Bility Flexes Muscle After SC Ruling -Declares Nyonblee “Persona Non Grata” -Warns Against Unauthorized Utterances
MONROVIA – In the wake of the Wednesday, April 12, 2023 Supreme Court final opinion that recognized the leadership of the Liberty Party National Executive Committee under the aegis of National Chairman Musa Hassan Bility as the only body authorized to manage the day-to-day affairs of the party, Chairman Bility has issued a stern external memo to the National Elections Commission (NEC), political parties and the international community warning against doing business with Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence as she is no longer the Political Leader of the Liberty Party.
According to the April 16, 2023 Memo, Mr. Bility’s clarion call is predicated on the recent Supreme Court ruling which explicitly declared the LP National Executive Committee as the only authority clothed with managing the party’s affairs, especially against the background of Senator Lawrence having been expelled from the position of Political Leader in March 2022, for which she appealed to the Court to invalidate the expulsion on the basis that the LP National Executive Committee did not have the authority to expel her.
“The recent SC Ruling explicitly addresses this matter by declaring the LP National Executive Committee is the body clothed with the authority to manage the affairs of the Party. Additionally, her tenure as Political Leader has expired since October 2022,” the Bility External Memo stated.
The memo comes in the wake of the Supreme Court handing down its final ruling in the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in the case Musa Hassan Bility and others of the Liberty Party (Appellees) v. National Elections Commission, Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence and Emmanuel Azango (Respondents), declaring the Liberty Party (LP) Constitution filed at the National Election Commission (NEC) and the LP leadership duly elected and inducted at the January 2021 LP Special National Convention in Gbarnga.
“We kindly inform you that Sen. Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence is no longer the Political Leader of the Liberty Party (LP). Sen. Karnga-Lawrence was expelled from the position of Political Leader in March 2022 and appealed to the Court to invalidate the expulsion on the basis that the LP National Executive Committee did not have the authority to expel her because the LP 2021 Special National Convention that voted the National Executive Committee into leadership and the Constitution that came out of that Special National Convention were both illegitimate. The recent SC Ruling has explicitly addressed both matters by declaring that both the LP 2021 Special National Convention and the resulting Constitution are legitimate and that the LP National Executive Committee is, constitutionally, clothed with the authority to manage the affairs of the Party. Additionally, as per the LP Constitution, her tenure as Political Leader has expired in October 2022,” the Memo furthered.
The issuance of the External Memo also followed a Saturday, April 15, 2023 Press Statement from the Liberty Party National Chairman informing the public of the SC ruling and reiterating the party’s call for reconciliation and charting the way forward together, while urging all members, both home and abroad, to refrain from making public statements and holding events, in the name of LP, without the authorization of the National Executive Committee, as this would not only be illegal but would only serve to further the divide and render reconciliation futile.
However, subsequent to the issuance of the Saturday Press Statement, the Liberty Party in an updated Press Statement issued Sunday, April 16, 2023 said it had learned that Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, former Political Leader of the LP, held a public meeting in the name of LP in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County on April 15, 2023 and informed the attendees that the LP battle was not over.
“Also, during this meeting, Sen. Abraham Dillon referred to the SC Ruling as not legitimate and engineered and called on the people of Bassa to disregard it because they would be “King Makers” in the 2023 elections, while Sen. Jonathan Kaipay informed the audience that this was the beginning of a “coup” that would be led by Sen. Karnga-Lawrence, supported by them, called on all Bassa people to join.
“These despicable utterances are a clear indication that these individuals are resolved in keeping the disunity going within the LP, have no interest in reconciliation, and will go to any lengths to achieve their mission. LP has maintained throughout that the false accusations which led to this long-drawn-out legal case has never been about the sanctity of the LP for these individuals but, rather, has always been about garnering absolute power under the Constitution for the Political Leader position in order direct the LP towards supporting their personal interests in the upcoming 2023 Presidential and General elections. Now that the initial plan has failed, they are resorting to rallying “Bassa solidarity” under the false and malicious perception that others in LP are against Bassa people being in leadership in Liberia. No longer being able to keep their masks on, their utterances today has exposed their real motives and intention which is their desire to use the LP, not as a political institution to bring about change in Liberia, but rather as a vehicle to create the and use tribal sentiment to rally the Bassa vote. Not only does this go against the very essence of true leadership, but it also goes against the LP founding principles of inclusion and diversity of all ethnic groups in Liberia, virtues that the Founding Father, Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, fought tirelessly to achieve.
“The LP hereby issues a stringent warning to individuals to desist from the continuing use of the LP name unauthorizedly, especially in light of the SC Ruling. Be warned that LP will take advantage of any and all remedies available under the laws of the Republic of Liberia to ensure compliance with this.
“Notwithstanding, the LP will not allow the actions of these individuals to thwart its efforts at reconciling the Party and reiterates its call for all partisans wanting to move the Party forward to join hands and do so. The doors are, and will remain, open to all who share our Party’s vision.
“We ask, therefore, that you please refrain from conducting business pertaining to LP with anyone other than the National Executive Committee, under the leadership of Mr. Musa Hassan Bility,” the Sunday Press Statement indicated.
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