Finally, the 12 elected and certified winners of the December 20, 2014 Special Senatorial Election, were inducted and ushered to their respective seats yesterday, a the First Special Session of the Liberian Senate.
The ‘Freshman Senators’ are yet to be given their official offices because of the removal of personal things of the outgoing Senators and the reshuffling of offices amongst the ranking (veteran) Senators.
The Secretary of the Senate, Nanborlor Singbe, administered the oath of office as per instructed by the President of the Liberian Senate, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai.
Interestingly, all of the 12 Senators kissed the Holy Bible, meaning there wasn’t a Muslim amongst the ‘Freshman Senators.’
The Senators were called according to the ranking as of the foundation of the country; namely: Amb. George M. Weah (Montserrado County); Jonathan L. Kaipay (Grand Bassa County), J. Milton Teahjay (Sinoe County) and J. Gbeh-bo Brown (Maryland County).
Grippingly, the Senator for the 5th county — Grand Cape Mount County was not called— however, Sen. Chief Jewel Howard Taylor (Bong County); Sen. Prince Y. Johnson (Nimba County); Senator A. Marshall Dennis (Grand Gedeh County) and Stephen J.H. Zargo (Lofa County) were in the queue.
The 10th and 11th counties were not called (Bomi and Margibi Counties) — and then came Sen. Albert T. Chie (Grand Kru County); Francis S. Paye (Rivercess County); Commany Wesseh (River Gee County) and Daniel F. Naatehn (Gbapolu County).
It can be recalled, Senators J. Gbeh-bo Brown, Albert T. Chie and Commany Wesseh were cited also for alleged election irregularities, but unconfirmed reports gathered say the cases were thrown out for failure of the petitioners to follow the required procedure for redress—which includes, protesting to the County Hearing Officer, the Board of Directors of National Elections Commission (NEC), and then an appeal to the Supreme Court, the final arbiter of justice.
However, with the formal sitting of the 12 certified Senators including the 15 already seated Senator made the total to 27 Senators.
The 15 ranking Senators are Senators Geraldine Doe-Sherif (Montserrado); Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence (Grand Bassa); Cllr. Joseph Nagbe (Sinoe); Amb. H. Dan Morias (Maryland County) Edward Dagoseh (Grand Cape Mount), Henry Yallan (Bong County) and Thomas Grupee.
The remaining veteran (first ranking Senators) include Senators G. Alphonso Gaye (Grand Gedeh); George Tengbeh (Lofa County); Oscar Cooper (Margibi); Sando Johnson (Bomi); Dr. Peter Coleman (Grand Kru); Dallas A.V. Gueh (Rivercess) and Matthew Jaye.
Meanwhile, the three (3) Senators are yet to be seated because of the ongoing Writs of Prohibition from the Justice-in-Chambers Philip A.Z. Banks, III, of the Temple of Jusice.
Cllr. Varney G. Sherman of Grand Cape Mount County, Atty. Morris Gato Saytumah of Bomi County and Dr. Jim Womba Tornonlah of Margibi County are still battling their legality in winning the election.
Bomi County incumbent Senator Lahai Lansana of the National Patroitic Party and Prof. Ansu Sonii (Margibi County) and Grand Cape Mount County Senatorial aspirant Dr. Foday Kromah, both from the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) have protested with allegations of voter fraud and huge election irregularities.
With the case still on the docket of the Supreme Court, the three seats remain empty.