Monrovia – The Supreme Court has heard arguments on the Liberty Party (LP) and the Unity Party’s (UP) Bill of Exception, which calls for the reversion of the final ruling of the National Elections Commission (NEC) on the October 10th 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections.
Report by Bettie Johnson-Mbayo, [email protected]
Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine and Oswald Tweh of the Liberty Party told the Court that NEC made reversible errors by not disclosing the Final Registration Roll (FRR) to the polling places as the law provides.
Cllr. Tweh further said the elections body had intent of defrauding and holding illegal elections, requesting that the Oct 10th, 2017 elections be annulled and the FRR be cleaned-up.
The LP standard bearer and lead counselor, Mr. Brumskine, argued that the entire election was corrupt and the results should not stand.
“NEC couldn’t deny any of our claims and evidence because if they knew they weren’t true, they were going to bring in polling officers from those places we named.”
“The corruption of the election is sickening and it makes you want to cry. The NEC Commissioners are either croaky, incompetent, or they don’t know the law,” the learned Cllr. argued.
In their arguments, the UP lawyers, Cllrs Lavela Supuwood and Benedict Sannoh, said though there was no complaint earlier filed against the NEC on failure of making public the FRR, it does not mean NEC followed the legal process.
Cllr. Sannoh said NEC disregarded Section 22.1 22.2 and 22.3 of the Election Laws but rather regarded 22.4 something he said was illegally done.
“Seven [political] parties were given individual flash drives containing the FRR. But we found out that many names were duplicated with the same numbers.”
“We want the FRR to be sanitized and every voter should have an ID number,” Cllr. Sannoh insisted.
Cllrs Musa Dean and Alexander Zoe, the lawyers representing the National Elections Commission, agreed that there were many challenges, but had taken steps to correct those challenges so that they won’t be experienced in the runoff. They argued that those challenges are not guaranteed for a rerun of the entire elections.
Cllr. Dean further argued that everyone, who voted was valid, including the chairman of the ruling Unity Party, Mr. Wilmot Paye, whose name wasn’t on the FRR, yet voted.
He confirmed that the numbers attached to voters were similar but with distinction on the age, sex and names.
He further stated that the entire case is politically motivated and is not in the interest of the country.
Responding in connection the admittance of challenges at NEC by its lawyers, Associate Justice Jamesetta Howard-Wolokolie termed the investigation following the issuance of prohibition as formal.
The Associate Justice added: “We need to have some training for NEC or else we will continue to have the same thing over and over here.”
Meanwhile, Chief Justice Francis Korkpor has placed final ruling into the case to next Thursday, December 7, 2017, adding that the Court has seven days to hear and rule on election cases. However, it is totally possible that the Court may also decide to hand down its opinion before next Thursday as it sees fit.