Supreme Court Decides Korkoya’s Fate Today

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By Abednego Davis

A decision is expected today on whether or not Cllr. Jerome G. Korkoya will remain as head of the National Elections Commission (NEC).

The announcement was made yesterday by Associate Justice Philip A.Z. Banks, who presided over the legal argument regarding Korkoya’s dual citizenship.

Today’s expected judgment emanated from a complaint filed to the Supreme Court by Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh, a presidential hopeful in the upcoming elections, against Korkoya where he claimed a Writ of Prohibition.

The Writ of Prohibition is an order from the superior court to a lower court directing the judge and the parties to cease the litigation, because the lower court has no proper jurisdiction to hear or determine the matter.

Before today’s ruling, Korkoya had argued that the lawsuit against him was “a dangerous game,” and a clever attempt by politicians to take away his Liberian citizenship and to make him stateless.

Korkoya also contended that Dr. Tipoteh lacks the legal capacity to determine whether or not he is a citizen because that decision is in the purview of the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice.

Tipoteh’s lawsuit seeks the intervention of the Supreme Court to prohibit Korkoya as NEC chairman from conducting the October elections because he is a citizen of the United States by his alleged possession of that country’s passport and for voting in US elections.

Tipoteh also argued that in order for the results of the national elections to be considered credible, the legal capacity of persons conducting the elections, especially its chairman, who speaks for the Board of Commissioners and presides over its meetings, must not in any respect be in doubt.

“The NEC requires that all candidates and voters participating in the 2017 presidential and representative elections comply with the Election Laws of Liberia and for the Commission to have the moral authority to rigorously enforce all provisions of said law, the Commission and its members must obey, abide by and comply with every provision of the Election Laws of Liberia,” Dr. Tipoteh said.

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