‘Korkoya May Have Committed Perjury’

Weah also, if claims they possess US passports are true

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Cllr. Jerome G. Korkoya and Senator George Weah

Human Rights Lawyer Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe yesterday told the Daily Observer that Cllr. Jerome G. Korkoya, chairman of the National Elections Commission may have committed perjury, if it is established that he holds a U.S. passport.

Cllr. Gongloe said in a telephone interview yesterday that Section 2.3 of the Elections Laws of Liberia speaks of the qualifications of appointees to the NEC and they clearly state that “Every Commissioner shall be a Liberian citizen, be of age not less than 35, and shall be of good moral character.

Several local dailies have published reports alleging that the NEC Chair holding two passports, one ECOWAS (Liberian) and the other from the United States of America.

“Our constitution forbids foreigners from serving as commissioners of the NEC, simply because it has to do with trust and credibility,” he noted. “If it is true that he is an American citizen, then it means that Cllr. Korkoya cannot preside over our elections if his loyalty is to another country.”

During his confirmation hearing at the House of Representatives, Cllr. Korkoya informed lawmakers that he is a Liberian citizen and did not reveal his American connection. For lying under oath, the law states that he may face the charge of ‘perjury’ and may be declared unqualified to head the NEC and must be subsequently removed from the position.

Cllr. Korkoya recently promised to strongly uphold the Code of Conduct Law against politicians vying for both the Presidential and Legislative seats.

A local daily displayed what some believe to be Korkoya’s American and Liberian passports, both having the same biodata, with the purported US passport issued in the year 2010 and set to expire in 2020.

Cllr. Korkoyah could not be reached for comment.  A spokesperson for NEC declined to comment, referring to the issue as “a personal matter.”

Cllr. Gongloe said while it may be assumed that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf might not have known about Korkoya’s dual citizenship, she is obliged by law to make sure the constitution is adhered to.

“The President needs to call Cllr. Korkoya to find out in the soonest possible time as to whether the report about him holding a U.S. passport is true and, if true, then she has to remove him from the position,” he said.
Cllr. Korkoya said recently on the Truth Breakfast Show that he will uphold the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Code of Conduct.

“What the NEC will be doing is to obey the court’s opinion and comply strictly with its interpretation of the Code of Conduct. I don’t want to comment on this further but I can tell you this: Whatever the Supreme Court says will be followed to the letter,” he said. And now with claims that he holds a US passport, many are wondering how he would enforce the law.

Also facing perjury investigation could be Senator George Manneh Weah, Political leader of Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), who is also allegedly in possession of an American passport.

The Daily Observer received an anonymous tip with an attached biodata page of a US passport allegedly belonging to Sen. Weah.  The alleged passport displays an issuance date on May 3, 2013 and an expiration date of May 2, 2023.

However, his office spokesperson, who responded angrily via mobile phone last night, while refusing to state his name, told this newspaper that reports about Senator Weah holding a U.S. passport was no longer news to the public.

“This thing has nothing to do with the public, my friend,” the spokesperson replied furiously before hanging up the phone.

With 19 political parties and candidates – according to the National Elections Commission (NEC), in a country of 4.6 million people, Liberia is confronted with an electioneering calamity since many of those especially aspiring for the presidency are under threat of being declared ineligible for a number of reasons including apparent failure to meet code of conduct compliance or alleged constitutional violation.

This is Weah’s is vying for the presidency on the ticket of the opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).

This is his second bid for the presidency. The first time he ran for president was in 2005. He ran as vice standard bearer in the 2011 elections to Cllr. Winston Tubman under the ticket of the Congress for Democratic Change.

“Holding a US passport means Weah has given up his Liberian citizenship, and therefore, he cannot contest for office in a Liberian election under the country’s Constitution and election laws. Doing so would be in violation of the Aliens and Nationality Law, which stipulates, that any Liberian who naturalizes or fights for a foreign army loses his or her citizenship,” an informed source said.

Although the puzzle of when he acquired his U.S. citizenship looms, his American passport was however issued in 2013, before he ran for the Senate in 2014, which made him ineligible to run for public office in Liberia.

Senator Weah’s U.S. citizenship is “no longer secret,” according to the CDC spokesman, but it brings home the fact that he lied to the NEC, his party and the Liberian people by impersonating as a Liberian citizen and unlawfully ran for public office; participating in politics; meddling into the country’s politics as a leader of a political party and attempting to contest for president in October 2017.

It may be recalled that Madam Elizabeth Russell, former president of Tubman University, Maryland County told the Senate at her confirmation hearing for the post of Minister of Education in 2016 that she held a U.S. citizenship.  Her honesty on the matter resulted in her nomination being unanimously rejected by the Senate.

Meanwhile, efforts, including phone calls and text messages to Cllr. Korkoya to respond yesterday proved futile as his phone was off till press time.

39 COMMENTS

  1. Liberia is a country of haters and trouble makers. The story about Cllr Kokoyah and Senator Weah is now coming up because the supreme court is trying to implement the code of conducts. If the United States was not a country that respect privacy, it would put out the butts of all the people working in the Liberian Government who holds US passport. There may be United States citizens within the Legislatures, Senate, Ministers of government and maybe people close to the Executive Mansion, but if we can not prove that a person holds a US passport, we should not speculate on stories that we can not prove

    • Daa, why are you crying more than the bereaved? Why hasn’t Kokoyah or Weah threatened their accusers with a libel, or slander suit? As for me, I don’t consider the efforts being made to identify these chameleons, as hateful. What’s bad about identifying a dishonest person, who intentionally supplies misinformation, in order to accrue wealth and power?

  2. I see why we are five hundred thousands years away from development, because every time some one makes his/her life better and come to Liberia that person is hated by others. Why your ain’t stop Ellen and her children with American passport? Do your think Liberia will be develop from within? Why do you think America welcome diversities from rest of the world?

    • One of the real trouble makers is you, who are claiming that the Liberian President, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is American Citizen without a proof. It’s more dangerous to accuse another Liberian without a proof.

      I believe most people who you claim to be dual citizens and working in high government positions that are limited to only Liberian citizens, because there are no proofs; otherwise, they would be dealt with according to the law.

      Do you know how many people have suffered at the expenses of other Liberians, as result of the same law against them?

    • The US diversities you mentioned don’t recognize dual citizenship, you are either American or you are not, simple. The problem in our country has to do with people who treat Liberia as a mere village or farm where they go to harvest crops and leave it just like that. Liberians should adopt the idea of making Liberia better and not imagine America to be where to carry what has been harvest to eat while your country lie naked. Any one who has proof of an official being a US should produce in court and cease from the rumor-mongering

  3. There is a group of people in Liberia who are hell-bent on disrupting the electoral process and causing trouble. Gongloe should be ashamed of himself. Is he requesting the President to remove the NEC chairman six months before elections to be replace with whom? This is coming from a group of people who are angry because the COC will be enforced. Unscrupulous characters.

    • Why should cllr. Gongloe be ashamed of himself? Cllr Gongloe said the President should call on the chairman of NEC and inquire about his nationality relative to the US citizenship. Should it be established that Cllr Kokoya is a citizen of America, then he should be replaced. What is in this statement is that wrong? The Liberian community in America is very small, everyone knows everybody; if cllr Kokoyah has US passport, it will be known

      • Just like I typed, Gongloe should be ashamed of himself and he knows why. He is a hustler. But anyway, this is all noise until they can prove what they are claiming.

  4. The Laws of Liberia should be respected and enforced at all time in order to improve the country.Those who are officials of government and others contesting for public office when in possession of foreign passport it should be published for the Liberian people to see.

  5. With all due respect to all who have spoken, especially those who are supporting NEC chairman and Senator George Weah, in connection with the allegation that they are American Citizens, Liberia is a country of laws. Just like most of us are opting for the Controversial Code of Conduct law to be held to letter, so should this case and any other cases should be adhered to.

    The truth is, many Liberians are law breakers; unfortunately, some of these law breakers are also advocating for other Liberians in similar situations to abide by the law, how hipocritical can they be? If we continue to protect law breakers, while others are being affected by the same law, it’s unacceptable.

    Therefore, if it’s not proven that anyone is a citizen of another country, there shouldn’t be a reason for you to question law abiding citizens like Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe, who is responding to an inquiry by the newspaper reporter.
    This has nothing to do with people being haters, but more to do with how sincere and law abiding can anybody like Cllr. Korkoya, who is chairman of one of Liberia’s integrity institutions [NEC] be, if he or she breaks the law?

  6. Why are these posters trivializing this debate? The law is quite clear about the issue of dual citizenship, therefore we should not attempt to vilify anybody, who intends to uphold this law. It is the responsibility of every well-meaning Liberian to respect the laws of the nation, therefore those who are advocating for the total disregard for the rule of law, are the real haters. Your advocacy for lawlessness is disheartening, despicable, and extremely disgusting. I therefore urge you to please desist from your unwholesome practice, as Liberia is a decent society, that respect laws.

  7. Look my people, law or rule is law or rule. If we want Liberia to improve and be on the same level with other developed countries, we should stop this thing of trying to circumvent law or make excuses for people who try to bypass rules. If those involved are investigated and found to have lied under oath, they should be removed and perhaps prosecuted immediately. And by the way, it does not take a whole day, with modern technology in place nowadays and all the Liberians connections with the United States government, to prove if these allegations are true or false concerning candidates holding American passports. The question is, are those responsible to make things right in Liberia serious. My question is, why is the George Weah’s issue coming up at every election period? This issue could have been settled long time once and for all if our leaders at the election commission were serious; all they have to do is research the information–call the State Department and make a formal request, and wada! the problem is solved. The American Embassy is right there; a cab ride there or a phone call can put this issue to rest. My advice to Election Commission is, STOP MONKEYING AROUND WITH THIS ISSUE; RESEARCH IT QUICKLY AND PUBLISH YOUR FINDINGS

  8. I heard a story about Liberian people who have right to be a president in Liberia or the work in the Liberian Government? Let us go back to the finding of this great Nation of Liberia. No Liberian or born in Liberia to be president in Liberia. All the president’s from America and all presidents from America and have USA Citizenship , work in Liberia. You call your brother, working in Liberia, pay texting to the great nation. When George Weah run for presidential candidate, the Liberian vote for him, President of Liberia now has USA Citizenship and her family do the same. Let the Liberian make the decision. Let him run for a change. James Kokopie Nyanfore

  9. “Korkoya ” is the last name. Does this name sound American? You can not put dark clouds over the head of a bonafide Liberian citizen simply because you want to drag him in the mud. Unless you have “proof beyond reasonable doubt(i.e. the American Passport of Cllr. Jerome Korkoya) you can not come up with stupid speculations. Every lawyer knows that “a man is considered innocent until proven guilty.” Where is the proof that the learned counselor has American Citizenship? Were we to be honest to ourselves, half of the Senators as well as the members of the House of Representatives are all Americans(hiding their passports in their suits pockets). Joseph Jenkins Roberts was both American and Liberian and served as president for many years. So was Stephen Allen Benson, Daniel B Warner and most if not all of our earlier presidents. Cllr. Gongloe, unless you can present Cllr. Korkoya’s American passport (evidence) as you were taught in Law school to do in matters of this nature, you should be the last person accusing another based on mere speculation.

    • Gongloe should know better. Let him take the American passports of Weah and Korkoya to court. Weah was cleared to run in 2014 so this issue should be put to bed by now.

  10. The burden of proof rests with the accuser(Cllr. Gongloe). Let him prove beyond reasonable doubt that Cllr. Korkoya is an American. In the absence of this proof, nothing we can do if we are upholders of the Rule of Law.

  11. I just read, “Every Commissioner shall be a Liberian citizen”, “NEC Chair holding……. one ECOWAS (Liberian)”passport. Does not make him a Liberian citizen or the additional passport makes him a foreigner? Which one is it?

  12. I am a Liberian and have live in the United States for 14 years and decided not to be a United States citizen because my country doesn’t have a dual citizenship. I believe the Liberian Constitution should be upheld. I do understand that many Liberians in the United States becAmerican United States citizen by choice. While others did to qualify for certain positions or jobs in the United States. Others also did because they want to bring their relatives in the United States. This is a very delicate one but I think the law should prevail. It’s unfortunate that our country doesn’t have a dual citizenship but l think this should be given serious consideration.

  13. Why is it that Liberians do not believe in the rule of laws? If we want Liberia to move forward, regardless who the person is, let the law takes it course. Too many by-passing the laws of Liberia is what have us in this mess of corruption, cheat, disrespect, etc, etc. This has nothing to do with hate. All we need to do is find the truth and set the record straight. We want to stop corruption, but when a friend is caught in corruption, we defend the person. We are not stand up to family and friends with bad behaviors rather, we are supporting them.

    • Until the laws are applicable to all and not selectively…They are bad laws. Mr. Robert Sieleaf, was a U.S citizen when he ran to be a senator, therefore, this issue is moot because legally a precedent as already been set and is in motion. Where were the courts at that time? You now a legal precedent is in place. We can no longer return because there is set legal precedent. Stop your nonsense and foolishness. Non issue, move on! Liberians, start thinking critically…laws are made in various way. Where was Gongloe when Robert ran? He should know better…

    • The US government does care about democracy and peace. But the US also care about the privacy of its citizens. In addition, the learned men and women of the US government know that a born Liberian holding a US passport poses no threat to democracy and peace of Liberia. This means that the US government will not be getting involved in this nonsense. Let those who are making allegations against their Liberian brothers and sisters bear the burden of proving their allegations.

      • Mr. “State Department spokesman”, a local daily has already published the biodata pages of the two American Passports in question. How did Mr. John Steward get access to those passports? Please answer this question, “Mr. Know More”.

        • Paye, You need to ask John Steward how he got access to whatever information he possesses. I would not know the answer to that. But what I do know is that, if John Steward has proof then perhaps you and him can take the proof to the court in Liberia. There’s no need for the Americans to get involve if you already have proof right?

          By the way, I do hope you are not referring to that dubious photograph that John Steward posted to his Facebook.
          In this day and age where anything can be doctored on the computer, nothing will suffice as proof except the physical passports of the two honorable gentlemen.

          So if John Steward has copies of Weah’s and Korkoya’s passports, he surely should also be in possession of the actual passports (or how else could he have copied them?).

          All we are asking for is reliable proof. Not they say, you say, and I say, and certainly not a doctored photograph which could possibly be a visa, a dollar bill, or God knows what. That’s fair to ask right?

        • Paye, don’t take this situation personal. John Stewart is not so smart to obtain copies of only George Weah and Korkoya’s passports. He probably got some fake stuff from World Trade center on Gurley street where people usually take other people academic credentials and put another name on it. Why John Stewart did not go after Robert Sirleaf, Alex Cummings and all the US citizens in the legislature? John Stewart will cut and paste from face book to gain fame. He is a paid agent. I understand he has been in the journalism business for 30 years and has caught only two US citizens in the government? Do you consider him a smart journalist?. Why will someone even talk about Weah been a US citizens when he was cleared to run for the presidency two times and a one time as senator of Montserrado? John Stewart is a Liberian tabloid journalist. The key to tabloid story writing is that something doesn’t have to be true to print

  14. Why not make or propose a law prohibiting Liberians residing in the USA from sending money and other assistance 2 Liberia? Once a Liberian, always a Liberian. Just hear how one speaks 2 determine whether one is a Liberian or not! God bless LIB!

  15. If the Laws of Liberia were followed, then Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf should not have been President of Liberia.
    In the Decision of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission brought to Liberia by Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
    herself, it ban her not hold public office for 30 0r 35 years. Why was that not respected and now that
    you want others to respect the Laws? The only solution to this US Passport holders business is that
    we should and must focus on where that man or that woman umbilical cords (navel strings) were
    buried. The fact that person went abroad for many good reasons; education, experiences in an enhancing experiences which are not available in the country ipso facto or does not by themselves
    make that person disqualified from being a natural-born Liberian, period!

  16. I have both passports(American and Liberian). My great, great, great grand father and great, great great grand mother were born in Liberia. My great great grand father and great great grand mother were born in Liberia. My great grand father and great grand mother were born in Liberia. My grand father and grand mother were born in Liberia. My father and mother were born in Liberia. I was born and raised in Liberia. Let’s see who will say I am not a Liberian because I have paper citizenship of America which can be taken away from me any time. You morons should know that Natural Born citizens of Liberia will always be Liberians. No one can change this, not even corrupt immigration laws.

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