted exceptions to the final ruling of the Civil Law Court and announced an appeal before the Supreme Court.

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