MONROVIA: in the face of the National Elections Commission (NEC) plan to certificate Brownie J. Samukai, as Senator-elect for Lofa County, the Supreme Court of Liberia has put a halt to Senator-elect, Samukai’s pending certification process by the NEC.
Supreme Court of Liberia Justice in Chambers, Joseph Nagbe, has ordered the National Elections Commission (NEC) to halt all process leading to Mr. Samukai’s ascendancy to the Liberian Senate, pending an outcome of a Conference slated for Tuesday, 9 March, 2021.
The Court Order which was issued on Friday, March 5, 2021, cited NEC and all parties involved, based on a Petition for a Writ of Prohibition requested for by the Chairman of the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC), an opposition political party, O’Neil Pasewe.
Early this Week, one of the many opposition political parties in Liberia, Movement for Progressive Change (MPC), filed a Petition requesting the Court to place Stay Order on the certification of senator-elect, Brownie Samukai.
According to the MPC, Samukai should not be allowed to serve as Senator, adding that, he is a “convicted criminal.”
Prior to the MPC’s complaint to the Supreme Court of Liberia, an official of the Ministry of Justice, wrote a communication to NEC, requesting the national electoral body, to put a hold to the Certification of the Lofa County senator-elect, Samukai, on grounds that he (Samukai) is convicted criminal.
The Justice Ministry’s communication, seeking to deny the Lofa senator-elect certification by the National Elections Commission has generated mixed public reactions, with many describing the move by the MOJ as wrong, illegal and politically motivated while others considered it justifiable in that it would discourage any convicted criminals from ascending to the Senate.
Interestingly, a statement issued in Monrovia on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, by the NEC , said the Commission’s Chair, Davidetta Brown-Lansanah, requested the clerk of the National Elections Commission to read the verdict of the Supreme Court and thereafter, she announced that the certification of Senator-elect, Samukai would take place at a later date as the date for his certification would be announced later.
Samukai, a former Defense Minister and former international civil servant, with wealth of service in the United Nations System, was elected senator for votes-rich Lofa County in the December 8, 2020 Special senatorial elections with the full backing of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP).
However, there were two separate Appeals before the Supreme Court involving Senator elect Samukai.
One of the Appeals was filed by himself on the ruling of the AFL’ Money, where the lower Court Judge Yamie Gbeisay ruled against him and ordered him and others to refund the Money or risked being incarcerated.
The other Appeal was filed by some Citizens of Lofa County who claimed there was fraud in the December 8, Senatorial Election, which had been heard by NEC and subsequently ruled in Samukai’s favor.