NEC Dismisses Nyonblee Summary Proceedings -Says Hearing Officers Did Not Err in Dismissal Motion

The Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission of Liberia (NEC) has passed a motion to dismiss summary proceeding in the case filed by Liberty Party’s embattled Political Leader Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence and others, against Liberty Party Chairman Musa Hassan Bility and others for the charges of altering the Liberty Party Constitution.

Rendering their judgment Wednesday, March 2, 2022, the NEC Board of Commissioners (BOC) ruled that having heard from the parties, and having reviewed the records and the law controlling, a motion to dismiss the summary proceeding raises question of law; but does not lend itself to the taking of evidence on the factual issues.

“Our review shows that the Hearing Officers did not err in dismissing Movants/Petitioners’ motion to dismiss. Wherefore, and in view of the foregoing, the petition for summary proceedings is hereby denied. The Hearing Officers are hereby directed to resume jurisdiction and proceed in keeping with law,” the NEC BOC ruling stated.

Five of the Commissioners, including P. Teplah Reeves, Boakai A. Dukuly, Ffloyd Oxley Sayor, Barsee Leo Kpangbai and Josephine Kou Gaye, approved the summary proceeding dismissal.

Chairman Browne Lansanah and Commission Morgan-Awar did not hear the matter; hence, they did not sign the ruling.

In law, the purpose of summary judgment is to avoid unnecessary trials. It may also simplify a trial, as when partial summary judgment dispenses with certain issues or claims. Two criteria must be met before summary judgment may be properly granted: (1) there must be no genuine issues of material fact, and (2) the Movant must be entitled to judgment as a matter of law. A genuine issue implies that certain facts are disputed. Usually a party opposing summary judgment must introduce evidence that contradicts the moving party’s version of the facts. Moreover, the facts in dispute must be central to the case; irrelevant or minor factual disputes will not defeat a motion for summary judgment. Finally, the law as applied to the undisputed facts of the case must mandate judgment for the moving party.

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