Samukai Threatens Court Action to Halt LBA Elections

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In his final attempt to get Rufus Anderson’s Liberia Basketball Association to let him exercise his right to contest the forthcoming elections, K-Delta president Abraham Samukai has vowed to use the judicial system to exercise his rights.

A letter he sent to Mr. Phillibert Brown, president of the Liberia National Committee, LNOC, calling for a solution, drew attention to the inconsistencies of the LBA on his role as the president and owner of K-Delta female basketball club and the attempt to deny him his rights as a presidential aspirant in the forthcoming elections.

“When I resigned as vice president for administration of the LBA,” Samukai wrote, “I resumed my position as president (of K-Delta) and further confirmed it with a letter dated January 19, 2015.” Copies of the letter were sent to LBA’s executive committee and Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Henry Y. Yonton, Jr.

Copies were also sent to Mr. Rufus Anderson, as president of the LBA and its constituted chairman of its Elections Commission.

But for reasons that indicated that Samukai’s presence in the election may have some consequences for certain ambitious candidates, the LBA’s Executive Committee and Anderson did not respond, Samukai told the Daily Observer yesterday.

Meanwhile, three separate letters to K-Delta from Mr. D. Allen Goodridge, Secretary General of the LBA referred to K-Delta’s vice president for administration, Mr. Bonar Kerkula as ‘president K-Delta basketball Team.’ (One is dated January 10, 2015.)

Mr. Kerkula, in his reply to Mr. Goodride, in a letter dated January 19, 2015, stated: “I am pleased to inform you officially that I am not the president of K-Delta. I am the vice president for administration and was acting as president in the absence of Mr. Abraham B. Samukai, who is the president.”

Kerkula pointed out to him that “Since Mr. Samukai resigned his post as vice president for the LBA, he took over his post as president of K-Delta Sports Association.”

Kerkula’s letter, a copy of which is with the Daily Observer was also copied to Mr. Rufus Anderson, president of the Liberia Basketball Association.

LBA Secretary General Goodridge confirmed that Mr. Kerkula is vice president of K-Delta when he addressed a letter on July 4, 2012, informing him of the then impending Zone lll Men and Women Club qualifiers which was slated to begin on August 25, 2012.

However, in a letter from Mr. Anderson, he addressed it to Mr. Samukai and referred to him as ‘owner of K-Delta Basketball Team.” Why did Anderson deliberately decide to refer to Mr. Samukai as ‘owner’ of a team that he was the president?

For the sake of clarity, why LBA president Anderson, who is seeking re-election, did not consult with his secretary general to have known how to address Mr. Samukai with his legitimate title as president of K-Delta Basketball Team, an angry observer asked.

But the bone of contention here now, according to Mr. Samukai, is a reference to Mr. Alfred Sayon, in LBA’s final list, as president of K-Delta.

The inconsistency in Mr. Anderson’s administration not to recognize Mr. Samukai as president of K-Delta to make him qualify to run for the elections, many who are observing the development have said, could mean that Anderson may not be sure of winning re-election with Samukai in contention.

“If that is not the case,” said another observer, “then let Samukai run, for God’s sake.”

In his letter to the LNOC, Samukai is seeking the intervention of the ‘mother’ of all clubs to get LBA to qualify him to run in the forthcoming elections but if it fails, the judicial system, the law may jump in to halt further electioneering till the court interprets the dynamics of the LBA constitution, Samukai has threatened.

Sadly, the Ministry of Youth & Sports, with statutory duty to ensure the success of sports development in the country has not been able to resolve this long-lasting crisis in the LBA.

The last time a sporting organization went to court was in a similar leadership crisis that held the Liberia Tennis Association hostage, as the legal battle raged on, and on and tennis suffered immensely, said a tennis player.

Can the LBA afford a long standing court battle?

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