Due to fraud and discrepancies in two of the electoral districts in Nimba County, the National Elections Commission (NEC) has instructed a rerun of the election in five of the polling places. They will include one polling place in the town of Dulay in District #3 and Beo Bongaplay in District # 4.
According to the Magistrate of Upper Nimba, Princeton Monmiah, the presiding officer of one of the polling places in Dulay was caught with six ballot papers, already checked in favor of a particular candidate, while in the town of Beo Bongaplay the voters disrupted the process after one of the four polling places did not open.
The magistrate said a Presiding Officer, identified as Josephus Cooper, has been placed behind bars awaiting court trial.
The rerun, he said, will take place in the two towns tomorrow, October 17.
Tension has been high in the two areas since the holding of the October 10 elections, where voters went on the rampage and held some of the security agents assigned with polling staff hostage demanding their validated stamps.
A similar problem was also reported in District # 5 where several voters could not vote due to lack of direction from polling staff at the Buutuo Public School polling precinct, but the magistrate said there has been no report from that end.
A Women’s Situation Room observer, Alice Gbahn, described seeing voters leaving because there was no one to direct or lead them to the polling places where they were supposed to cast their ballots.
She said although the polling places were closed at about 7 p.m., several voters who were still waiting to vote were denied by the presiding officer because it was after the stipulated time.
There was also a complaint from the towns of Glarlay and Teahplay, where many voters could not vote because there was no one to direct them to the right place to vote.
“We faced too much problem,” said an elderly man. “When we went to this line, they will say our names were not there; if you went there, the same, we got tired.”
In another development, tensions were high in the town of Madiaplay when some ballot boxes were discovered by voters in the town chief’s house.
The voters accused the town chief of keeping extra boxes to aid candidates. Angry voters blocked the major road, but it was later clarified by Magistrate Princeton Monmiah that the boxes in question were empty boxes that they could not fit in the car that was transporting them to Sanniquellie.
“People were misinformed about what was going on, but the situation has been put under control at last,” he said.
There is still confusion in other districts in Nimba, with claims and counter-claims of victory by several candidates.
In Saclepea District # 7, there were a series of discrepancies reported, where two of the candidates, Evan Koah and Paul Tuazama, have reported candidate Roger Domah to the NEC for manipulating the process. Evan Koah has threatened to take the matter to the Supreme Court if the NEC fails to amicably resolve the dispute.