Politics

Police in Bong hunt for another wife killer

The Liberia National Police Bong County Detachment has launched a vigorous man hunt for a 22-year-old man identified as Sakie Kollie, for allegedly killing his wife Bendu Yah in Fenlah, Fumah District, Bong County.


According to sources, victim Bendu and her husband Sackie had been having serious misunderstanding prior to her death on Monday, 11 December. Eyewitnesses narrate to the New Dawn that prior to the attack Sackie had allegedly threatened to kill Bendu without providing any reason.

Before her death, the late Bendu and Sackie born three children one of whom reported contracted an undisclosed sickness since the death of her mother. The 21-year-old victim is said to have been murdered by her husband, using cutlass, according to report of a fifteen-man jury set up to examine the body.

The jury reports that one of the arms of the late Bendu Yah was chopped off and an inflicted wound was in her hand indicative of mark of a cutlass. Eyewitnesses informed the jury that Sackie Kollie was lastly seen taking the same road that his late wife Bendu followed during the conflict, and the same evening, her remains were found on their farm road.

Sackie had since disappeared and is yet to be seen. Speaking to this paper, Bong County Police Crime Services Division (CSD) Commander John Kellenso Flomo says a vigorous search has been launched by the police, assisted by residents of the area for the arrest of the suspect.

Commander Kellenso continues that officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) including the Police Support Unit (PSU) have been deployed into the bushes to find Sackie, who is reportedly on the run.

The situation has created fear among residents of Bong County, some of whom have expressed shock over the alleged act of Sacke Kollie. This is the third time that a man has reportedly murdered his wife in the county since this year.

The first murder took place in Cow Farm community, Zota District involving victim Doris Yahn and her husband Moses Porkpah, who is currently serving life imprisonment after court trial.

Barley a month after Moses Porkpah was sentenced, another man identified as Awalayah Tokpah allegedly murdered his wife Korto Mulbah. Awalayah, like Sackie, is yet to be arrested by the Police and brought to justice.

By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Gbarnga--- Editing by Jonathan Browne

NEC wins another election case

Liberia's Supreme Court has denied another elections appeal filed against the National Elections Commission (NEC) by defeated Liberia Transformation Party (LTP's) Grand Gedeh County District #2 representative candidate, Mr. Patrick Bowah who disputes ex-warlord Dr. George Boley's victory.


Following his defeat at the October polls in Grand Gedeh County, Mr. Bowah challenged the results before the NEC's Elections Magistrate in the County but lost the case. The Supreme Court finds that Mr. Bowah failed to comply with the provisions of the law regarding the filing of an appeal with the NEC's Board of Commissioners, thus rendering his appeal dismissible.

The Court's ruling on Wednesday, 13 December comes after it earlier on Thursday, 7 December denied an appeal filed before it by opposition Liberty Party (LP) against the NEC, dismissing a request by the party for a rerun of the entire polls over alleged elections fraud and irregularities.

Both the defeated candidate Mr. Bowah and representative - elect Dr. Boley appeared at the Supreme Court Wednesday afternoon, 13 December when the high court unanimously handed its final ruling on the matter.

The hearing at the Supreme Court bordered on the technical formalities that the parties must observe from the first appeal process before the NEC's Board up to filing appeal at the Supreme Court level, which would have paved the way to either hear or decline to hear the main case of alleged irregularities claimed by Mr. Bowah.

"That the filling of the appeal with the Elections Magistrate by the appellant, did not constitute filing as contemplated by the elections law," Associate Justice Sie - A- Nyene G. Yuoh says in reading the unanimous opinion of the Court.

Mr. Bowah had earlier lost an appeal before the NEC's Board of Commissioner on grounds that he filed it outside the statutory period. He raises issues of bad road condition that contributed the constraints of filing the papers before the Board in Monrovia within 48 hours as required by law.

The Supreme Court is cleared that the filing of the bill of exception through email is ultra vires because the law does not allow the electronic filing of court orders, or notices, or other official court documents.

The Court says the Constitution here makes it mandatory to hold presidential and general elections in October, a month at which the rainy season is at its peak here. But the Court notes that until the law is amended, elections will be held in the season, NEC will continue to transport materials and candidates will continue to campaign in the season as well.

The Court says if it were to rule on the contrary, it would have set a precedence that candidates will rely on when they have cases of such.
The representative - elect Dr. Boley may now be at ease in awaiting January when the new batch of elected lawmakers are due to assume offices, given the close of the case filed against his victory

By Winston W. Parley-by Mr. Bowah.

NEC wins another election case

Liberia's Supreme Court has denied another elections appeal filed against the National Elections Commission (NEC) by defeated Liberia Transformation Party (LTP's) Grand Gedeh County District #2 representative candidate, Mr. Patrick Bowah who disputes ex-warlord Dr. George Boley's victory.


Following his defeat at the October polls in Grand Gedeh County, Mr. Bowah challenged the results before the NEC's Elections Magistrate in the County but lost the case. The Supreme Court finds that Mr. Bowah failed to comply with the provisions of the law regarding the filing of an appeal with the NEC's Board of Commissioners, thus rendering his appeal dismissible.

The Court's ruling on Wednesday, 13 December comes after it earlier on Thursday, 7 December denied an appeal filed before it by opposition Liberty Party (LP) against the NEC, dismissing a request by the party for a rerun of the entire polls over alleged elections fraud and irregularities.

Both the defeated candidate Mr. Bowah and representative - elect Dr. Boley appeared at the Supreme Court Wednesday afternoon, 13 December when the high court unanimously handed its final ruling on the matter.

The hearing at the Supreme Court bordered on the technical formalities that the parties must observe from the first appeal process before the NEC's Board up to filing appeal at the Supreme Court level, which would have paved the way to either hear or decline to hear the main case of alleged irregularities claimed by Mr. Bowah.

"That the filling of the appeal with the Elections Magistrate by the appellant, did not constitute filing as contemplated by the elections law," Associate Justice Sie - A- Nyene G. Yuoh says in reading the unanimous opinion of the Court.

Mr. Bowah had earlier lost an appeal before the NEC's Board of Commissioner on grounds that he filed it outside the statutory period. He raises issues of bad road condition that contributed the constraints of filing the papers before the Board in Monrovia within 48 hours as required by law.

The Supreme Court is cleared that the filing of the bill of exception through email is ultra vires because the law does not allow the electronic filing of court orders, or notices, or other official court documents.

The Court says the Constitution here makes it mandatory to hold presidential and general elections in October, a month at which the rainy season is at its peak here. But the Court notes that until the law is amended, elections will be held in the season, NEC will continue to transport materials and candidates will continue to campaign in the season as well.

The Court says if it were to rule on the contrary, it would have set a precedence that candidates will rely on when they have cases of such.
The representative - elect Dr. Boley may now be at ease in awaiting January when the new batch of elected lawmakers are due to assume offices, given the close of the case filed against his victory

By Winston W. Parley-by Mr. Bowah.

George Haddad, GoL due in Court Thursday

The Commercial Court at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia has ordered lawyers representing Lebanese businessman George Haddad and the Government of Liberia to appear before it this morning, Thursday, 14 December at 10am for hearing of an alleged US$10.7m debt case filed by the businessman.


The Court warns that failure on the part of any of the parties to appear today, Thursday, 14 December, judgment will be rendered against it by default.

The case surrounds an alleged debt incurred by government as a result of alleged sales, repairs of vehicles and allegedly spare parts supplied to it from the early 2000s to 2008 by Mr. Haddad who manages two companies, the Prestige Motors Corporation and Alliance Motors Corporation.

On 5 December, Mr. Haddad and his counsel had appeared for the case at the Temple of Justice, but it was assigned for Thursday, 14 December.

By Winston W. Parley

RCFIs to Get US10.8 Million IFAD GRANT Facility and Loan

The Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, Mr. Milton A. Weeks, told rural community finance institutions (RCFIs) on Monday that the Government of Liberia has signed a USD 10.8 Million financing agreement with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for a grant facility and loan for rural community finance institutions in Liberia.


The funding is being channelled through the Central Bank of Liberia and will support the establishment of additional rural finance institutions while strengthening existing ones. The CBL Executive Governor made the statement during the opening ceremony of a four-day national RCFI seminar and capacity building training in Gompa City, Nimba County on 11 December 2017. Representatives from the existing twelve RCFIs from nine counties are taking part in the seminar that has brought together facilitators from Sierra Leone.

The CBL Executive Governor said:
“As part of our efforts to strengthen rural community finance institutions, the Central Bank of Liberia has been working over the past five years with other key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning to seek external funding through the International Fund for Agricultural Development”.

He said the Central Bank’s presence at the opening ceremony of the workshop was a demonstration of its commitment to rural community finance institutions.

The Central Bank Executive Governor expressed his firm belief in the unique role that rural community finance institutions play in economic development and that, based on current data, he was impressed with their growth thus far. He then praised the Afriland First Bank Liberia Ltd for its support to, and partnership with, the RCFIs.

Mr. Weeks told managers and boards of directors of the rural community finance institutions attending the workshop that, although the Central Bank of Liberia will continue to take steps to build the capacity of rural community finance institutions and provide technical support for them, he expected their management and boards to take their responsibilities seriously and work to improve their performance. He added that the Central Bank would not hesitate to take action against rural community finance institutions that were not viable or do not comply with the Central Bank’s requirements.

For his part, Mr. Robert Nkous of the Afriland First Bank Liberia Limited, said the training was one of several training events planned for managers and board members of rural community finance institutions, re-iterating that rural community finance institutions are key in rural community wealth creation and in the fight against poverty.

Also speaking during the opening ceremony of the four-day capacity building workshop, the Mayor of Gompa City, Hon. Benjamin Dokpa, expressed his gratitude to the Central Bank family for choosing Gompa City as the venue for the national seminar, but indicated that, although Gompa City has the largest concentration of banks outside of Monrovia, there was a need for the establishment of banks in other part of Nimba so as to increase access to financial services.

Pro Tempore Jallah appeals to Ellen over stranded Liberians

The President Pro-tempore of the Liberian Senate and Chairman of the Gbarpolu County Legislative Caucus, Senator Armah Zolu Jallah is urgently seeking President Ellen Johnson - Sirleaf's intervention for the repatriation of several Liberians stranded in Libya and being treated inhumanely.


Citing reports and photos on social media, a release from the office of the Senate Pro - tempore says the plight of Liberians and other Africans trapped in the current “slave market” situation in Libya is appalling and dehumanizing.

The Senate Pro Tempore presents his compliments and congratulates President Sirleaf for her relentless and enormous strides made in transforming Liberia into a true post conflict success story, diligence and tenacity to succeed which have made Liberia proud nation on the continent of Africa.

He notes that President Sirleaf may be aware by now that African migrants, some of whom are Liberian citizens, are currently trapped in Libya and are undergoing unbearable and deadly inhumanity being meted out against them.

“I am therefore proposing that the government of Liberia sets in motion a repatriation plan to evacuate our citizens affected by this maltreatment,” Senate Pro tempore Jallah’s communication to President Sirleaf indicates.--Press release

Liberia Chairs 72nd Plenary Meeting at UN General Assembly

Under the chairmanship of Liberia's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Israel Davies, the UN General Assembly has adopted two draft resolutions in support of improving universal health coverage.


A dispatch from Liberia's Permanent Mission to the UN dated Tuesday, 12 December says Liberia co-sponsored the two resolutions – “Global health and foreign policy, addressing the health of the most vulnerable for an inclusive society” and “International Universal Health Coverage Day”.

Liberia recognizes that despite progress in the health sector, challenges in global health including major inequities and vulnerabilities still remain and require urgent attention.

The dispatch says global health is not just an end but a precondition to making progress in the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development and urged all Member States to respect, protect and promote the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

The General Assembly, through the resolutions, encourages Member States to consider health in the formulation of their foreign policies, make greater investments to promote decent work with adequate remuneration in the health and social sector and enable safe working environments and conditions for the creation of a more effective and socially accountable health workforce.

Toward that end, the General Assembly adopted, without a vote, the draft resolution “International Universal Health Coverage Day,” proclaiming December 12 every year as International Universal Health Coverage Day to be observed in Members States with relevant educational and awareness raising activities.

The issue of universal health is captured under Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals which seeks to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages by 2030. --Press release

Senate summons NEC

The Liberian Senate has summoned the National Elections Commission or NEC, including its chairman Cllr. Jerome Korkoya to provide update on how it intends to fix the problems associated with the runoff election as contained in the modification of the Supreme Court’s Opinion.


The communication, which came from Lofa County Senator Stephen J. H. Zargo notes that the Supreme Court on Thursday, December 7, 2017 came down with its opinion, upholding the ruling of the Commission in the Liberty Party, Unity Party vs. the NEC prohibition case.

The Supreme Court mandates the NEC to fix problems that occasioned the bringing of appeal before it. ‘’In that the Supreme Court’s affirmation of the decision earlier taken by NEC, modifications to the effect of publishing and making available the Final Registration Role (FRR) to all electoral magistrates for subsequent display at all polling places across the country; the cleaning up of the FRR, wherein persons whose names were not on same should not be allowed to vote; that addendum to the FRR be limited to those within the NEC polling and counting manual ; and that officials of NEC refrain from making utterances on matters growing out of the runoff election which would likely be issues of possible future electoral dispute, finally lifting the stay order previously placed on the runoff election’’ Senator Zargo’s communication reads.

He therefore asks the Senate to invite officials of NEC, including Chairman Korkoya to appear and explain how they intend to address these concerns. Meanwhile, the Liberian Senate has summoned the NEC to appeal before next Tuesday, to answer to those questions.

By Bridgett Milton

Runoff set for December 26

The Chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC) Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya says at a very short press conference that a presidential run-off election is now scheduled between ruling Unity Party (UP) and opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) for 26 December.


The declaration of the runoff between the UP and CDC on Tuesday, 12 December, comes after the process hads been delayed by little over a month due to a case of alleged fraud and irregularities filed against the outcome of the first round's results by defeated opposition Liberty Party (LP) and the UP.

Both the NEC and the Supreme Court refused to grant LP's request to nullify the results declared from the October polls in order to do a rerun of the entire polls, though the Commission was ordered by the Court to do a cleansing of the Final Registration Roll (FRR) ahead of the scheduled runoff.

Chairman Korkoya stormed the James Fromoyan Conference Room at the NEC Headquarters Tuesday very serious and announced the voting date to the media straight away.

He immediately walked out of the conference hall upon announcing the date of the runoff without taking questions from reporters who had gathered expecting an interaction with the NEC boss.

The Supreme Court halted the conduct of the runoff on 6 November, the eve of the vote due between CDC and UP to allow NEC investigate claims levied by the LP.
With the decisions of the Supreme Court and the NEC, runoff is now set between former soccer legend turned politician Sen. George Manneh Weah and Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai.

The two candidates obtained the highest percentages among 20 presidential candidates that contested the polls in October. None of the candidates obtained 50 percent plus one vote to be declared winner of the polls at the first round as demanded by Liberia's Constitution. Mr. Weah secured 38.4 percent of the vote while Mr. Boakai obtained 28.8 percent.

A number of international elections observers, including representatives of the Carter Center and the National Democratic Institute, said the October 10 elections were largely free and fair, despite a few irregularities at some polling stations.

Following weeks of legal battle, the Supreme Court lifted the prohibition and ordered the officials of the NEC to conduct the run-off election.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor--Edited by Winston W. Parley

Inter-news, partners hold media forum

Inter-news Liberia is leading implementation of the Liberia Media Development (LMD) along with five international and local partners through a grant awarded by the United States Agency for International Development or USAID.


The LMD program seeks to strengthen the Liberian media to be more sustainable and independent as well as ensures citizens have access to reliable information to make informed decisions. The program, which is expected to be implemented up to September 2020, targets several community radio stations across the country.

The Community Media Forum (CMF) is one of the earmarked activities to be implemented periodically under objective #2 of the LMD implementation framework, which seeks to ensure that multiplicity of voices are represented in the Liberian media .

The CMF is a media community outreach initiative under the LMD aimed at stimulating debate among community stakeholders, including ordinary citizens around issues of accountability and transparency at the local level, while increasing citizens’ access to information on programs or projects that directly impact their lives through participatory media engagements.

As a means of implementation, the CMF Inter-news in collaboration with the Voice of Grand Kru under the Liberia Media Development (LMD) Program over the weekend held a day-long Special Community Media Forum (CMF) in BarclayVille, Grand Kru County.

Panelists at the forum discussed issues that promote democracy and prevent election violence through dialogue. According to the Community Radios Advisor, Sonnie Morris, the CMF is part of Inter-news program that seeks to foster peaceful electoral environment and to promote democratic virtues following the first leg of Presidential election held on 10 October 2017.

Four panelists addressed the forum, representing Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and institutions, the National Elections Commission especially, Election Magistrates, Public Defender, representatives from women and youth groups, respectively.

The special CMF provides a space for citizens to have their say in governance. Cross section of citizens, who spoke to this paper in Barclay Ville note that such discussion, is a sign of good democracy.

Sonnie Morris told participants at the forum to remain attentive as they will understand the meaning of the Supreme Court’s recent decision and ensure that they have access to better information.

By George K. Momo from Grand Kru

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