MONROVIA-The Supreme Court of Liberia on Thursday fined Senatorial candidate Alex Tyler US$200.00 and the National Elections Commission (NRC) US$100.00 to be paid within 72 hours to the Judiciary Revenue account and receipts presented to the Supreme Court Marshall.
The fines were imposed on Tyler, the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Senatorial Candidate in Bomi County, and the NEC for failing to file their respective briefs on time in a case growing out of the December 8 Mid Term Senatorial poll/
At the call of the case Thursday morning, Chief Justice Francis Korkpor observed that only one party in person of Independent Candidate Edwin Melvin Snowe filed his brief on time.
The National Elections Commission, he noted, did not file their brief in keeping with the rule of the Court, and instead filed it after working hours yesterday; so it was fined US$100.00 to be paid within 72 hours.
Chief Justice Korkpor stated that the records further show that the CDC Senatorial Candidate Tyler filed his brief at 10:45A.M on Thursday morning.
“This Court has repeatedly said that lawyers representing party litigants must file their briefs or other papers before the close of a working day, so as to enable the Justices to see said briefs concerning the case and to have time to read overnight and check the law citations to enable them follow up the arguments of the party litigants at the hearing of the case,” Chief Justice Korkpor pointed out.
“Therefore, the case will be adjourned to Tuesday, February 9, 2021; all parties in this proceeding should be on time and ready to proceed with said case; following the adjournment of the case,” he added.
Meanwhile, Chief Justice Korkpor has assured everyone, especially Liberians, that election-related cases would be determined as soon as they get the high court, adding, “We are here to do our work in keeping with the law, leave us out of politics.”
He indicated that the Supreme Court should have been closed by now to re-open in March, but because of elections cases the Court is still open to listen to the election matters.
He, therefore, urged the National Elections Commission to speed up with cases coming to the High Court.
Meanwhile, Associate Justice Sie-A-Nyene Gyapay Yuoh has recused herself from the case because Independent Candidate Edwin Melvin Snow is her spouse, and therefore cannot sit on the case to listen and render judgment.
It can be recalled that the CDC Candidate Tyler petitioned the Supreme Court to prohibit the NEC from certifying Senator-elect Snowe who was declared winner of the senatorial election in the county until his complaint, which has already been heard and adjudged by NEC Independent Hearing Officer, is decided by the NEC Board of Commissioners and, possibly, the Supreme Court.
According to the CDC complaint, the December 8, 2020 Senatorial Election in Bomi County was marred by widespread electoral fraud and irregularities across over 30 polling places in the county.
Despite this, the CDC said, NEC went on to tally the results without the knowledge of the ruling party representatives.
The CDC further alleged that several tally sheets bearing Grand Gedeh County instead of Bomi County were discovered in the county.
The tally sheets marked Grand Gedeh with voting precinct CH Dewey District #1 Polling place 1 center code: 033071 and voting precinct Malema Town District #2 Polling place 1 center, code 0304 had on them results inserted for nine candidates, while there were only five contestants in Bomi County.
The case has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 9.