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Supreme Court nullifies Brown, Wesseh certificates

Fallah Matthews/Joseph T. Koon

( 19, 2015)-The Supreme Court of Liberia has declared the certification of Senators Gbelebo Brown and Conmany Wesseh of Maryland and River Gee Counties, respectively, as null and void.

Associate Justice, Philip Banks, said: “The National Elections Commission (NEC) was in error for certificating the two senatorial candidates while protests filed against them were undecided.”

“The Court has therefore ordered NEC to conduct re-hearings into the complaints filed by Representative Bhofal Chambers and Senatorial Candidate, Jonathan Sebwe against Senators Brown and Wesseh,” Justice Banks said.

He emphasized: “Winners with questionable results should not have been certificated by NEC without investigating complaints from the contending parties.”

Recently, Senators Gbelebo Brown and Conmany Wesseh were, along with their colleagues, certificated in January, despite complaints filed against them by Representative Chambers and Senatorial Candidate, Sebwe.

However, Associate Justices, James-Etta Wollokollie and Sie-A-Nyene Youh, presented descending opinions on the issue to the rest of the Full Bench of the Supreme Court.

Justices Wollokollie and Youh said:” There can be no chaos in unseating law-abiding citizens, earlier declared winners, if investigation finally shows that they were not the actual winners.”

Sometime in January, 2015, the National Elections Commission certificated 13 senators, earlier declared winners of the December 20 Special Senatorial Election amidst protests filed against some of the candidates.

Prior to the certification ceremony, the Commission received protests from Maryland, River Gee, Grand Cape Mount and Bomi Counties on allegations of election fraud.

As a result, the then Senators-elect for Bomi and Grand Cape Mount Counties, Cllr. Morris Saytumah and Cllr. Varney Sherman, were not certificated, along with their colleagues for similar reason.

They were subsequently certificated and inducted, following the Supreme Court’s ruling into their cases.

Currently, Margibi County Senator-elect, Rev. Jim Tornorla, has not been certificated by NEC, due to a protest filed against him by Senatorial candidate, Saah Gbollie.

This latest stance by Liberia’s highest court is consistent with the impartial and transparent dispensation of justice in the country.

The Court’s latest stance is also considered a recipe for the enhancement and protection of the Rule of Law in the Liberian judicial system.


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