Liberia: Tyler Suffers Blow As Justice Nagbe Declines Issuance of Writ

6 January 2021
The NEWS (Monrovia)

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The Chambers Justice at the Supreme Court of Liberia Cllr. Joseph N. Nagbe has declined to issue an Alternative Writ of Prohibition prayed for by the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) senatorial candidate Alex Tyler to place a stay order on the certification of Bomi County Senator-elect Edwin Melvin Snowe.

The Writ of Prohibition is an order from a superior court to a lower court or tribunal directing the judge, and the parties to cease the litigation, because the lower court does not have proper jurisdiction to hear or determine the matters before it.

According to CDC's complaint, the December 8, 2020 Bomi County Senatorial election was marred with widespread electoral fraud and irregularities across over 30 polling places in the county.

It can be recalled that the CDC petitioned the Supreme Court to prohibit NEC from certifying Senator-elect Snowe who has already been declared winner of the senatorial election in the county until their complaint which has already been heard and adjudged by NEC Independent Hearing Officer is decided by the Board of Commissioner and possibly, the Supreme Court.

The CDC contended that NEC did not conduct a free, fair and transparent election because its polling agents and Snowe's agents who were in the tally room on December 9, 2020 consented that two of the ballot boxes had multiple problems and should be quarantined.

However, CDC said NEC went on to tally the results without the knowledge of the ruling party representatives.

CDC further alleged that several tally sheets bearing Grand Gedeh County instead of Bomi were discovered in the county.

The tally sheets marked Grand Gedeh with voting precinct CH Dewey District #1 Polling place 1 center code: 033071 and voting precinct Malema Town District #2 Polling place 1 center, code 0304 had on them results inserted for nine candidates, while there were only five candidates in Bomi County.

The ruling party wonders how possible would senatorial candidates from Grand Gedeh County become part of record of the count for senatorial candidates for Bomi County, adding that this constitutes gross irregularities and fraud.

CDC said its candidate in person of Tyler discovered that several Senate record of the count exceeded the total distribution of ballot papers per polling place.

The ruling Party cited voting precinct in Gbah Jeh-keh, District #1 polling place 4, center code: 03006 which used 163 ballot papers while the unused, spoiled and discarded ballot papers were 550 in total of 713 instead of the 550 reportedly supplied to the center by NEC.

The complaint further noted that there were similar irregularities in the reconciliation of the ballot paper reportedly supplied and the number of used, unused, spoiled and discarded ballot papers at a number of other polling places including voting precinct Barmo Palava hut, District #1 polling center 1, code 03002; Nyoundee Town Hall, District #2 polling place 1, center code 03007; Geveh Fahncee District 2 polling place 1; Mary Camp District 1, Sackie Town, District 1, polling place 1, center code 03042.

Additionally, another irregularity that appeared on the face of the senate record of count shows that voting precinct Red Hill Palaver Hut District #1, polling place 1, center code 03047, ballot cast were 409, zero unused, spoiled, discarded totaling 409 instead of 550.

They added that during the tallying of the results, the ballot boxes sealed were broken without authorization from their representatives which necessitated a recount leading to their candidate obtaining four votes which was the actual votes that were said to have been obtained during the physical counting of the votes cast while petitioner's votes were inflated to 41.

During the hearing at NEC through the Independent Hearing Officer, the officer said CDC's lawyers could not specifically show that said irregularities, flaws and illegalities resulted to the defeat of their candidate.

He further said CDC also failed to show physical and documentary evidence to prove the allegations outlined in its 13-count complaint.

Therefore, it will be an unprecedented exercise of quasi-judicial activism to stop the certification process of the winner of the election by setting aside results which are prayed for by the CDC.

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