Tipoteh takes Korkoya to Court




The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
June 13, 2017

                  




Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh

IN THE HONORABLE SUPREME COURT   OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA
                                 SITTING IN ITS MARCH TERM, A. D.  2017.

 

CHAMBER                                   JUSTICE                                                  BANKS              

Petition for a writ of Prohibition-Dr. Tipoteh Nah         ) ACTION:
Tipoteh an eminent Liberian citizen and Presidential   ) PETITION FOR A WRIT OF 
Aspirant residing in the Township of Virginia,                ) PROHIBITION
Montserrado County, Liberia…………………..PETITIONER) 
Versus                                           )
Jerome George Korkoya, Chairman, National Elections) 
Commission Residing in the City of Monrovia,              ) Liberia……………………………………………………RESPONDENT)

PETITIONER’S PETITION
AND NOW COMES PETITIONER IN THE ABOVE-ENTITLED CAUSE OF ACTION and petitions this Honorable Court for a writ of prohibition against the hereinabove-named respondent for the following legal and factual reasons, to wit:

1. That petitioner is a citizen of Liberia that is historically known for standing up for justice, peace, human rights and upholding the law for more than Forty Years (40) of his life through the work of the Movement of Justice for Africa (MOJA). The court is respectfully requested to take judicial notice of this   publicly known and undoubted historical fact.

2. That the Petitioner is an outstanding political and public figure in the Liberian society who has participated in previous elections as a presidential candidate and is an aspirant in the upcoming presidential and representative election slated for October 2017.

3. That Petitioner says as someone who has been raising the consciousness of the Liberian people about doing the right things for the advancement of the Liberian society, especially following the law, ensuring equal treatment for all Liberians, speaking truth to power about respecting the Constitution and statute laws of Liberia, he has both the legal capacity and standing as a citizen, presidential aspirant in the ensuing presidential election and an advocate of uprightness in Liberia, to raise any issue that has the propensity to undermine the rule of law, peace, stability and progress in Liberia, guided by Liberian history.

4. That Petitioner also says that in his effort to lead the effort of change in Liberia, he has contested the presidency of Liberia in every Presidential Election since 1997 and intends to participate in the 2017 Presidential Elections; hence, he has standing to raise any issue before this Honorable Court that has the potential of undermining the credibility and integrity of the ensuing presidential and representative elections.

5. That Petitioner says that it is common knowledge and the Court is respectfully requested to take judicial notice of the fact that it was the lack of respect for the result of the electoral process led by the Late Emmet Harmon, as Chairman of the Special Elections Commission (SECOM), especially suspicions about his neutrality, strengthened by Emmet Harmon standing up at a public meeting at the Ducor Palace Hotel when the Late Kekura Bayo Kpoto asked every member of the National Democratic Party of Liberia in the audience to stand up and the establishment of a fifty (50) person committee to count the ballots, most of whom were sympathizers of the NDPL, that created mass disenchantment in Liberia and paved the way for the fourteen year civil conflict that led to the death of over three hundred thousand (300,000) Liberians, the destruction of almost all infrastructure in Liberia worth hundreds of millions of United Sates dollars and a generalized retrogression in every aspect of life in Liberia.

6. That Petitioner says that in order for the result of the national election to be considered credible the legal capacity of persons conducting the election, especially its chairman, who speaks for the Board Of Commissioners and presides over its meetings, must not be in doubt or questionable in any respect. Hence, prohibition will lie to prevent the chairman of the National Elections Commission, Jerome George Korkoya, respondent in these proceedings from further directing the affairs of the office of chairman of the National Elections Commission, because he is a citizen of the United States of America as is evidenced by the fact that he holds an American passport and has voted in political elections in the United States of America. Hereto attached are copies of respondent’s United States of America passport and voting records marked as exhibit P/1 in bulk to form a cogent part of the petition.

7. That petitioner says that in order for the National Elections Commission to require all candidates and voters participating in the 2017 presidential and representative elections to comply with the elections law of Liberia and for the commission to have the moral authority to rigorously enforce all provisions of said law, the Commission and its members must themselves obey, abide by and comply with, every provision of the Elections Law of Liberia; hence, respondent being an American citizen cannot continue to be a member of the Commission and its chairman, in keeping with law.

8. That Petitioner says that while prohibition is principally preventative in nature and its office is to prevent what has not been done, or what is left to be done, it may undo what has not been legally done; hence, prohibition will lie to prevent  respondent from doing what is left to be done, which is to preside over the electoral process to its conclusion.

9. That Petitioner says that Respondent, Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya cannot continue to serve as Chairman of the National Elections Commission (NEC) because he is citizen of the United States of America, in that he possesses a passport of the United States of America, and has voted in American elections, as hereinabove shown, thereby making his membership of the National Elections Commission to be in contravention of  section 2.3 of the Elections law of Liberia which provides  “§ 2.3. Qualification for Appointment. The Commissioners shall be Liberian citizens…” in other words to be a commissioner one must be a citizen of Liberia.  

10. That Petitioner says that the information contained in Count six  (6)  of the petition was not available to the petitioner prior to the confirmation hearing and appointment of the respondent, as the said information was in the exclusive possession of the respondent and only recently became available to petitioner, subsequent to respondent’s  confirmation and appointment through a freedom of information request made by Cllr. Frederick A. Jayweh as is shown by Exhibit P/1 in bulk hereinabove.

11. That  although the Constitution of Liberia,  provides under section 28 that “No citizen of the Republic shall be deprived of citizenship or nationality except as provided by law”, it also provides under the same section that  “…no person shall be denied the right to change citizenship or nationality” thereby giving  a Liberian citizen the freedom  to give away his Liberian citizenship, as respondent has done in this case by his swearing to the oath for becoming an American citizen, which oath requires the person taking same to renounce his previous citizenship, thereby freely giving his Liberian citizenship away. For the purpose of making this point clearer, petitioner hereby quotes the oath of allegiance taken by all immigrants to become citizens of the United States of America as follows:

 “I hereby declare, on oath,

In acknowledgement whereof I have hereunto affixed my signature.” see https://www.thoughtco.com/oath-of-united-states-citizenship-and-allegiance-3321591

12. That petitioner says further to count 11 hereinabove, respondent, by voluntarily taking on the citizenship of the United States of America, violated the following provisions of the Alien and Nationality Act on the loss of Liberian citizenship by performing certain acts: “… (b) Taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof; or   

(d) Voting in a political election in a foreign state…” thereby disqualifying him from being a member of the National Elections Commission. Consequently, prohibition will lie to stop respondent from further serving as Chairman of the National Elections Commission as a citizen of the United States of America; hence prohibition will lie to stop him from further serving as a member of the National Elections Commission.

13. That Petitioner says that respondent having taken the above-quoted oath to become a citizen of the United States without being coerced and being, presumably, of sound mind at the time, thereby voluntarily and freely renounced his Liberian citizenship; hence, he cannot retain his membership of the National Elections Commission. Prohibition will lie to order him to refrain from becoming a member of the Elections Commission and holding the high office of Chairman of the National Elections Commission.

14. That Petitioner says that this petition is being filed in good faith to prevent any post election crisis led by any party or individual who loses the up-coming election on the sound legal argument that the chairman who conducted the election was not legally qualified to conduct the election because he was not a Liberian citizen.

15. Also as to count fifteen(15) above, Liberian politicians who lose elections in Liberia are known for raising issues that were publicly known prior to elections, following the announcement of result, thereby causing post-election crisis bearing the potential of creating a national crisis, the first of which occurred in 1927 that led to the resignation of President Charles D. B. King and his Vice President, Allen Yancy, after T. J. R. Falkner the standard bearer of the Peoples Party, the opposition party that lost the election that is recorded in the Guiness Book of Record as the most rigged election in world history, complained to the League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations, that the winning president was involved in slavery in Liberia, the sale of slave labor to a Spanish Company to work on its cacao plantation on the Island of Fernando Po, now known as Equatorial Guinea, although this information was well-known to T. J. R. Falkner before the election that he participated in. Petitioner most respectfully requests this Honorable Court to take judicial notice of this well-known historical fact and prohibit, respondent from further being a member of the elections commission and being its chairman as he is not qualified under Liberian Law hold such position, it having being shown hereinabove that he is an American citizen.

16. That petitioner says that prohibition will lie to stop the respondent from holding the office of chairman of the National Elections Commission and further conducting himself because as an American citizen he is not qualified under Liberian law to become a member of the National Elections Commission.

17. That petitioner says prohibition, given the facts and circumstances hereinabove stated is the best way to stop lawlessness by Liberian politicians as a short-cut to resolving the issue of unlawful leadership as they did in 1871, when instead of impeaching President Edwin J. Roye, when he violated the Liberian law on the transfer of power through elections, the said politicians issued a manifesto to depose Roye from power and violently removed him, in clear violation of the Constitution of Liberia. Hence, prohibition will lie to peacefully and legally stop, enjoin and prohibit respondent from retaining his membership of the National Elections Commission, in order to uphold the law and prevent the use of any unlawful and arbitrary means to deal with this issue following the 2017 elections, as Liberian politicians have done in the past.

18. That petitioner says that respondent is required by law to conduct elections in a lawful manner and to require all candidates and voters to uphold the Elections Law; therefore, he must also be held to the same standard of upholding the Elections Law by not permitting him to violate section 2.3 of said law. Hence, prohibition will lie to cause respondent to refrain from further violating the law.

WHEREFORE AND IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, Petitioner prays this Honorable Court to order issued the alternative writ, ordering respondent to refrain from further conducting the affairs of the National Elections Commission as Chairman, order respondent to show cause why the peremptory writ should not issue, grant petitioner’s petition, and grant unto petitioner such further relief as the court may deem just and legal.
RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED: by the above named Petitioner, by and thru His
Legal Counsel, Gongloe & Associates, Inc. Law Firm, Ground Floor,
CEDE Building, Ashmun Street, Monrovia, Liberia 
Cell Nos.:  0777-707-477/0886-516-740/0886-570-428/0886-201-447.

 _____________________                                                _____________________
Frederick Jayweh                                                              Tiawan S. Gongloe
Counsellor-at-Law                                                            COUNSELLOR-AT-LAW

____________________
Momolu G. Kandakai
Counsellor-at-Law

 

Dated this 9th Day of June, A. D. 2017.

 

 

REPUBLIC       OF     LIBERIA)    IN THE OFFICE OF THE JUSTICE OF THE PEACE FOR   
MONTSERRADO   COUNTY)     AND IN MONTSERRADO COUNTY, REPUBLIC OF 
)    LIBERIA.

Petition for a writ of Prohibition-Dr. Tipoteh Nah         ) ACTION:
Tipoteh an eminent Liberian citizen and Presidential   ) PETITION FOR A WRIT OF 
Aspirant residing in the Township of Virginia,                ) PROHIBITION
Montserrado County, Liberia                                             )                                            ………………………………………………………………..PETITIONER) 
Versus                                           )
Jerome George Korkoya, Chairman, National Elections) 
Commission Residing in the City of Monrovia,              ) Liberia……………………………………………………RESPONDENT)

PETITIONER’S AFFIDAVIT

PERSONALLY APPEARED BEFORE ME, a duly qualified and commissioned Justice of the Peace for and in the County of Montserrado, Republic of Liberia, at my office in the City of Monrovia, Dr. Togba Nah Tipoteh, petitioner in the above captioned Petition and made Oath, according to law, that all and singular the allegation of both law and facts as are set forth and contained in the foregoing and annexed Petitioners Petition are true and correct to the best of his knowledge and belief and as to those matters of information he verily believes them to be true and correct.

                                                                                    SWORN AND SUBSCRIBED TO BEFORE    
ME THIS ____ DAY OF JUNE, A. D.  
2017.

 

____________________________________
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE FOR MONTSERRADO
COUNTY, REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA

_______________________
Dr. Togba Nah Tipoteh
PETITIONER/affiant

$3.00 Revenue Stamps Affixed on the Original Copy.


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