By Abednego Davis
A judgment on whether or not the April 22 convention of the opposition Union of Liberia Democrats (ULD) was in total defiance and disregard of the authority of the Civil Law Court is expected to be delivered today.
The expected decision will come after Judge Boimah Kontoe listens to legal arguments between lawyers representing rival groups of the party.
Yesterday, Judge Kontoe also dropped contempt charges against the National Elections Commission (NEC) for allegedly recognizing the outcome of ULD convention, regardless of the court’s “stay order” placed on the process.
Kontoe’s decision was due to the NEC’s clarification that it was not aware of the ban on the convention.
Madam MacDella Cooper, the only female presidential candidate, was elected on a white ballot by some ULD partisans as their standard bearer; however, the party’s former standard bearer, Jonathan Mason, sought nullification of Cooper’s election, claiming it violated the court’s earlier restraining order.
Before his contention, Mason served as the standard bearer for the party during the 2011 presidential and legislative elections.
He wants to cancel Cooper’s nomination based on what he considers as a “decision of the majority of executive Board members.”
Mason’s lawsuit against Cooper and other executive members, including the party’s acting chairman Solomon Kahn and regional coordinator Boakai Zoludua, alleges that two writs, summons, and preliminary injunctions were separately issued to the Sheriff (court officer) to be served to the defendants, that prevented them from conducting the convention.
The complainant further alleges that the officers went to serve the writs on Cooper and her collaborators who had gathered at a resort in Congo Town, but Kahn and Zoludua refused to sign the order.
“Their action was in total defiance and complete disregard to the authority of the court, because they, on the same day, went ahead and conducted the said convention,” the record claims. “It is unthinkable for Cooper and the others after seeing and viewing the restraining order with the Sheriff would go ahead and conduct the convention.”
Their action, the document claims, “Under our law and practice is punishable by contempt of court against them, as a way of deterrence or warning to future violators.”
In a counter argument, Cooper’s legal team denied the allegation that Kahn and Zoludua refused to sign the order because they left the convention hall prior to the arrival of the officers from the court.
“Our clients did not violate and disrespect the court’s restraining order, because the convention had already ended before the arrival of the two court officers,” the defense lawyers stated.
They, meanwhile, asked Judge Kontoe to dismiss the contempt charge against the defendants and allow Cooper to perform her elected duty as other standard bearers are doing.