Liberia: Liberty Party Blames NEC for Lack of Due Process
.. Requests a return to status quo ante
Liberty Party (LP) is in its gloomy days, with a split now between the Political leader and the national chairman of several issues, mainly due payment for the running of the political institution.
Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence of Grand Bassa County is the embattled political leader while businessman Musa Bility is the embattled chairman of the Liberty Party.
With the stalemate yet unresolved, Clllr. Gloria Musu Scott, lawyer for the party, has taken side with Sen. Lawrence’s camp and has officially written the National Elections Commission (NEC) demanding due diligence and called on the national electoral body to revert to not give credence to Bility and his supporters.
“The so-called decision indicated in the letter of the Co-chair of NEC did not accord the Liberty Party due process, Neither the Party nor its Political Leader is aware of a subsequent complaint against the decision of the Special Investigating Committee, if there existed any. As such, there was no due process accorded under Elections Law and the Constitution of Liberia,” Cllr. Scott said.
The legal luminary served as Liberia’s Chief Justice and has served in other high profile positions in government over the years.
According to Cllr. Scott, the Letter of 13 December 2021 is effectively a decision without the sitting of the Board of Commissioners sitting in its Judicial Review Capacity and as such commissioner Reeves lacks the authority to make such a decision without the participation of the other six members of the Commission.
She said the NEC Co-chairperson’s letter is illegal and should be recalled, setting the stage for the Liberty Party to deal with its internal issues in accordance with the decision of the majority and its own statutes.
“Because Commissioner Reeves’s letter is illegal and, if not recalled, will effectively undermine the judicial character and capacity of the NEC to exude cool impartiality, fairness, and transparency,” she contested.
It can be recalled that Musa Bility, with support from some members of the executive committee (probably in majority as he has claimed), suspended Senators Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence and Abraham Darius Dillon of Montserrado County, as well as other top officials of the party for allegedly failing to pay dues to the party coffers over several months.
Bility’s action became annoying and denigrating to the two tough talking Senators and they led a campaign to remove him, something they announced that they had achieved recently at a gathering in Monrovia.
Bility scoffed their action, describing it as a joke. He demanded that the two Legislators who claim to have done much more than any other partisan for the party over the years, since the death of Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, the party’s founding political leader, to pay their dues instead of bragging about what they have done or can do.
Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott informed the NEC that its reputation is at stake, should everything continue to proceed as it is ongoing now.
“Additionally, the public confidence in the work of NEC will dissipate and the credibility of the Commission will be shredded as a result of one Commissioner and failure of the Board of Commissioners to take corrective action,” she said.
She added: “Distinguished Commissioners, it is for these reasons and several others to be advanced, that we respectfully request that this Honorable Board of Commissioners: timely act to this communication due to the character and nature of this matter and Recall, Revoke, and Declare Null and Void and of no legal effect, the letter signed by Commissioner Reeves.”
The learned Lawyer argued further: “That all acts and actions conducted in the name of Liberty Party relying on the said letter of December 13, 2021, including Mr. Musa Bility, are null and void ab initio; and Grant unto Liberty Party and its Political Leader all that is just and legal.”
Cllr. Scott called on the National Elections Commission to respect the decision of the Liberty taken at Farmington Hotel in Margibi.
“We respectfully request the immediate revocation of the above-mentioned communication with immediate effect and that Mr. Musa Bility be enjoined from performing any act under the Umbrella of the Liberty Party,” she noted.
She continued: “The Farmington Agreement: The decision to withdraw the 2021 Constitution from NEC is based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) executed at a retreat at the Farmington Hotel executed by Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence as the Political Leader and Mr. Musa Hassan Bility as the Party’s National Chairman and attested to by members of the National Advisory Committee (NAC) – the internal mechanism agreed by the parties to be the final arbiter.”
Based on what transpired at the Farmington Hotel, the LP lead lawyer said “As such, the Parties committed themselves to abide by the decision of the National Advisory Committee.”
Bility, on the other hand, has denied affixing his signature to any document expressing any culpability to which it is said to be linked.
“Taking the totality of the Bility’s circumstances surrounding the filing of the 2021 Constitution filed at the NEC, it became imperative that the Constitution be withdrawn to effect the necessary changes – a prerogative of the leadership of Liberty Party. To do otherwise would have been operating not only under a tampered Constitution, but one which had been filed in violation of NEC’s own regulations governing the submission of post national convention reports,” Cllr. Scott told the NEC.
She registered further that, “The Constitution was therefore withdrawn to effect the necessary changes and NEC was accordingly informed.”