New revelation suggests that Jerome George Korkoya, chairman of the National Elections Commission, may have voted in the 2008 US presidential elections, which was the first time Democratic candidate Barack H. Obama ran for the top office.
The new document, from the New York State Board of Elections (BOE) Voter Registration Search, shows that one Jerome George Korkoya voted as an active Democrat with a residential address: 195 Steuben Street, Staten Island, NY 10304.
The new discovery comes against the backdrop of Cllr. Korkoya’s insistence that he is ‘a Liberian,’ but has remained mute on his purported American citizenship.
The Jerome George Korkoya who voted in the 2008 US elections is believed to be the same Jerome George Korkoya, who now heads Liberia’s Elections Commission, a position which, according to the Liberian Constitution, he would be ineligible to hold.
As revelations mount against the Jerome George Korkoya being a US citizen, many observers are saying that Cllr. Korkoya would have to come clean and tell the truth.
While Cllr. Korkoya insists that the US citizenship allegations are nothing but a ‘smear campaign’ against him, Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson (PYJ) told the Voice of America (VOA) Daybreak Africa Program that it would be better for Cllr. Korkoya to resign his post if it is true he holds two passports.
“Under Liberian laws, it is wrong for any Liberian to hold passports of two different countries, because this country does not allow dual citizenship,” Sen. Johnson said.
Meanwhile, Sam P. Jackson, former economic adviser to President Charles Taylor, has said that until Cllr. Korkoya can exonerate himself from the allegation, he cannot be trusted with the October elections.
Mr. Jackson spoke on Tuesday via phone from the United States on the ELBC Bumper Show in Monrovia. He said the allegation about the NEC chairman’s US passport should not be overlooked because his loyalty is involved.
Jackson posted yesterday on Facebook that he is organizing Liberians to take the Korkoya case to ECOWAS, the UN, and the International Crisis Group.
“Any future national and local elections presided over by Jerome Korkoya cannot be free, fair and credible,” Jackson said, “because there can be no legal mandate to govern Liberia by the winner.”
He believes that Korkoya succeeded in persuading the President and the lawmakers to get him the NEC position, adding that if he holds a US passport, “under Liberian Law, Korkoya has committed perjury.”
“Cllr. Korkoya, who has vowed to uphold the Supreme Court’s decision on the controversial Code of Conduct, must himself come with clean hands,” Jackson said.
On Tuesday’s Bumper Show, Cllr. Korkoya phoned in to challenge anyone who has valid evidence that he holds a US passport to take him to court. “One thing the detractors need to understand is that social media is not the court or any legal instrument to declare me guilty of any wrong doing. I am a Liberian citizen and that is all I have to say,” he declared.
In a new development, a civil society organization named Consortium of Civil Society Network of Liberia (CSNL), yesterday said it has investigated and found out that those accusing Cllr. Korkoya of being an American citizen are yet to genuinely prove their claims.
“In our mind and from a rational context, this is a broad-day scheme to distract the progress of our democracy and freeze our upcoming and historic elections,” CSNL chairman Amos B.S. Kanneh said.
“We have ascertained facts that those pursuing such a fruitless agenda to undermine the workings of the NEC under chairman Korkoya are nothing more than anti-democratic agents and detractors. They would do anything to oppose him simply because he and his team of commissioners are resolute and uncompromising about enforcing every provision of our electoral and statutory laws,” Mr. Kanneh said. He added that it is disappointing and detrimental to the country’s democracy for anyone to pursue Korkoya, “simply because he is doing what is right and legally prudent.”