Monrovia – The Supreme Court on Monday, September 12, 2017 dismissed the appeal filed by Nimba County District #9 Representative Candidate Dr. Michael Slewion against the National Elections Commission’s (NEC) decision to reject him.
Report by Kennedy L. Yangian [email protected]
The Supreme Court, the final arbiter of justice opinion, has now kicked out the Nimba County District #9 Representative candidate out of the 2017 elections which is scheduled for October 10, 2017 barely 28 days away.
Dr. Slewion was nominated on the ticket of the opposition Liberty Party (LP) to contest the Nimba Court District#9 Representative seat but his nomination was asked to be revoked when a concerned citizen of the Nimba District, Dahn Sherman accused Sleiwon of violating Section 5.1 of the Code of Conduct for public officials due to his current position as Director General of the Commission on Higher Education.
Section 5.1 of the Code of Conduct for Public Officials states that those appointed by the President who is desirous of contesting the elections should resign his or her post at least three years to election.
NEC hearing officer first ruled and held Dr. Slewion liable for violating the Code of Conduct for public officials after a hearing into the complaint of Sherman but he later filed an appeal to the Board of Commissioners of NEC against the hearing officer ruling.
The Board of Commissioners of NEC after another hearing with Dr. Slewion, again found him liable for violating the Code of Conduct for public officials, but Slewion objected to the NEC Board of Commissioners’ ruling and filed an appeal to the Supreme Court for its intervention.
During argument into the appeal of Slewion last week, his lawyer told the Supreme Court that he not a presidential appointee as alleged, giving the NEC no basis to deny his candidacy.
“Dr Slewion is not a presidential appointee for his current position as Director General of the Commission on Higher Commission he was vetted and was selected by the board of commissioners of the National Commission on Higher Education” said Cllr. Onesimus Barwon.
Cllr. Barwon told the high court judges that his client could not file a bill of exception against the NEC board of commissioners within the 48hrs as required by the new elections law because at the time the CDC was launching its campaign and Monrovia main streets were inaccessible to get in and out to other parts due to the crowd.
Contrary to his argument Cllr. Joseph Gibson counter argued and called on the high court not to hear the matter because the Supreme Court does not have the jurisdiction to hear the case as the petitioner failed to filed its bill of exception to the NEC board of commissioner ruling as required by the elections laws.
“Your honors this court lacks jurisdiction over this case because the petitioner did not file his bill of exception to the board of commissioner ruling with 48 hrs as required by the elections laws” said who also revealed to the court that Dr. Slewion was a presidential appointee as his names is being reflected on the Executive Mansion website among names of presidential appointees.
But in the Supreme Court opinion Monday read by Associate Justice Sie –A- Nyene Youh stated the excuse Slewion’s lawyer gave regarding the CDC official campaign launch on August 19, 2017 as the counsel’s failure to timely file its bill of exception is legally inexcusable, hence unacceptable.
“Accordingly, the motion to dismiss the appeal is granted and the appeal taken from the final ruling of NEC by the respondent/appellant is ordered dismissed” said Associate Justice Youh.
Dr. Michael Slewion is the second public officials wishing to contest the upcoming legislative elections to be rejected by NEC based on the code of conduct and appeal to the Supreme Court dismissed.
The first public official to be rejected by NEC based on the code of conduct for public officials was Assistant Postal Affairs Minister Abu Kamara.