NDC Sues Korkoya

For Holding Dual Citizenship as NEC Chairman

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The opposition National Democratic Coalition (NDC) represented by two leading lawyers has sued Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya, Chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC) before the Civil Law Court in Monrovia for holding U.S. citizenship which disqualifies him to be NEC Commissioner.

The lawsuit against Korkoya came weeks after he openly challenged anyone to take him to court to prove allegations that he holds United States and Liberian citizenships.

Counselors Tiawan S. Gongloe and Laveli Supuwood last week filed a petition for Declaratory Judgment against Korkoya at the Civil Law Court to prove his dual citizenship status.

A ‘Declaratory Judgment’ is the legal determination of a court that resolves legal uncertainty for the litigants.

It is also a form of legally binding preventive decision by which a party involved in an actual or possible legal matter can ask a court to conclusively rule on and affirm the rights, duties, or obligations of one or more parties in a civil dispute.

Gongloe and Supuwood brought the action against the NEC chairman on behalf of National Democratic Coalition (NDC) an opposition political party and Concerned Citizens to Protect the Constitution of Liberia of Culture Ambassador Miatta Fahnbulleh.

In the lawsuit, the pair allege that Korkoya deliberately concocted, conceived, deceived and ipso facto lied to the Senate by declaring and insisting that he is a Liberian citizen when all along, he allegedly knew these facts to be false.

“That by hiding the truth about himself through tricks and artifice, Korkoya did fraudulently succeed in obtaining a confirmation of the Senate to serve as Chairman of the NEC,” the petition further alleges.

“Consequently, Korkoya knowingly, conscientiously and falsely took the following oath of affirmation pursuant to article 97 schedule 1 and 2 of the constitution,” it added.

Article 97, 1 and 2 provides that “This schedule shall form and be an integral part of this constitution and shall have the same force as any other provision thereof.

“All public officials and employees, whether elected or appointed, holding office of public trust, shall subscribe to a solemn oath or affirmation as follows.

“I do solemnly swear (affirm that I will support, uphold, protect and defend the constitution and laws of the Republic of Liberia, bear true faith and allegiance to the Republic, and will faithfully, conscientiously and impartially discharge the duties and functions of the office of chairman of the national elections commission to the best of my ability so help me God.”

They further allege that evidence available to them show that Korkoya was born on December 24, 1961 in Gbarnga, Bong County and he was a Liberian citizen and did owe duty of allegiance to the Liberian State.

However, the lawsuit claims that “Korkoya voluntarily and without duress on December 21, 2007, renounced his duty of allegiance to the Republic of Liberia and assumed the citizenship of the United States of America, thereby obtaining a United States Passport number 467078002, dated March 16, 2010, thereby renouncing his Liberian citizenship in keeping with section 22.1 of the Alien and Nationality Law. His naturalization certificate number is 30628201 and his voter identification number is 150326754.”

They also claim that in furtherance of the evidence of Korkoya’s American citizenship, he has voted in a number of elections held in that country as a member of the Democratic Party, “having first registered to vote on July 1, 2008.”

“To accomplish his greed and wicked desire to dupe the country,” the record alleges, “Korkoya, with tricks and artifice, fraudulently deceived and manipulated authorities of the Liberian Government to obtain a Liberian Diplomatic Passport number D001973 dated May 27, 2013.”

They also allege that since then he has been, and continues to impersonate as a Liberian citizen in violation of section 12.32 of the Penal Code of Liberia.

Pointing out that Cllr. Korkoya has grossly violated the tenets of the Code of Conduct in its entirety, the lawyers pointed particularly to “Section 4.3” which states that “an appointed Liberian government official shall exhibit good conduct at all times, both at work and off duty. He or she shall be honest, faithful and just, and shall not act in a manner against the honor or dignity of the public service.”

They again allege that Korkoya’s conduct as outlined “falls far short of the honor and dignity contemplated by the Code Of Conduct when he deceived the Senate as maintained to secure confirmation, in violation of the oath that he took to say the truth and nothing but the truth. A demonstration of such a character is less than what Liberians expect of their public servants.”

The document continues: “With these revelations, it is clear that Korkoya  is not a Liberian citizen and therefore, legally and constitutionally unqualified to preside over the National Elections Commission as chairman as that position is reserved for Liberians only, and not foreigners such as the Respondent, as provided by section 2.3 of the Elections Law.”

Explaining about the NEC, the lawsuit alleges that “it is the arm of government mandated solely to conduct and manage all matters relating to elections and in that regard, to ensure that the tenets of the constitution are fully observed.”

The court record alleges that the referenced mandate includes protection of the rights of every Liberian to participate in the national decision—making process.

Thus, the lawsuit said “It behooves upon the NEC the duty to execute those mandates in accordance with the relevant provisions of the constitution and statutory laws dealing with elections.”

This principle is particularly amplified in article 77 of the constitution thus said: “Since the essence of democracy is free competition of ideas expressed by political parties and political groups as well as by individuals, parties may freely be established to advocate the opinion of the people. Laws, regulations, decrees or measures which might have the effect of creating a one party state shall be declared unconstitutional.”

The court document claims that as a foreigner, the Respondent, in this case Korkoya, is not allowed to work in this country without proper labor work permit. Respondent as Chairman of the NEC with salaries intended for Liberian Citizens is in violation of the Labor Laws of Liberia and should therefore, face the appropriate penalty to ensure compliance with the laws of this country.”

Therefore, the lawsuit alleges that “Korkoya has unconstitutionally violated article 97, schedule 1 and 2 of the constitution aforesaid in that he is not a Liberian citizen and therefore unfit to serve as Chairman of the NEC or any other employment within this Republic without the necessary labor and immigration documentation, and grant unto petitioners such other relief as this Honorable Court may deem just and equitable.”

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12 COMMENTS

  1. The observer have to take time before people start accusing it of being used for political reasons. For the past three weeks, you have carried this citizenship story every day or so often repeating the same old story and without writing anything about korkoya side of the story. If the ndc case is really in court and the ndc believes in it case, there should be no need for the observer to repeat the whole case here. Let the ndc fight its case in court.

    • One of the fall back of the Liberian press is that it is not consistent with stories or issues that demands the public good. The press will raised a critical story and then it dies, matter swept under the rug. Give the Observer credit for consistency and the press some slack for pressing on this story. How long has the Russian and Trump story been in the press? Your guess is as good as mine.

    • Moses Kollie,
      So are you saying that The Daily Observer should forget about this story? It hasn’t been concluded! They are doing an excellent job by publishing it every week.

      It is obvious you feel uncomfortable reading about “your-own-man” Korkoya. You just wish the story goes away and swept under the carpet as quickly as possible. Well that’s what took us to war before, remember? Remember? Selectively prosecuting and punishing minor crimes and misdemeanors but allowing the “untouchables” to get away with murder and graft. Is that what you desire?

      This is a serious case against “your-own-man” Korkoya. It’s not going away soon. Even if it fails, another group of lawyers will pick it up again. Korkorya has perjured himself before the Senate and by extension the Liberian people. That’s the most egregious sin against a lawmaking body. Perjury!

      This is an epic display of disrespect for the Liberian people. Until they change the law that no Liberian can hold another country’s citizenship, Korkoya is a felon in Liberia. So if the President and lawmakers choose to look the other way in this case, let the press and the courts look into it and see who is right. You can run away from a thief and a murderer; but you it is difficult to run away from a liar. Your man is a liar. An accomplished liar.

      So we congratulate the intrepid reporters at The Daily Observer for following up on this story every week for the past three weeks. Hats-Off Observer!

    • I too am beginning to think that Daily Observer is on the payroll of one of the politicians who are out to oust Korkoya.

  2. These are serious charges, only if our courts will take them serious. But the Liberian Senate and House of Representatives have repeatedly paid deaf-ears to this matter. This case should not be underestimated. It is the foundation of the respect for our laws [and order] in Liberia. Foreign governments and other residents in Liberia and around the world are keenly looking at us to see how our courts will decipher the fate of Mr. Korkoya. He has lied under oath. If found guilty, he deserves to bear the consequences of deliberately breaking our laws and perjuring himself before the Liberian Senate and people. We’re watching.

  3. There is no case here against Kokoya OK this guy was just fortunate to traveled Abroad for studied ok in the USA, what is the big issues here? Why should Liberian stopping there own citizens from working upon their returned, the Named KOKOYA is it an American name? NONSENSES

  4. Bernard Nathan, and Moses Kollie, since it is evident the both of you have nothing to say, please just read and keep quiet. Jerome Korkoyah´s behaviour in this case is simply A REFLECTION of this president´s ( Ellen Johnson Sirleaf´s) lawless behaviour. Jerome Korkoyah has since TCITLY confessed that he holds the dual citizenships of the USA and Liberia.

  5. This is a great democratic practice by making sure that those who violate the laws be taken to court. I appreciate very well the patriotic citizens approached taking by these individuals who have taken NEC chairman Korkoya to court. We hope that these individuals should not only stop there but to also make sure that those issues surrounding the implementation of the code of conduct and the ten years residential clause be applicable on all affected Individuals.It will also be prudent that those public officials affected by the code of conduct and the ten years residential clause be taking to court individually if they refuse to drop their ambition to partake in the October elections.Our Laws need to be respected and enforced at all time so that we as Liberians will be respected by other nationals in the sub region.We are closely following the court development around Chairman Korkoya and hope that the process will be a fast track court proceeding.

  6. I think the citizenship verification of Korkoya should not stop with him alone. It should also extend to many others holding Presidential appointments at GOL agencies/institutions including LRA, LTA, CBL and even some cabinet members. Korkoya is not the only person affected by this dial nationality stuff.

  7. This lawsuit should most definitely be dismissed. The petitioners have no standing. If the Observer report is accurate, there are so many things wrong here that I cannot begin to think how any court would dignify this lawsuit. The most glaring error here is that the basis of the suit is that Korkoya committed perjury. Perjury is a criminal offense. No individual citizen or political party can bring a criminal charge against another individual. Only the state has standing to bring a criminal charge against an accused.

    I CANNOT believe anyone calling himself a lawyer would bring a criminal charge on behalf of a citizen against another person. What makes this even worse is that these IDIOTS (Gongloe and Supuwood) brought the criminal charge before a civil court, which of course has no subject matter jurisdiction. This is elementary knowledge. I am floored that anyone calling himself a lawyer would affix his signature to such nonsense.

    Lastly, by filing this case, Gongloe has proven himself to be a complete hypocrite. Gongloe’s very own sister raised the issue of a Nimba County Senator holding a foreign passport, but that matter was resolved behind closed doors and I don’t recall Gongloe filing any lawsuit against that Senator.

  8. If this allegation is true, Jerome Kokoya will be the only Liberian American working in the Liberian Government. I hope these lawyers can call on all Liberian Government employees to bring their passport for verification to see if there will be any more US citizens. This allegation is strongly supported by Daily Observer for a specific reason known to them. This is also an attempt by NDC back by a failed group calling themselves progressive to delay the October 2017 general elections in our country.

  9. Sesay, you are right. However, when out nation’s sovereign dignity, political independence, and territorial integrity, are at stake – as is the Case with A FOREIGNER (Jerome Korkoyah) masquerading as a Citizen and chairing an institution and Commission which adjudicates as to who qualifies as the head of our national political leadership, we have to throw him out fast! For allowing A FOREIGNER to head or even SIT within such institution any longer is a threat to the safety and happiness of our people, and a sacrilege and infidelity to our Constitution!

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