-Amidst electorial disputes
Amid various electoral disputes and court cases, the headquarters of the National Elections Commission (NEC) in Monrovia has suffered serious arson attack from petrol bombs certain premises of the commission and one of its vehicles. The attack occurred late Monday, March 15, 2021.
The day was officially observed here as a national holiday in memory of Liberia’s first President, the late Joseph Jenkins Roberts, an American.
No casualty was reported, but information gathered so far indicates the petrol bomb attack came as a surprise after the entire managerial team of the electoral house had left the premises for home.
Early Tuesday, March 16, premises of the National Elections Commission were off limit to the public and employees, as security forces conducted preliminary investigation. Later, the NEC board of commissioners held an emergency meeting.
Investigators from the Liberia National Police and other security agencies are yet to name any suspect from the arson attack that occurred at about 10:30 pm on Monday. However, several pieces of unexploded petrol bombs were discovered during the preliminary investigation.
The NEC on Tuesday detailed that unknown persons threw petrol bombs on its compound which set ablaze a double-cabin pickup with license plate, LB-6868 and the roof of a garage inside the premises.
The Commission estimates cost of damages from the attack at US$45, 000.
Preliminary investigation proved additional unexploded petrol bombs were found near the NEC’s fence on the 10th Street side of the vicinity. The National Elections Commission is supporting the Liberian National Police in ongoing investigation to bring perpetrators to justice.
The attack against the electoral house is the first since the NEC headquarters was constructed in early 2005 by the United States Agency for International Development, USAID.
It comes at a time the commission is probing series of disputes from the December 8, 2020 special senatorial election in which a number of defeated candidates have alleged fraud with others demanding recount of votes officially announced. Yet still, in cases where the NEC hearing officer had adjudicated and ruled, aggrieved parties have taken appeals before the Supreme Court of Liberia, something that has prevent about half of the 30 members of the Liberian Senate from taken their seats.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne