Although the National Elections Commission (NEC) has declared the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction or MDR Senatorial Candidate, Jeremiah Koung, winner in the Tuesday, December 8, 2020 midterm poll in Nimba County, lawyers representing the legal interest of the complainant, Edith Gongloe-Weh, of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) have taken exception to the ruling and announced an appeal to the full Board of Commissioners.
Announcing the ruling yesterday, Counselor Boakai Cooper said the complainants failed to provide proof to support their allegation of “fraud and irregularities” against the defendant.
The complainant’s counsels are calling for a reverse of the Monday, February 22 ruling of the hearing officer against their client and want a careful review of the judicial records or proceedings on the matter.
He stated, amongst many things, that although the complainant continuously mentioned that ballot boxes arrived with broken seals, the complainant could not provide a single ballot box number nor the seal number that specifically arrived with a broken seal.
Thus, Cooper continued: “the mere allegation of ballot boxes arriving with broken seals does not amount to proof. The complainant was duty-bound to have provided specific ballot box numbers along with the seal numbers that were broken.”
He however instead, the complainant provided photos of ballot boxes that did not depict any evidence of seals of being tampered.
Cooper then declared that, in view of the foregoing, Complainant Edith Gongloe-Weh’s complaint is hereby denied and dismissed, and that the election result as announced on December 16, 2020 by the NEC, which declared Jeremiah Koung as the winner, is hereby affirmed and confirmed.
Earlier, before announcing the ruling, Cooper read the 17 page document of the case which started on December 12, 2020 to February 13, 2021, when final arguments in the matter were held in the James M. Fromayan Hall of the NEC, in Monrovia.
During the two and half months of hearing the complainant’s legal team comprised Counselor Gloria Musu-Scott, Frances Johnson-Allison, Kuku Dorbor and Philip Y. Gongloe.
Others were Augustine Fayiah, Tiawan Gongloe, Momolu Kandakai, and Lawrence Tomah.
The defense counsels comprised Counselor Cooper W. Kruah, Arthur Johnson, Othello G. Kruah and Prince M. Kruah
Among the notable figures from Nimba County who witnessed yesterday’s ruling at the NEC, which was tension-packed, were Senator Prince Yormie Johnson of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction or MDR, and Jeremiah Koung himself.
On other side were Representative Larry Younquoi of the Unity Party, a constituent member of the Collaborating Political Parties or CPP, as well as the complainant herself, Edith Gongloe-Weh.