SC Washes Hands Off LP Constitution Case -As Justice Yuoh says Bility, Kollah, NEC acted correctly

The Supreme Court of Liberia through Justice in Chamber Sien-Nye Yuoh has denied embattled Liberty Political Leader Senator Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence’s petition for a Writ of Prohibition against Liberty Party Chairman Musa Hassan Bility, LP Secretary General Martin Kollah, and the National Elections Commission.

The decision to quash the petition for Prohibition issued by LP political leader Karngar-Lawrence, Senator Steve Zargo and Mr. Jacob Smith, against LP Chairman Musa Hassan Bility, Secretary General Martin Kollah, and the National Elections Commission resulted from a Supreme Court conference held Tuesday, June 28, 2022 in the chambers of Justice Sien-nye Yuoh., bringing to a legal end the many claims that Senator Lawrence and her supporters filed against the LP Constitution and leadership elected in January 2021.

Justice Yuoh informed the Parties that in view of the claims presented by the Petitioners, she had reviewed the case file with all evidence presented by the Petitioners and conferred with Justice Jamesetta Wolokollie, the original Supreme Court Justice who started the case before she (Yuoh) took over as Justice in Chambers. Justice Yuoh also listened to information provided by legal counsel for both Parties.

The Justice in Chamber stated that the major question before her was whether or not the petitioners had met the legal requirement for requesting a prohibition against the defendants as the answer to this question would inform the Court whether or not the matter merited hearing or action at the Supreme Court level. The Justice’s opinion, based on an examination of the case file and oral explanations given by all parties, was that the prohibition petition was “non-justiciable”.

According to Justice Yuoh’s opinion which ended the Liberty Party wrangling, the National Elections Commission (NEC) has committed no errors in its handling of the LP case. The Justice also opined that the multiple NEC rulings which stated that the LP Constitution was valid pending an amendment through the LP procedures or an unappealable ruling from a court of law were in line with established political party procedures.

Justice Yuoh further opined that the NEC is not required to enforce the LP Farmington MOU agreed to by both Parties, but rather to receive an amended Constitution from the LP, reflecting that the agreements reached in the MOU had been implemented by the Parties themselves.

The justice in chambers also ruled that the claim by the Petitioners that the NEC “facilitated” actions by the Defendants did not have merit; and that since there was a pending case at the NEC, which was still in testimony phase, there was no legal basis to bring an open matter to the Supreme Court nor to issue a prohibition against the parties.

Justice Yuoh further informed the two contesting parties that the Supreme Court was undivided in its opinion and in agreement with Justice Wolokollie’s assessment of the Petitioners’ claims; and that the prayers in the petition were “non justiciable”, meaning that the claims put forth were not capable of being decided by legal principles. The ruling therefore surmised the Supreme Court was not the rightful authority to hear such cases. Justice Yuoh therefore suspended the case, putting an end to any further pursuance of the matter at the Supreme Court level.

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