The Supreme Court has upheld the rejection and disqualification of Montserrado County district # 15 representative aspirant Abu Kamara for violating the Code of Conduct for public officials and government employees.
Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor handling down the judgment on behalf of the full bench on Monday, July 17, 2017 said the case was decided based on four principles issues raised by the minister’s lawyer.
The issues include the Code of Conduct, due process, the ECOWAS Protocol and writ of prohibition for which was prayed for against the national Elections Commission.
Chief Justice Korkpor said: “The Petitioner (minister) failed or refused to take due note of the opinion handed down by this court, but instead, the petitioner decided to flaunt the decision of this court such that up to the date of the hearing of this case, and even up to the date of this judgment, the petitioner is still maintaining and holding onto the position to which he was appointed by the President of Liberia, while at the same time, applying to the NEC to vie for elective public office.”
“The action of remaining in his position is not only in violation of the Code of Conduct but an utter affront to the decision of this court. Under the circumstances, we do not see the need to reverse the decision of the NEC, though made without due process, since the conduct amounts to an egregious violation of the code, and we concur with the NEC’s rejection and disqualification of him from contesting an elective position in the 2017 elections.”
Touching on the second principles, the Chief Justice said the high court disagreed with the junior minister that the ECOWAS protocol is applicable to his case. The Code of Conduct was enacted into law in June, 2014, a period of three years prior to the scheduled ensuing elections.
He noted that ECOWAS protocol inhibits the passage of new national legislation affecting elections only if the Act is passed within six months prior to the holding of the elections and if it has a substantial effect on the elections or rights of the participants or actors. Neither of those obtain in the instant case.
Regarding the third issue of due process, the Chief Justice said Mr. Kamara was not accorded due process of t law, thus they hold that NEC was in error and in breach of the law by not according the minister due process of law.
Additionally, He said despite NEC not according due process to the junior minister, the full bench have concluded that prohibition is not the proper remedy in the case.
Writes P. Nas Mulbah