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NEC Denies Nyonblee, others’ petition

Directs Hearing Officers to resume jurisdiction

The Board of Commissioners of National Elections Commission (NEC), on Wednesday, March 2, 2022, issued its interlocutory ruling which denied the petition for summary proceedings brought against two hearing officers, Atty Annie W. Brodericks and Cllr. Muana S. Ville has directed the two hearing officers to resume jurisdiction and proceed in keeping with the law.

According to a release from NEC, the electoral umpire came down with a two-point ruling, stating “A motion to dismiss raises questions of law. It does not lend itself to the taking of evidence on the factual issues” and on the second note, it read, “Our review shows that the hearing officers did not err in dismissing movant/petitioners’ motion to dismiss”

The ruling was signed by 5 of the 7 members of the Board of Commissioners, including Co-Chairperson of NEC P. Teplah Reeves, Boakai Dukuly, Ernestine Morgan –Awar. Floyd Oxley Sayor, Barsee L. Kpangbai and Josephine Kou Gaye. Chairperson Davidetta Brown –Lassanah and Ernestine Morgan-Awar did not sign the ruling because they did not attend the hearing.

The ruling Wednesday arose out of the inter-party conflict existing within the Liberty Party where the National Chairman, Musa Hassan Bility had complained to NEC that Senator Lawrence and some other partisans are parading themselves as leaders of the party against the law. In her response, Senator Lawrence petitioned the electoral body to dismiss the complaint but the hearing officers denied the petition.

Senator Lawrence and others petitioned the Board of Commissioners to quash the decision but the latest ruling did not answer their prayers as it upheld the decision of the hearing officers, who were also mandated to resume jurisdiction of the case.

There has been no reaction up to press time from Senator Lawrence and others on the outcome of the ruling.

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