Supreme Court gives Bility 72 hours
By Lincoln G. Peters
Justice – in – Chamber at the Supreme Court of Liberia, Associate Justice Jamesetta Howard – Wolokolie has ordered embattled Liberty Party (LP) chairman Musa Hassan Bility to withdraw within 72hrs, Liberty Party’s 2021 constitution and make sure that all altered provisions within the constitution be corrected.
Justice Howard – Wolokollie in a chamber conference on Friday, 29 April 2022, gave Mr. Bility the 72 hours ultimatum to return to status quo ante.
“Withdraw the 2021 Constitution and make every necessary correction and resubmit it to the NEC (National Elections Commission) in keeping with the Farmington Hotel memorandum of understanding,” Justice Wolokollie mandated Mr. Bility.
An internal political crisis between Mr. Bility and the political leader of the Liberty Party, Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence, has split the opposition party into two factions.
Both Bility and Karnga – Lawrence have announced the expulsion of one another from the party.
Bility’s LP faction recently requested applications from interested individuals for the position of LP political leader, while Karnga – Lawrence faction of the LP also has its own chairman, Lofa County Senator Steve Zargo.
Notwithstanding, Nyonblee’s LP faction recently petitioned the Supreme Court of Liberia for a writ of prohibition on Bility’s planned LP convention.
As a result of the petition, the Supreme Court placed a stay order on Chairman Bility’s pending convention which was due to be held last month and cited the parties for a chamber conference with the justice in chamber, Justice Howard – Wolokollie on 29 April.
Following the conference, the Chamber Justice mandated that the party’s constitution be withdrawn in keeping with the Farmington MOU and all corrections be made and resubmitted to the NEC.
Speaking in an interview with judicial reporters after the chamber conference, Montserrado County Senator and stalwart of Liberty Party, Abraham Darius Dillon, expressed excitement over Justice’s decision, saying what Chairman Bility has long been refusing to do, he has now been mandated by the court to do.
“The court has reviewed all the facts, listened to both parties and they said exactly what was done in Gbarnga, Bong County should be reflected in the Liberty Party constitution at the National Elections Commission of Liberia,” said Senator Dillon.
“The Court has given the NEC and us 72 hours to ensure that [the] LP constitution that was elected or reflected from Gbarnga convention should not be deposited at the NEC,” he added.
Dillon noted that what Musa Bility submitted to the NEC did not reflect the views and decisions of Gbarnga and should be corrected as contained in the October 2 Farmington MOU and the NEC is under obligation to ensure that.
According to him, the LP constitution that was voted for in Gbarnga says that the political leader in consultation with the National Executive Committee (NEC) will formulate policy and procedure to implement the decision of the Gbarnga convention and the National Convention is the highest decision making body.
He explained that part of the decision of the National Convention is for the political leader in consultation with the NEC to formulate policy as to how to restructure counties leadership, due payment and administrative running of the party as decided by the convention.
The Montserrado County lawmaker further indicated that when they came from Gbarnga, embattled chairman Bility flipped the authority around to say that the National Executive Committee in consultation with the political leader will be the one to formulate the policy.
He alleged that chairman Bility placed an authority that was not given to him, saying this is where all Liberty Party’s noise started to come from.
Dillon noted that when Chairman Bility was told of his error, he refused to correct it, which the court now mandates him to do.
“Let me make this simple for all, the President of Liberia will nominate with the consent of the senate. The president will appoint, that is what the constitution of Liberia says, and it means he has appointing power,” Dillon explained.
“Now, if somebody changes that by saying the Senate will nominate with the consent of the [President], he will appoint. They are giving appointing power to the Senate. This means you are altering the constitution by placing authority in an authority that was not authorized to do so,” Dillon argued.
“We told him to correct the wrong but he insisted no, and now the court has told him to correct the wrong within 72 hours and you can’t go beyond the Supreme Court’s order,” Dillon said.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/bility-nyonblee-dillon-others-risk-expulsion/