The National Elections Commission or NEC has officially confirmed for the first time that two of its contractors executing the voter registration exercise colluded with some individuals in Sunday’s (26 February) VR fraud at a private residence in Johnsonville Township, Montserrado County.
Addressing a news conference in Monrovia, Thursday, March 2, the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the NEC, Cllr. Jerome George Kokorya said report they have gathered suggest that the two staffers, who are temporary workers for the current voter registration exercise received some cash from representative aspirant and prime suspect Mr. Amos Siebo for ‘ungodly act.’
“The NEC is pleased to update the public on the recent criminal conspiracy involving two temporary staffs of the commission working along with one Amos Siebo of Monrovia. The LNP reported on a number of NEC equipment and materials retrieved from a private home used by those suspects to circumvent the registration process in the Johnsonville vicinity. The commission is thankful to the LNP for effecting the arrest of those involved in the scandal,” Chairman Kokorya said.
He indicated that though the two individuals made away with voters’ registration materials, but the stolen materials did not enter data system of the commission, adding that NEC will beef up its network in the Johnsonville area during the exhibition exercise.
Chairman Kokorya, who reneged in revealing the name of the individuals said, the Liberia National Police is in full control of the investigation and that the commission is prepared to help in whatever way to ensure that the process reaches amicable resolution.
Prime suspect Mr. Amos Siebo and his wife are reportedly being detained, while investigation continues into the syndicate which saw the accused at their private residence, reportedly registering citizens on Sunday, a non-working day in Johnsonville Township.
Mr. Siebo is a former consultant in the President Deliverable Unit at the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs.
Police have released five female suspects, who were arrested along with prime suspect Siebo for lack of evidence following preliminary investigation. Speaking to the New Dawn on Wednesday, the women denied their direct involvement in the crime.
The Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism late Monday confirmed that police broke up an illegal voter’s registration ring led by suspect Siebo at his private residence in Johnsonville, Montserrado County and retrieved assortment of NEC issued implements, including cameras, dozens of blank voter’s cards and forms.
Meanwhile, commenting on the just-ended by-election in Lofa County, Chairman Kokorya announced Mr. Francis Nyumalin of the Union of Liberia Democrats won the poll.
He said that Mr. Nyumalin won with 32 percent of all valid votes cast, representing 3,149 votes, while the candidate of the Movement for Economic Empowerment or MOVEE obtained 30.5 percent, representing 2,996 votes.
But Chairman Kokorya said NEC will not certificate Winner Nyumailn on grounds that MOVEE has filed a complaint against the process, flagging that there were alleged foul-play and demanding a recount.
He said currently, the commission is investigating the matter and finding will be made public in the soonest possible time.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor -Editing by Jonathan Browne