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Six “CDC’s Partisans”` Charged To Court

By: Yassah J. Wright

The Liberia National Police (LNP) has charged and forwarded to the Monrovia City Court six persons believed to be supporters of the Collocation for Democratic Change (CDC).

They were on three criminal charges including Terroristic Threats, Simple Assaults and Disorderly Conduct, allegedly against Mr. Henry Costa, a political talk show host.

According to a Police charge sheet, defendants Leroy Kolleh, Sulelman Fofanah, Junior Gibson, Nardoh Parley, Dennis Kanneh and Jeremiah Sackie on October 24, 2017, at about 1:30 P.M, aggressively approached Mr. Costa who was coming from a meeting and threatened to kill him (Costa) and burn his car on Mechlin Street in Central Monrovia.

Mr. Costa told the Police investigators that following the threats, the defendants allegedly began to throw objects at him, with one of them hitting him in the chest claiming that he (Henry Costa) insulted the Standard Bearer of the CDC Senator George Weah on his talk show, something that agitated them.

Police investigation also say that the video recordings viewed by the team revealed that indeed complainant Henry P.Costa was attacked on Mechlin Street between Broad and Ashmun Streets.

The report also says that the defendants, having been told of the allegation, did not deny or admit; but chose to remain silent as advised by their lawyer, Cllr.T.Joseph B. Debblay, in respect of their Miranda’s right.

However, witnesses Stephen T. Wrayee and Sylvester Tevez corroborated the allegation of complainant Henry P.Costa that he was being threatened, assaulted and insulted on the 24th of October, 2017 in the Monrovia.

Our Judiciary reporter said the six defendants were taken to the Monrovia Central Prison pending court trial. However, charges against the defendants are subject to bail under the laws of Liberia.

Complainant Henry Costa is a political commentator and host of a widely listened to radio talk show named the “Costa Show” on a local radio station 90.2 F.M in Monrovia.

Costal contested the October 10, 2017 Representative and Presidential elections as a representative candidate of District # 6 in Montserrado County but was defeated.

Since then, Costa returned to his radio program and continues what some believe he preaches hate messages.

Since the occurrence, officials of CDC have been denying the claims that Costa’s alleged attackers are members of the party; even though Moses Carter of Kings FM of Amb. Weah was the first to break the report.

Be as it may, all eyes are on the judiciary to play its part in determining the fact.

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Lawmaker Charged -For Alleged Threats

By: Yassah J. Wright

Montserrado County District #7 Representative, Solomon George, has been charged for allegedly threatening to beat and strip naked Commerce Ministry’s Chief of Maintenance, Mrs. Macactoh Wreh Togba.

Cllr. Philip Gongole, in-house lawyer for the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, filed the complaint with the Liberia National Police (LNP), indicating that the incident occurred on October 23,2017, when Rep. George entered the Ministry. People subsequently charged and forwarded Rep. George to court.

Court documents say Rep. George entered the first floor of Ministry of Commerce, but did not see Mrs. Togba. Cllr. Gongole, according to the complaint, alleged that Rep. George returned on the ground floor and destroyed one water cooler and one flowers pot.

According to the document, the lawmaker intentionally destroyed the Ministry Commerce water cooler and the flowers pot, further alleging that Rep. George admitted to all the allegations.

Accordingly, Rep. George, upon hearing that his administrative assistant, William C. Wea, was beaten and hand cuffed, allegedly on the instruction of Mrs. Togba, aggressively walked into offices of the Ministry of Commerce verbalizing that he will beat Mrs. Togba.

“In view of the above facts and circumstance, the investigation has resolved to charge Hon. George with the crimes of criminal Mischief in violation of chapter 15.5 menacing chapter 14, subchapher14.25 and disorderly conduct chapter 17.3 of the revised penal code of Liberia pending trial by court,” the police charge sheet

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NEC Commissioners Under Threats -Chairman Alleges

The National Elections Commission (NEC) has alarmed over reported threats on the lives of its commissioners.

NEC’s Chairman Cllr. Jerome G. Korkoya, at regular briefing on Wednesday, made the disclosure, warning the alleged doers to desist.

“The National Elections Commission would like to remind every Liberian citizen, political parties and their supporters to act with responsibility. There is no place in an election for threatening words or behaviour,” Korkoya warned.

He revealed that a direct threat to the commissioners by someone on social media has been reported to the authorities, adding that this type of behaviour is not acceptable.

Korkoya equally called on the media to reinforce their efforts to separate news and opinion in their reporting of the elections. “Unfounded claims are not helpful to the election process and the National Elections Commission calls on journalists to check facts before publication and if required contact our press department for information on an issue so the full story can be published,” he indicated.

Giving election updates, the NEC Chairman disclosed plans to have a recount of votes in Electoral District Number 8, Nimba County in respect to the House of Representatives elections. This, he said, is due to the fact that the difference in votes between the two leading candidates was only 19 and under the rules such difference triggers automatic recount.

At the same time, Korkoya noted that, so far, 56 election-related complaints have submitted to the National Elections Commission. Of these, he explained 54 were filed at magistrates’ offices. Thirty three of these cases have been concluded or have led to further appeals to the Board of Commissioners (BOC), he added.

According to him, hearing has commenced into the complaint of the All Liberian Party (ALP) challenging the conduct of the presidential elections.

Korkoya confirmed that on 23 October 2017, the Liberty Party also submitted a complaint to the Commission, seeking a re-run of the 10 October 2017 election and a suspension of the planned second round runoff election on 7 November 2017.

All these complaints, Korkoya averred,  are being handled according to due process and in a transparent and open manner by the magistrates and hearings office.

Meanwhile, the NEC Chairman said, presidential ballot papers for the runoff elections are expected to arrive in Liberia on October 28, 2017.

 

 

Man Allegedly Cuts Off Brother’s Ear

By: Yassah J. Wright

Judge Kennedy Peabody

The Monrovia City Court has detained a 26-yr old man, identified as George Diggs,for allegedly cutting off an ear of his brother, Anthony Kollie.

According to a police charge sheet in the possession of this paper, on October 9, 2017, defendant George Diggs of Montserrado County was arrested informed of his constitutional right, investigated and charged with Aggravated Assault from a complaint filed against him by the victim.

The charge sheet averred that, on October 7, 2017, he (Kollie) was on 3rdStreet in Sinkor siting at his neighbor’s house when he saw defendant Diggs coming and he (Kollie) said, “While brown boy is coming sad?”

Predicated upon that, Diggs got irritated and begin to allegedly abuse Kollie, thus resulting into a fist fight.

Kollie alleged that, while he was standing aside thinking about not fighting, defendant Diggs came from behind him and bit his ear off causing him to bleed profusely and was immediately rushed to the John F. Kennedy (JFK) for medical attention.

The police charge alleged that Defendant Diggsadmitted to the allegation. He further said that, October 7, 2017, he was given the amount of L$500 by an old man for safe keeping but later noticed the money was missing.

Diggs said thinking about how to repay the money, his brother (Kollie) saw him and allegedly provoked him to anger, thereby resulting into a fist fight between them.

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‘Lesser Evil’ Theory -Will It Hold?

By: Lewis K. Glay 0886469835/lglay.inprofile@gmail.comAs a run-off presidential election is almost a full gone

conclusion in the 2017 elections, a ‘lesser evil’ theory which was reportedly used as a tramp card during runoffs for a two –term regime of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is said to be resurfacing in Liberia.

In several quarters, Liberians who are supporting Vice President Joseph Baokai to succeed President Sirleaf are said to be poised to begin the debate in their splinter groups to portray VP Boakai as the lesser evil as compared to Senator George Weah when it comes to who should be preferred for the Liberian presidency.

The theory worked against what was previously the Congress for Democratic Change but now Coalition for Democratic Change, in the past two presidential and legislative elections held in 2005 and 2011 when the ruling Unity Party consistently remained in the lead  and finally won the presidency in succession.

However,  opposition political parties, though have been greatly divided over  coming together to form a formidable force to take on the ruling Unity Party in the ongoing elections for the presidency,  the expected runoff between the CDC and UP which has a twist in the party that is in the lead is being interpreted differently around Liberia.

From opposition bloc, the fact that CDC is leading UP demonstrates that Liberians in the majority are wearied about the continuity of the ruling party and that it is time for a new breed of leadership to take over the mantle of power from the Ellen-led regime.

Vehemently, supporters and sympathizers of the ruling UP have maintained that a CDC-led government will not ensure building on the progress the Sirleaf-led administration has made over the years except a Boakai-led regime.

Difficult though, among 18 opposition parties that took part in the elections, how many intend to support the CDC or UP in the runoff seems to be critical to predict.

The difficulty in this prediction stems from past experiences during the 2005 and 2011 elections when supporters of opposition parties who could not go for runoffs could not be policed to votes for candidates their presidential candidates preferred at the time.

Meanwhile, it is expected that in days to come before the conduct of the runoff, the two parties now in the race will fiercely campaign and there are reports that negotiations are already taking place behind closed doors as CDC and UP seek support from parties now out of the race.

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Third Term Or New Breed?

Liberians seem to be pondering over the best alternative in deciding who gets to the Executive Mansion, having already disallowed 18 presidential candidates by vote counts in the 2017 elections not to handle the gavel of authority for the presidency.

Though the National Elections Commission (NEC) has not released final results to determine who wins the presidency, the opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the ruling Unity Party (UP) are expected to go for a run-off as indicated by the percentages both parties have so far accumulated from the votes obtained.

With CDC Candidate George Weah  securing 39.0 % of the total votes while UP Candidate Joseph Boakai  obtaining 29.1% of the total votes, with 95.6% of the total polling places already reported,  the claim by  presidential candidates and their supporters about one round of election does not seem to hold.

Long before the elections were conducted, analysts and political commentators, having followed the trends of event in the country, surmised that the ruling party and one opposition party would enter second round for the presidency, no matter how popular any of the 20 presidential candidates might have claimed to be in the race.

Before  and during the period of campaign, opposition political parties struggled to amalgamate strengths  to oust the ruling Unity Party, on grounds that the UP has led the country for two uninterrupted  terms and that giving the party another chance for  third term would suggest supporting  a one party system.

However, supporters of the ruling party have argued that the UP is the best political institution to lead the country and continue the level of development which President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has undertaken in what is now becoming her 12 years of administration.

Influential members of the Liberian Senate and the House of Representatives joined the Joseph Boakai presidential bid and campaigned for his election while opposition political parties were segmented to take on the ruling party.

It is recalled months before active electoral activities kicked off, in their numbers, opposition political parties assembled in Ganta, Nimba County  for a conference geared towards determining what to do to oust the UP at the polls.

The Ganta conference produced what was called ‘The Ganta Declaration’ which those parties in attendance pledged their commitment to. It was then gathered that those parties concerned would support any opposition party that would remain in the race for a run-off.

Nevertheless, staunch supporters of  UP argued that the ‘Ganta Declaration’ would not hold because of power struggle among the very opposition politicians, citing what transpired in 2005 and 2011 when  most of those parties attempted forming coalitions but  did not achieve the goal;

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President Sirleaf Hails Judiciary for Cooperation

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has congratulated the Judiciary for the cooperation and coordination experienced between the two branches over the years with a call to make Liberia proud as the country goes through the period of transition since 1944. “Please make our country proud as we go to these elections,” President Sirleaf stressed.

According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf spoke on Monday, October 9, 2017 at ceremony marking the formal opening of the October Term of the Honorable Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia. She was accompanied by several government officials including the Minister of Justice and Dean of the Supreme Court Bar Cllr. Fredrick Cherue.

The Liberian leader commended the Judiciary for working together in the spirit of cooperation something she refers to as cordial. She reaffirmed government’s commitment to peaceful, credible, free, fair and transparent elections.

She furthered that the October 10 elections remains very critical to the maintenance of peace and security as well the survival of the democracy in Liberia.

For his part, Chief Justice Francis Korkpor thanked President Sirleaf for taking steps aimed at strengthening the rule of Law and the empowerment of the Judiciary. “Madam President, we in the Judiciary want to congratulate you for strengthening the rule of law, which is better than what is used to be,” he said.

He made particular reference to improved salaries, renovation and construction of new court houses across the country, the provision of logistics, among others. Chief Justice Korkpor noted that President Sirleaf kept her promise made to the Judiciary when she took over the leadership of the country.

Speaking further, Chief Justice Korkpor reaffirmed the Supreme Court’s earlier decision not to go on break during the October 10, 2017 elections, but would remain at post to handle post- elections issues growing out of the elections.

He said out 30 cases were brought before the Honorable Supreme Court during the March Term of Court; of which 9 were pre-election cases. He noted that to date there are no pre-elections cases before the court.

He recommitted the Supreme Court to dispense justice without fear or favor for all adding: “We will remain focused and independent.”

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UP, CDC Again? . . . NEC Announces Provisional Results Today

 

 By T. Michael Johnny 0886571899/0775820581

“Unconfirmed statistics from various polling centers around the country is a glaring indication that the ruling Unity Party and opposition Coalition for Democratic Change will certainly faceoff in a possible runoff,”

The National Elections Commission (NEC) is expected to commence the release of preliminary results of the October 10, 2017 presidential and representatives’ elections today, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya has said

NEC Chairman Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, told a news conference Wednesday, October 11, 2017, that the process was freely conducted despite delays in opening polling precincts and verification of names in some instances.

Accordingly, the NEC has unequivocally reaffirmed that the commission is the only institution clothed with the constitutional authority to announce election results; thus warning political parties and candidates to desist from unilaterally announcing results.

Following the close of polling centers around the country, results were posted at various voting precincts in the presence of poll workers, local and international observers as well as the media.

However, as media correspondents around the country give unofficial results, the October 10, 2017 presidential elections might again showcase the old political rivalry between the ruling Unity Party (UP) and the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).

The UP and the CDC were locked in a runoff in 2005 and 2011 respectively with the former emerging victorious in both elections under the political leadership of outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

In Southeastern Liberia, the CDC of former soccer icon, now Senator of Montserrado County George Weah is reportedly ahead of the UP of Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai and the Alternative National Congress (ANC) of Alexander Cummings respectively.

Media correspondents reported that the CDC emerged top in some parts of the Southeast followed by the UP and the ANC, which has reportedly favored the UP in previous elections.

However, the UP firmly tightened its grip in some parts of Lofa, Gbarpolu, Margibi and Bong respectively, while Senator Prince Yormie Johnson remains potentially positioned in his stronghold of Nimba County as the Liberty Party (LP) of Cllr. Charles Brumskine struggles for votes in its stronghold of Grand Bassa County.

“Unconfirmed statistics from polling centers around the country is a glaring indication that the ruling Unity Party and opposition Coalition for Democratic Change will certainly faceoff in a possible runoff,” said a NEC polling officer on condition of anonymity.

According to the NEC official, the final aggregated result is expected to again feature the usual political contest between the two most populated political parties.

Although the NEC will commence the announcement of provisional results today, however, unconfirmed results indicate that the Unity Party (UP) and Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) will again prove political supremacy.

 

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Cllr. Gbeisay Takes On Media

By Yawah Jaivey in Kakata, Margibi County

 

Judge Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay of the 13th Judicial Circuit Court in Kakata, Margibi County, has lambasted the Liberian media for unwarranted attacks against him in the handling of the Sable Mining corruption case. Read more

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Female Law Enforcers End Retreat in Gbarnga

By Abel R. Okai, Bong County

 

The Liberia Female Law Enforcement Association (LIFLEA), in collaboration with UN Women, has ended a two-day national retreat for sixty female security officers in Gbarnga Bong County under the theme “Enhancing a Vibrant Female Security Network”. The retreat was conducted on May 5-6 2017, at the Development Education Network Liberia (DEN-L) Compound on the Dementa Road in Gbarnga. Read more