The people of Gbarpolu County may shortly put behind the war of words that have resulted from the outcome of the December 8, 2020 Special Senatorial Election conducted by the National Election Commission (NEC).
The people, who for years have lived together in peace and harmony, saw themselves recently slipping into deep-rooted hatred, and right now it is only a fair and non-partisan opinion (judgment) by the five justices of the Supreme Court that can save the county from the animosities.
On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, the Justices listened to oral arguments between lawyers of the two rivalry groups; the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change ( CDC) Senatorial Candidate, Alfred Koiwood, and independent and only female candidate Botoe Kanneh.
There is no date set by the justices to bring to a close the matter that was argued yesterday.
Koiwood is the current Representative of District #1 in Gbarpolu county.
Provisional results by then from the NEC put Madame Kanneh in a comfortable leadvwith 139 polling places out of the 144, giving her a total of 4,767 votes, while Rep. A Koiwood, had 4,281 votes.
But the CDC’s candidate has been crying foul throughout the entire electoral process, even to the extent of dividing the people more, which plan was diverted when then Chamber Justice of the Supreme Court, Associate Justice Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh, was constrained to put a halt to the pronouncement of the election victor.
Not just putting it to halt, she invited her colleagues to join her in deciding the already violatile situation that was the basis for yesterday’s hearing by the Supreme Court.
To make matters worse, some Liberian women who sympathize with Madam Kanneh have decided to join her in mobilizing the needed resources to help fight the economically potent Representative, Koiwood.
The case, argued Tuesday, dates back to the December 8, 2020 incident in Gbarpolu, in which ballot boxes were seized at some polling centers in Nomordatonau Town by the youth and elders of the town on suspicion that Sierra Leoneans had been trucked into the county to vote.
Because of that, the electoral body ordered a re-run of the election in areas that were affected by violence during the December 8 polls.
The decision did not go down well with Rep. Koiwood, who through his legal team petitioned the Supreme Court to order the NEC to halt the re-run until electoral fraud and election violence are investigated by the NEC.
Koiwood further argued that there were allegations of voter fraud, election violence, and irregularities that marked the just ended senatorial election in the county, which requires action and precautionary decision by the NEC to avoid future irregularities, voters’ fraud and election violence.