By Joaquin M. Sendolo
Having exerted some efforts to ensure a rerun of the December 8 Senatorial Election in Nomodatanu, Gbarpolu County, the legal team of Madam Botoe Kanneh has written the United Nations Resident Coordinator of Liberia, Kingsley Amaning, outlining those events the legal team says deprived the Gbarpolu female candidate of her right to monitor the election and caused voters not to exercise their democratic franchise in that area of Gbarpolu. The legal team in this regard is therefore calling on the UN for a full-fledged investigation into the matter.
In a written communication addressed to UN Resident Coordinator Amaning, Kanneh & Partners presented that in addition to ceasing ballot boxes by youths of the town on the instruction of Paramount Chief McGill Wleh, the Poro Master (otherwise country devil) was alleged order by the Paramount Chief to enter the town to intimidate women and non-members of the secret society who were potential voters.
Additionally, the complaint indicates that one Jake Browne, a Joint Security chief, went ahead to harass voters and supporters of Madam Botoe Kanneh and allegedly looted properties belonging to the Gbarpolu County candidate.
According to the Kanneh & Partners, on the eve of the December 15 rerun, the joint security allegedly went ahead to arrest Alternative National Congress (ANC) Secretary-General Aloysius Toe and others and took them to Bopolu City without charge for violating any of Liberia’s laws.
The legal team also said voter registration cards were seized from voters during the December 15 rerun of the disputed election.
In all that has happened in Gbarpolu, the Kanneh & Partners say the government has made no arrest, which according to them means such gross violation of the Constitution has been committed, and because there is no arrest, it means the government is an active participant in the unfolding situation in the country.
In its recommendations, the legal entity representing Madam Kanneh said that a different venue where the presence of the country devil will not be felt should be selected for the polling in the future.
The team is also calling for an investigation of the local authorities and the Joint Security Chief in the controversial District #3 in Gbarpolu; for the return of voter registration cards seized from individuals to enable them participate in any scheduled rerun election; and for the border between Liberia and Sierra Leone in that county be opened to allow those who fled for safety to return to vote in the rerun election.
A communication, signed by Moiffie Kanneh, expressed the team’s desire to the UN Coordinator for consideration of the complaint to act promptly so that justice will prevail in all that have marred the disputed election in Gbarpolu.