Tension erupted yesterday on the grounds of the Temple of Justice following the Civil Law Court ‘A’ decision to postpone a ruling that was expected to see the newly inducted officials of the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA) commence full operations on Monday, May 1.
The court had placed a stay order on the induction ceremony, but the injunction was challenged and the LMA went ahead to hold the occasion on April 7 despite an attempt by a bailiff to stop the program.
The LMA claimed that they also received a communication from the same court authorizing them to proceed with the induction in spite of the election results being challenged and the defeated party demanding that they be nullified.
Outside the courtroom yesterday some of the marketers, who were dissatisfied with Judge Yussif Kaba’s action, grouped themselves and used threatening remarks that they would demand justice if the court fails to deliver the judgment next Monday.
Yesterday’s action was the second time Judge Kaba suspended the court’s ruling in the matter, although he had earlier assured the marketers that he was going to conclude by Tuesday (yesterday).
Defending his action, Kaba said the suspension was to give him the opportunity to look not just into the election rigging allegation, but to also investigate whether or not the court’s staff was prevented from performing his duty.
The decision to suspend yesterday’s ruling, the aggrieved marketers claimed, was influenced by Cllr. Cooper Kruah, who is a lawyer for the opposing party.
Although, Cllr. Kruah was not available for comment, Madam Antoinette Nah Mulbah, one of the elected officials, alleged that she saw Kruah holding discussions with Kaba before the decision was taken.
“I am disappointed about what I saw taking place between Kruah and Kaba, and we are not going to sit there for people to waste our time from taking authority over the association,” Mulbah explained.
“We are not going to allow this to happen anymore, this is the last time we are accepting Kaba’s postponement, and we are going to make sure that we mobilize our members to come to this court by Monday,” the Ma Juah Market secretary vowed.
Madam Mulbah, who is the elected National Chaplain General of the association said, “If Judge Kaba does not rule as he promised, we are going to make this place uncomfortable for the court, whereby we are going to demand justice, because this matter has been impeding our businesses.”
Mulbah, who is also the secretary general of the Ma-Juah Market in Vai Town, Monrovia, explained, “We are not politicians, we are business people and we are not going to leave our businesses anymore just to come to this court for the judge to tell us that the judgment is being postponed.”
The confusion between the marketers came about following their February 18 election results in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, where 556 delegates from all 15 counties voted to elect Madam Alice Yeegahn, as president, securing 70 percent of the votes among 10 presidential candidates.
The court issued a “Stay Order” on the induction of Madam Yeegahn and other elected officials.
The action was due to a statement by the petitioner’s (complainant) legal team, accusing the outgoing president, Madam Lusu Sloan, of being behind the rigging of the elections in favor of Madam Yeegahn.
Judge Yusif Kaba, hearing the case, decided to reserve his ruling on whether or not the court should nullify the result of the February 2017 election, as it was requested by the defeated candidates, including Madam Elizabeth Sambullah. After hearing arguments from both parties, Judge Kaba postponed his ruling to yesterday.