Liberia: Gongloe-Weh Files Bill of Exceptions

Defeated female senatorial candidate, Edith Gongloe-Weh, of the opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) has filed a bill of exceptions to the Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission in Monrovia, calling for a final judgment review.

Counselor Boakai P. Harris, fact-finding officer of NEC ruled early this week that the complainant did not provide evidence to her allegations of “Frauds and irregularities” against the Commission.

The NEC denied and dismissed the Complainant’s complaint and reaffirmed candidate Jeremiah Kpan Koung of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction as winner of the Tuesday, 8 December, 2020 senatorial election in Nimba County.

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-count/7 page document filed Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at NEC, Gongloe-Weh accused the hearing officer of committing error and ignoring important pieces of evidence throughout the hearings.

Speaking thru her legal team, she argued if this is done, it would grant her such other relief as the hearing may deem just and right under the facts and circumstance of the case.

The lawyers noted 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 evidence produced, 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. Harris shows that he lacks 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,” Mrs. Gongloe-Weh’s legal team argued.

It further pushed that 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.

“He did not consider any of those issues raised in the complainant’s legal memorandum covering the importance of those seals, tees 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.”

The lawyers said the hearing officer was not impartial, neutral and independent; therefore, he committed a reversible error in his summary.

Gongloe-Weh believes that Harris ignored an important testimony of her’s when she informed the hearing that a broken tee was found in Duo Town, Electoral District #8 in a nearby bush despite the tee was admitted into evidence.

According to the team, the fact-finder also ignored witness Goba Selekpoh’s testimony regarding misstatement of 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 complaint was first heard at local offices in Nimba County on December 12, 2020 before being transferred to the Commission headquarters in Monrovia.


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