Supreme Court declares, affirms NEC Board of Commissioners’ in favor of Rep. Snowe
Following intense legal wrangling over allegations of reported fraud and irregularities said to have marred the December 8 Special Senatorial Election in Bomi County, the Supreme Court has declared that there is “No evidence to substantiate the claims.”
Edwin Melvin Snowe, the current Representative of Bomi County District#1, contested in the December 2020 Senatorial election and was earlier declared by the National Elections Commission as the winner over his main rival, J. Alex Tyler, former Speaker of the House of Representatives and former Representative of District #2 in the county. Mr. Tyler, who was accused during the Voter Roll Update of trucking voters from Monrovia to Bomi for registration, did not accept the declaration of Snowe as a winner but took the matter to the Supreme Court.
Refuting the accusation on Friday, February 19, Chief Justice Francis Korkpor said, the Justices, excluding Associate Justice Sie Nyene Yuoh, “affirmed the ruling of the Board of Commissions of the National Election Commission (NEC) declaring Edwin Snowe as the winner of the Special Senatorial Election in Bomi County.”
Justice Yuoh recused herself from the case because she is the wife of the Mr. Snowe.
Justice Korkpor said though there were some errors committed during the electoral process, those errors were brought to the attention of the NEC and were immediately corrected.
The Chief Justice also noted that the said errors did not operate to produce different results of the Special Senatorial Election in the county.
“We are in full agreement with the NEC ruling that there were no fraud and irregularities,” Justice Korkpor clarified.
Tyler had earlier contended that there were irregularities in the reconciliation of the ballot papers reportedly supplied and the number of used, unused, spoiled and discarded ballot papers at a number of other polling places.
Tyler named those voting precincts as the Barmo Palava hut District #1 polling center 1, code 03002; Nyoundee Town Hall, District #2 polling place 1, center code 03007; Geveh Fahncee District #2 polling place 1; Mary Camp District 1, Sackie Town, District 1, polling place 1, center code 03042.
However, Justice Korkpor wondered whether fraud and irregularities would work together to change the result of the Special Senatorial Election in Bomi County, and he reasoned in the negative.
“We hold that Tyler did not establish fraud and irregularities in this case,” Korkpor indicated.
At the counting of the votes, Representative Edwin Melvin Snowe obtained 16,476 votes or 54% as opposed to Tyler the challenger got 8,834 or 28.9% of the total valid votes cast.
Tyler served as Representative of Bomi County District 1 for 12 years and was also Speaker of the House of Representatives from 2007 to 2016. He was first elected as the Representative for District 1 in Bomi in 2005.
Snowe was elected Representative since October 2005 and served as Speaker of the House of Representatives from January 2006 to February 2007. He first Represented Montserrado County Districts #5 and #6 for 12 years and then moved to Bomi in the 2017 election where he won District 1.
Tyler served as Speaker of the House of Representatives from April 7, 2007 to September 27, 2016. He was dethroned by his colleagues after he was named in an alleged bribery scandal reported by Global Witness. Tyer, however, sought redress to the Supreme Court for reinstatement to the Speakership on the basis that his removal was unconstitutional, a move that did not materialize.
Snowe faced a similar situation, but survived this controversial attempt to remove him over a bribery allegation after the Supreme Court ordered his restatement on ground that his removal was “unconstitutional and illegal.”
For him, he was reinstated as Speaker on Thursday, February 15, 2007, but he later resigned the position when most of his colleagues refused to work with him as Speaker.