Liberia: EKEMP Takes NEC to Court

— For alleged exclusive interference in its bid re-demonstration process’s time 

EKEMP and its partners have filed a Writ of Prohibition with the Supreme Court of Liberia on the entire biometric voter registration procurement process.

The legal action was taken yesterday morning by the Chinese company and Justice in Chamber Associate Justice Yussif Kabba is expected to hear the matter.

NEC’s legal advisor, Cllr. Teage Jalloh, told the Daily Observer via phone that the company has filed with the Supreme Court a Writ of Prohibition.

“It’s a petition for the Writ of Prohibition. It is a complaint against the process and the parties, I mean their representation and ours appeared before his Honor, Justice Kabba this morning at 10:30 a.m. for a conference,” Cllr. Jalloh said.

He said he could not speak further because the matter is before the court but remains certain that whatever is the issue will be resolved through the use of the rule of law.

“We respect the law. Even though EKEMP filed a complaint earlier before us and to be precise, against us here at NEC as the panel of the bidding process and we were yet to look into their concerns, they have proceeded to the highest court in the land. Therefore, we have nothing to do further until we hear from the court,” he said.

The suit comes after EKEMP Managing Director, Yan Liu wrote recently expressing discontent about the panel’s alleged interruption of its re-demonstration. An action the company said led to delay in printing of sample biometric cards in the stipulated time set aside for all the vendors (bidders). 

The bid evaluation panel at NEC concluded its supervision of the re-demonstration by companies vying to produce the technical and logistical expertise for the production of biometric voter registration (VR) cards to be used in the 2023 elections.

“At about a quarter of the time left allotted to us, while we were demonstrating the enrollment process on the tablet, the evaluation panel interrupted us and requested that we connect the tablet to the projector so that more people would be able to see what was being displayed,” Yan Liu said.

“To fulfill the panel’s request, we had to quickly change some configurations on the tablet. As this became time consuming, we returned to the software demonstration and printing of the card but noticed that the configuration to project the tablet on the wider screen had affected both the wire and wireless printing functions of the tablet.”

Liu is EKEMP Managing Director and head of the joint venture with INITS, a Nigerian company and Palm Insurance, a Liberian company.Liu said the action of the panel obstructed his joint venture’s precision to produce the sample biometric voter registration card in the allotted two hours’ time of the presentation.

“As a result of this, we could not complete the demonstration process in the allotted time. Notwithstanding, we were able to successfully print the card in the presence of some of the evaluation panelists and observers when we finally had time to resolve this configuration matter. The evaluation panel received the printed card,” he disclosed.