2 NEC Executives Trash LP, UP Case

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NEC Executive Director, A. Lamin Lighe

Two executives of the National Elections Commission (NEC) over the weekend trashed allegations of fraud and irregularities against the commission in their respective testimonies, saying that the collaborating claims the Unity Party (UP) and Liberty Party (LP) made show their lack of appreciation for the endeavors the NEC made to conduct free, fair and transparent elections amid national challenges.

Giving testimony on behalf of the Commission, A. Lamin Lighe said what UP presented into evidence recently as another final registration roll (FRR) is fake and unfounded. “What I can say is that there is only one FRR, and it is the one from the NEC. Any other item depicting conflicting figures rather than the figures reported by this Commission is a made up item and we will not succumb to it, regardless of whomsoever is the producer of said instrument,” he said.

Lighe’s response came following cross witness examination by LP standard bearer Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine on whether he had any knowledge of the alleged discrepancy discovered between the first flash drive containing the FRR submitted to all participating political parties and another flash drive subpoenaed by the UP that also contained the same FRR.

It may be recalled that the co-chairman of the National Movement in Support of Boakai’s presidency (NAMBO), Jeff Bleebo, on Wednesday, November 15 testified, as an electronic and data collection and analysis expert, that the NEC subpoenaed flash drive contained more numbers of registered voters than the one given to political parties before the October 10 representative and presidential elections.

Bleebo, in his expert testimony, noted that over 35,000 names not found on the first flash drive received from the NEC were found on the recent flash drive presented by the Commission in an attempt to nullify the political parties’ allegations of fraud.

Lighe, however, said what UP brought forward into evidence as a huge discrepancy is a mere attempt to bring the Commission’s name into public disrepute and nullify its efforts in the conduct of free, fair and transparent elections.

“The names of many of the voters which were said to not have been found on the FRR were later discovered and can be traced. The challenge of not finding the names of those voters came due to the overwhelming challenges that engulfed some of our polling staff,” he said.

He recalled the late arrival of polling staff at their places of assignment on election day and the voters in the wrong queue as two of the challenges that led to the names of voters not being found on the FRR at polling places.

Reacting to UP lead lawyer Cllr. H. Varney G. Sherman’s accusation that he (Lighe) masterminded the fraud at the polls, he noted that it is unfortunate that Sherman spoke out of sentiment rather than established facts.

“I disagree with you, counsel, that I had anything doing with our electoral process which in any way could bring this Commission to public disrepute. There are no records of me cheating anyone at any given polls since I came to this Commission. I was part of the very 2005 elections in which you conceded after failing to win the admiration of the Liberian people so you could even get a chance to go for the runoff. I was also part of the team that conducted the 2011 elections to which your party, the Liberia Action Party, collaborated with the Unity Party, which became victorious. I know that I did not cheat you then. I also know that I did not cheat you in 2014 when you participated in the Senatorial election and won,” he said.

Dispelling claims that the October 10 elections are the first elections ever contested legally in the country, he said it is false as there were legal proceedings in other elections before.

“In 2014, Foday Kromah of Grand Cape Mount County and Dr. Henrique Tokpa of Bong County challenged the senatorial election’s results at the Supreme Court after hearings were conducted at the NEC. Others also took place far back that I cannot recall now. Therefore, let no one boast today that they are setting precedence,” he noted.

About the alleged discovered ballots in Grand Gedeh, Lighe said the Commission did not disagree with the claim until said ballots were transported via an UNMIL flight and thoroughly investigated.

“Our boss Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya clearly gave the position statement of the Commission on the alleged discovered ballots in Grand Gedeh. Our findings which were accumulated before all stakeholders through an investigation showed that the ballots were not official ballot papers but ‘Know your candidate ballots,’” he said. “The ballots found were only used for civic voter education purpose rather than being official voting ballots.”

The chief hearing officer of NEC, Cllr. Muana S. Ville, denied Brumskine’s query on why people voted in open containers in Grand Bassa County. He, meanwhile, allowed Lighe to respond to the question of why 4.1 million voter registration forms were procured by the Commission when it reported that only 2.1 million people registered to vote.

In response, Lighe said the NEC was not in error. He noted that it is a universal practice for all national elections commissions to procure more materials during elections so as to curtail the “embarrassment of missing out anything.” He said it is unfair that LP, UP and others are ignoring the educational deficit the country is currently experiencing.

“When we called on educated professional people to show up and help in the running of our elections at the polls, we got very few. Most of those that showed up and got training were not people of high education or professional backgrounds. And as you are aware, foreigners are not allowed to conduct our elections. Therefore we accepted the available who committed themselves to work for their country,” he clarified.

Brumskine, although denied again by the hearing office, subpoenaed all presiding officers’ worksheets as well as all the used and unused October 10 ballots.

NEC director of political affairs, Joseph Yarsiah, said UP, LP and their partners are not being fair to the country.

“Nothing about these elections have we done without the involvement of all major stakeholders, mainly the political parties qualified by this Commission to participate in our electoral processes,” Yarsiah said, adding that a meeting was held with all political parties on September 18, 2017 to let them know the measures the Commission had put in place to ensure that no legally registered voter who received a valid voting card is left out on elections day. “They accepted our suggestions and affixed their signatures to the agreement,” he said.

The liaison between the NEC and all the political parties said two other meetings were held with political parties on October 24 and 31 to discuss the challenges experienced on October 10 and find amicable solutions during the proposed November 7 runoff election between the UP and the CDC.

He, meanwhile, demonstrated in videos some of the difficult circumstances under which the NEC conducted the elections.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. I am appalled that a lawyer like Mr. Brumskine would engage in such a wasteful act to hold Liberia hostage. How many times have you ran for the nation’s highest office and the people haven’t spoken clearly on their preferred choice? Is it now that you know that irregularities exists in Liberia’s elections? What about all the previous elections you contested going back to former president Taylor’s elections that Mr. Taylor won overwhelmingly? All of these law degrees and PhDs have failed Liberia and Liberians, can you see that the People have spoken and clearly not in your favor? If I were you, as intelligent as you claim to be, I would wait and give Liberia a chance to move on…

    • For me, your assertion Mr Okafoe, concerning candidate Brumskine is a bit below his belt. I have the strongest conviction that Mr. Brumskine deserves every right to exhaust every constitutional means within his reach required, to clear his doubts about a process he lawfully took part in (the Liberia elections). Let us give him all the support he needs, to do so before he resolves to do something else, which may send us back into some chaos (I Pray God forbid). To me, the best we need to do now is to pray and hope the Judiciary will give us a credible delivery of justice on this matter. You will agree with me that you and I do not need a rocket scientist to tell us that a credible delivery of justice will mean a decision from the Highest Court, if need be, that will win the support of the majority of Liberians, living in Liberia at this given point in time. May God bless Liberia, the land of Liberty.

  2. Wow, thank you Mr. A. Lamin Lighe for you brilliant and elaborated testimony that made some short sighted thinkers speculations baseless. I have said it over and over that some individuals use education to overlook others and exploit the situation. With your experience and thoughtful memories, it has clarified that, NEC hearing election cases is not new as these educated lawyers who could not even mentioned these instances in their arguments but only to keep pressing for due process and correcting the fraud and irregularities in the October 10 2017 credible elections, just because it did not go their way this time in these elections, thereby obstructing the November 7 runoff election and holding the country hostage in the name of election fraud and irregularities. But history will judge them for their selfish ambition. Thank God for giving the opposition CDC the courage and maturity to be calm and helping to protect the peace that we have enjoyed in these 12 years. Like I said and continue to say runoff was inevitable no matter the delay. “Lies will continue to run around while truth quietly sits to wait until lies exhaust its strength, because as soon as the truth appears, lies disappear”. This is the story of the October 10, 2017 elections, created by CWB, VGS & JNB quasi.

  3. Haven’t Mr. Charels Brumskins realized that he cannot win election in Liberia ? Maybe the only Liberia he may win election is the one in Costa Rica or the Liberia in California, U S A. This guy ran in 1997 against Taylor, 2005 and 2011 against Sirleaf respecively, did not gain more than 20% of the vote. The people of Grand Bassa need to put another candidate foward to contest. He is nothing but a greedy ANARCHIST.

    “Keeping your fellow citizen in hostage is nice to look at”. Only a coward will grant you notoriety in their corect.
    You guys have blundder . The Liberian people are watching.

  4. Momo,there is a difference between Legislative election and general elections. The legal team of LP and UP referred to Presidential election challenged in court ,and not Legislative. Therefore, siding with A. Lamin Lighe who made reference of Legislative election challenged in court occurred before as a mean to debunked the legal team of the aforementioned parties is baseless.

    • Edwin,
      LP is calling for a rerun of the October 10, 2017 elections for alleged irregularities and fraud. At such, the rerun will include the legislative, and not just the presidency.

  5. My Love Bassa:
    In seven years I learned while working in Buchanan: The approach to a conflict resolution is through the court. So then I came to admire the behavior of my Bassa people. I continue to learn, and getting to know that the Law is not always explicit but sometimes tacit.

    So then to the prosecuting litigants I will ask that you please consider the Will of the Liberian People, The process need to continue as described in the Constitution of Liberia. Tomorrow could be your term.

  6. What we are witnessing is a far cry from any attempt at court – adjudicated “conflict resolution”, rather it seems a deliberate delay to ensure the expiration of a presidential term so that a regime headed by a member of the Lower House will fill a forced void. That this diabolical and potentially dangerous ploy undermines the right (Article 1, 1986 Constitution) of the vast majority Country and Congua people “to cause their public servants to leave office and to fill vacancies by regular elections” seems just bull crap to our self – centered brightest and best.

    Yet, amazingly, the drivers and passengers of this jalopy bus wrapped themselves around rule of law, due process, etc. And notwithstanding the concerted pushback against the international community, member states know that the two parties not only have to prove that “irregularities” occurred (in a Liberia swamped by institutional inefficiencies and other inadequacies) but also that they were big enough to affect the outcome of the October 10 disputed results.

    So can the leaderships of our “litigants” swear on the bible or drink sassy wood that the “two finishers”, CDC and UP, ended at the top through “irregularities and massive fraud”? Moreover, while strategists are wasting time for a provisional government after January 13, what do they meanwhile expect the vast majority poor to do: Suck air and spit for sustenance?

    • Mr. Sylvester Gbayahforh Moses aka Wayne Barry,

      After insulting CDC and its political leader George Weah, you are now behaving as some chameleon.

      Rather than requesting or asking others to “swear on the bible or drink sassy wood that the “two finishers”, CDC and UP, ended at the top through “irregularities and massive fraud”, you should ask your conscience as to whether you are able to swear on the bible or drink sassy wood that you are not Wayne Barry aka Sylvester Moses.

      You want to be policeman and journalist at the same time. Who will trust you? NO ONE! WHY NOT BE YOURSELF?

  7. Mr, Brumskins should understand that the people of Liberia have spoken, they don’t want you to lead them, don’t waste our time. And Mr, Alex Cummings, be mindful who you associate with, you have this political party that will a major opposition soon in Liberia, the people are watching you, my advice is don’t align with those idiots to hold that country hostage because of their political selfishness. Please put your country first before any other thing.

  8. Those Liberians who are against sincere efforts to clean the age-old messes always in
    the Liberian elections, how and when they think that the electoral processes will be
    cleaned? I know that some of those expressing against the Cllr. Charles Brumskine
    Liberty Party’, Alternative National Congress and All Liberian Party move are doing so
    on selfish basis so that their choiced party can win these irregular, fraudulent and
    lack of transparency elections. If the position taken by these parties, at least the
    Supreme Court of Liberia is not fool, the Court would not had agreed to hear. Don’t
    tell me what the United States Embassy and Europeans say about quick result. They
    were here ysteryyears when Liberia went through barbaric destruction after Mrs. Ellen
    Johnson-Sirleaf et Company brought that war. `What did these people say about
    saving the country from losing over 350,000 lives and destruction of the meagre
    infrastructures? Nothings! In fact, some them are living in secret support of the war.

    Why those Liberians don’t want the rule of law to take its course?

  9. Were Eric Okafoe a Liberian, then he would have appreciated the legal course that Cllr. Brumskine and others are pursuing in search of justice. Is it not commendable that Brumskine went to Court instead of taking the Law in his own hands? Perhaps Okafoe does not understand or appreciate the difference since it would have been Liberian blood that would have been spilled. Thousands of Nigerians, Ghanaians, and Fula people living illegally in Liberia were given Liberian Voting Cards by NEC agents to vote for Weah. Then you understand Okafoe’s frustration. He and people like him know that if Boakai is elected President, he will put a stop to the use of Liberia as a crime haven by Nigerian criminals.

  10. It’s not the highly educated people of Liberia that have caused problems for the Liberians. The problems of Liberia are caused by the impenetrable corrupt practices of the country’s past leaders. Additionally, when leaders do not have a good vision to lead, things fall apart quickly.

    When the Americo-Liberians ruled Liberia from 1847 to the time when president Tolbert got assassinated, hardly any educated native born Liberian occupied a position of influence. None whatsoever! That kind of practice was wrong. The Americo-Liberian leaders did not have a good vision for Liberia. Just take a look at Tubman’s cabinet!

    But, let’s not blame the Americo-Liberians without looking elsewhere. President Doe was a bona fide native Liberian. Doe has a legacy. The national stadium, otherwise known as S.K.Doe Stadium supports my theory. On the other hand, Doe squandered an opportunity to do more for Liberia. During Doe’s presidency, the US government under Pres. Reagan pumped over $500 million dollars in the country. A good number of people enjoyed during those years.
    During that time period though, the government made no attempt to send Liberians abroad to study Math, Economics, Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, computer technology, electronics, etc. The vision was not there.

    The main point to be made is this…..
    A majority of Weah supporters tend to display naivety when the issue of education comes up. Weah’s supporters say that since the erudite men and women of Liberia failed in so many ways to uplift Liberia to its fullest potential, an uneducated leader will do a better job. That view of theirs is naively preposterous!

    Mr. Doe was not educated. Did he do a very good job as president of Liberia? If not, then why do “some” of Weah’s supporters insist that an uneducated leader will outshine the erudite men and women of Liberia? Such a talk amounts to what we call “street talk”!

    If Weah is elected, the hope is that he will do a good job. His vision and communication of ideas must be carried out well in order for him to be considered a good leader.
    If he’s elected, Weah should employ qualified Librarians irrespective of whether they are Natives or Americo-Liberians. The days of Americo-Liberian vs Native are a thing of the past. We Liberians must work together to make Liberia a good country.

    Finally, a leader’s 6th sense puts him or her beyond the call of duty. There are 5 senses that most people are cognizant of. But there actually 6 senses! That 6th sense is known as “common sense”. Whether it is Weah or Boakai, the 6th sense is all that’s needed. Educators did not let Liberia down.

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