The Supreme Court of Liberia has blasted the National Election Commission (NEC) for applying delay tactics in the administratively hearing of crucial elections matters brought before it mainly by the ruling Unity Party.
The Supreme Court stands comes after the Commission’s lawyer Frank Musa Dean openly confessed that they took 10 days to hear and dispose of a single application for a subpoena filed by the Unity Party, while only two days were used for Liberty Party to complete its production of witnesses and evidence.
With just eleven witnesses been completed by the Unity Party, it lawyer Cllr. Benedict Sannoh has filed a Bill of Information against the NEC informing the High court that the Board of Commissioners are delaying in making a final determination into an appeal filed 10 days ago and without such ruling it cannot proceed with the case.
Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor said NEC should be going through a sleepless night to make sure that election matters before it are expeditiously investigated. Justice Korkpor said he wondered why the Board of Commissioners will take ten days to decide on a matter that is before it on an appeal process.
Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh for his part said the appeal was announced by the UP more than one week ago. He asked whether it was practical and logical for the Commission to make a determination in an appeal for more than that time.
Justice Philip A. Z. Bank said even though the Constitution gives the NEC 30 days to hear and dispose of election cases, it was not sensible for the Commission to wait for the entire Constitutional period to elapse before it rule in a matter that is before it on appeal.
“Are you saying that because the Constitution gives you 30 days you will take the whole time firm to rule on a case?” He asked the Commission’s lawyer Frank Musa Dean. We told you to handle the case expeditiously you cannot be taking the entire 30 days time firm to decide a matter.
Cllr. Sannoh wants the court to closely follow the Commission with an Eagle Eye because it using legal technicalities to prevent the expeditious hearing of the case.
Meanwhile, the Court has announced Friday, November 17, 2017 to make final ruling in a Bill of Information filed by the Unity Party against the National Election Commission.
Writes P. Nas Mulbah