The Chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Jerome G. Korkoya, yesterday said he will make an official complaint against Bomi County Senator Sando D. Johnson to the Senate for threatening to “deal with” the NEC Chairman “politically and legally” for the NEC Board of Commissioners’ (BOC) decision that overturn a recent ruling in favor of Rep. Edwin M. Snowe.
On Thursday, August 10, the Board of Commissioners (BOC) overturned a ruling handed down by the Commission’s election disputes chief hearing officer, Muana S. Ville, and declared Rep. Edwin Melvin Snowe, the incumbent Rep. of Montserrado Electoral District #6 who has cast his political net in Senjeh, Bomi Electoral District #1, qualified to run for the district.
Addressing journalists at the NEC’s weekly press briefing at the Commission’s headquarters in Monrovia, Korkoya said Sen. Johnson called him on Monday, August 14 and threatened him along with his fellow commissioners that he will deal with them politically and legally. “In consultation with our lawyers, we are not taking Sen. Johnson’s threatening comments lightly. We will, as soon as possible, take our complaint against him to the House of Senate for the threatening remarks,” he noted. He added that, should the final decision from the Senate not be satisfactory to the BOC, they will pursue justice at the Supreme Court. He said that other than the Sen. Johnson’s threatening phone calls, he (Johnson) also sent a couple of text messages saying the same threatening words. “As Africans and particularly in a case like this, I will not take Johnson’s comments for granted,” he said, noting further that Johnson may not only mean the real words “politically” and “legally.” Cllr. Korkoya continued: “He insulted me and my friends and promised to go on radio and make his invectives against us. He wants to intimidate this Commission, but we will not be deterred in executing our mandates as an autonomous body constitutionally established by law,” Korkoya said.
Speaking on other issues, he said as the campaign continues, political parties should be mindful of their limitations and operate within the confines of the law. “The Ganta Declaration and the Farmington River Declaration are not dead and we expect every political party to live up its commitment to the two peace agreements,” he admonished. About the printing of ballot papers in Europe, he said there is no need for any politics to be associated with the NEC’s decision to hire a company in Slovenia to print the ballots. “We had a bidding process and this company won the bid after a transparent vetting process that was in line with the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC),” Korkoya pointed out.
He also thanked the government for providing US$8.5 million to the NEC to continue with elections related activities.