The candidate of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) for Nimba County in the December 8, 2020 Special Senatorial Midterm Elections, Mrs. Edith Gongloe-Weh has rejected the ruling from the Hearing Officer of the National Election Commission (NEC) which threw out her complaints of fraud and irregularities and has since filed a bill of exceptions with the Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission on Wednesday, February 24, 2020 in Monrovia.
Mrs. Weh took the decision after the Fact-finder hired by the electoral umpire, Counsellor Boakai P. Harvey ruled that the complainant (Mrs. Weh) did not provide sufficient evidence to support her allegations of “Frauds and Irregularities on Monday, February 24, 2021 and reaffirmed Candidate Jeremiah Kpan Koung of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction as winner of the Tuesday, December 8, 2021 in Nimba County.
Not satisfied with the ruling, the lawyers representing the legal interest of the female politician are calling for the ruling and final judgment to be reviewed and passed upon during an appellate review by the Board of Commissioners of NEC. In a 21 counts and 7 page document filed on Tuesday, February 21, 2021 with NEC, Candidate Gongloe-Weh accused the hearing officer of committing error and at the same time ignored important evidences throughout the hearing.
But lawyers representing the legal interest of Complainant, Gongloe-Weh, are calling for the rulings and final judgment to be reviewed and passed upon during an appellate review by the Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission. In a 21 counts and 7 page document filed yesterday at NEC, Gongloe-Weh’s legal team accused the hearing officer of committing error and at same time ignored important evidences throughout the hearing. The team said when this is done, it would grant unto complainant such other relief as the hearing may deem just and right under the facts and circumstance of this case.
The lawyers then went further to show how the fact-finder committed reversible error during the hearings by not keenly listening to evidence produced by the complainant in the case and therefore distorted key evidences produced by the complainant raising issues not supported by the facts of the matter. They said the hearing officer also relied prejudicially on an extraneous fact not supported by the evidence produced by both the complainant and the defendant in the entire case to raise issues.
“That Counselor Boakai P. Harvey showed that he lacked complete knowledge of the elections law of the country by relying on an inapplicable provision of the elections law to issue number three of the ruling to rule against complainant” Gongloe-Weh team noted.
The legal team further stated how the fact-finder committed error by not relying on his understanding of the case but by re-writing verbatim the issues raised by the defendant and answers to those issues. They said with a strong conviction that, in the case, he had to commit a reversible error when contrary to his exalted position as a hearing officer as it was one sided in the determination of the case.
“He did not consider any of those issues raised in the complainant’s legal memorandum covering the importance of those seals and the fact that the ballots for the special senatorial election and the referendum were required to be placed in the same ballot box after counting,” they stated.
Making their case know further, the lawyers said on so many occasions, the fact-finder over-ruled the their objection to three of the defendant’s counsels on ground that they were not licensed to practice law when to which Cllr Harvey ruled that the issue of license is a technical issue that cannot be permitted in dealing with election disputes.
Gongloe-Weh through her lawyers asserted that Cllr Harvey ignored an important testimony of the complainant when she informed the hearing that a broken part of the election box was found in Duo Town, Electoral District #8 in a nearby bush despite the fact that it was admitted into evidence. They maintained that the fact-finder also ignored witness Goba Selekpoh’s testimony regarding mixing the statement of the votes for the three leading candidates, Gongloe-Weh, Jeremiah Koung, and Garrison Yealue in electoral districts 4 and 5 were sitting in Karnplay without security.
The legal team of Madam Edith Gongloe-Weh is comprised of Counselor-at-law Gloria Musu-Scott and Frances Johnson-Allison, former Associate Justices ofSupreme Court of Liberia as well as Kuku Dorbor, Philip Y. Gongloe and Lawrence Tomah. Others are J. Augustine Fayiah, Momolu G. Kandakai, Bobby Livingstone, Tiawan Gongloe, and Allen Gweh.
The complaint was first heard at local offices in Nimba County on December 12, 2020 before being transferred to the Commission headquarters in Monrovia.