The long standing legislative election dispute of Nimba County Electoral District #7 was laid to rest on Friday, February 9, 2018 with Roger S.W.Y. Domah finally declared winner by the Supreme Court.
Roger Domah was declared winner earlier by the National Elections Commission (NEC) in that election held on October 10 last year, but the result, like other disputed results of the 2017 presidential and legislative elections, was contested by Evans V. Koah, a contender in the race.
The dispute resolution process went through the NEC beginning with the Hearing Officer and then to the Board of Commissioners, who ruled in favor of Domah.
Not content with the result from NEC, Koah, who is also a former lawmaker of the 52nd Legislature, contested the outcome in the Supreme Court, having earlier accused the winner of using cash to campaign in the district on Election Day.
Furthermore, defeated candidate Koah contended that the election in Saclepea was not properly organized, thereby denying him votes otherwise intended for him. Accordingly, he argued for a re-run of the election.
The ruling on Friday, February 9, was based on the fact that Koah did not take exception to the ruling by the NEC Hearing Officer when the officer declared the allegation of bribery was outside of the NEC’s jurisdiction.
The Supreme Court therefore withheld NEC Board of Commissioners’ decision declaring Roger Domah winner of the election in that district.
The 2017 presidential and legislative elections were marred by too many disputes unlike the two preceding elections of 2005 and 2011.
One contentious election case is still pending in Nimba County Electoral District #4 between incumbent Representative Garretson Yealue and challenger Gonpue Kargon.
The Supreme Court ruled that there must be a recount at one of the centers in that district, which NEC is now under obligation to conduct at a future date.
Meanwhile Representative Domah, apparently relieved by the Court’s decision and now hoping to take his seat in the 54th Legislature, told the Daily Observer that the dispute was to ascertain reality and facts and not to create enmity between him and his contender.
According to him, in the 2005 presidential and legislative elections in which Koah contested for a senatorial seat, he (Domah) campaigned for Koah though he (Koah) was not successful.
He said since the legal battle is over now, he wants Koah to make a meaningful contribution to the district and county at large, not for today, but for future positions he would seek from the public.
The Nimba County District #7 Representative said the 2017 elections brought hard feelings in many quarters that reconciliation is needed to reunite the people, and since the district now has its Representative, he is ready to begin the “People’s work.”
“The young people of District 7 yea Nimba were in support of me and they got us to have this position. I was one candidate among several candidates who received votes at all centers in the district because of the hard work of the young people. I will not disappoint them; we will make sure to do what we can to touch their lives especially in the area of education that they desire to pursue,” Representative Domah said.
He added: “Even where we received the least votes will be the first place to feel our impact, and we will ensure to purchase project materials from local business people in Saclepea as a way of empowering them, too.”
Prior to becoming Nimba District 7 Representative, Roger Domah served as principal of the Ganta United Methodist High School. He is on record for demoting students who under-performed and taking a strict stance (position) against exam malpractices.
It can be recalled that a few years ago, Roger Domah and the education authorities of Nimba came to a head when he exposed students of his own institution for exam malpractices while the West African Examination Council (WAEC) test was ongoing.