By Abednego Davis
A 35-year old man who was believed to have had in possession 98 National Election Commission (NEC) Voter’s registration cards during the just ended December 8 Special Senatorial Election and two By-elections was on Wednesday, December 16, surrendered for his first court appearance.
Defendant Mark Roberts appeared before the Monrovia City Court charged with the commission of the crime of bribery by the Liberia National Police (LNP).
The prosecution claimed that defendant Roberts was arrested based on a tip-off by one Trokon Davies, a resident of District #9 in Montserrado County.
The prosecution quoted Prince Hiama, the police officer who arrested defendant Roberts as saying that when the defendant noticed he was at the point of being picked up, he threw the 98 registration cards to the ground before attempting to run, and with help of the residents he was arrested.
According to the prosecution, Trokon Davies, the community resident who raised the alarm when defendant Roberts was arrested, told the investigation that while he was in the community on the morning of December 8, he saw defendant Roberts and two other people entering the compound of one of the candidates, Attorney Miller Catakaw.
Atty. Catakaw was one of the Representative candidates during the by-election in District #9.
Prosecution further said Davies claimed that he entered Attorney Catakaw’s compound going after defendant Roberts and two other defendants that are on the run.
Davies later claimed that when he entered the compound, he heard Roberts and his two accomplices discussing with Atty. Catakaw the voter registration cards.
He further indicated hearing Roberts telling Catakaw that the voter’s cards were for sale, which request according to Davies, Catakaw refused on ground that he was not out for purchasing voter’s cards.
Prosecution further said Davies informed them that Catakaw told Roberts to go and vote for candidates of their choice.
Before that, the prosecution claimed that Roberts, during the investigation, admitted having in his possession voter cards.
A single voter by law and standard is entitled to one card bearing his image and information.
Prosecution also quoted defendant Roberts that on December 7, they allegedly took the voters cards to the home of the mother of late Representative Munah Pelham Youngblood, but she refused to buy them and only managed to give LD$22,000 with a plea that they should vote her candidate.
However, the prosecution did not mention anything about inviting Attorney Catakaw during the investigation that charged Roberts.