Supreme Court Denies Nyonblee’s Prohibition

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The Supreme Court yesterday, Tuesday, June 28, 2022 denied the petition for prohibition brought by some members of the Liberty Party, including the Political Leader, Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, Senator Steve Zargo and Jacob Smith against the National Chairman, Musa Hassan Bility, Secretary General Martin Kollah and the National Elections Commission (NEC), apparently bringing to end the protracted legal battle invalidating the 2021 constitution and the leadership of the party.

    Justice Sien-nye Yuoh informed the parties that, in review of the claims presented by the petitioners, she had reviewed the case file with all evidence presented by the petitioners and conferred with Justice Jamesetta Wolokollie, the original Supreme Court Justice having jurisdiction over the case before she (Yuoh) took over as Justice in Chambers. She also listened to information provided by legal counsel for both parties.

     Having reviewed the case and listened to counsels of both parties, Justice Yuoh stated that the major question before her was whether or not the petitioners had met the legal requirement for requesting a prohibition against the defendants, as the answer to this question would inform the court whether or not the matter merited hearing or action at the Supreme Court level, and that based on what was garnered on examination of the case file and oral explanations given by all parties, was that “prohibition did not lie”.

    In her 6-point opinion to deny the prohibition, Justice Yuoh, among other things, said that the National Elections Commission (NEC) has committed no error in its handling of the LP case(s), that the multiple NEC rulings that the LP constitution was valid pending an amendment through the LP procedures or an unappealable ruling from a court of law were in line with established and known political party procedures, and that the NEC is not required to enforce the LP Farmington MOU, agreed to by both parties, but rather to receive an amended constitution from LP, reflecting that the agreement reached in the MOU had been implemented by the parties themselves.

    Other points in the opinion are that the claim by the petitioners that the NEC “facilitated” actions by the defendants did not have merit, that since there was a pending case at NEC, which was still in testimony phase, there was no legal basis to bring an open matter to the Supreme Court nor to issue a prohibition against the parties, and based on the above Justice Yuoh informed the parties that the Supreme Court was undivided in its opinion and that she was in agreement with Justice Wolokollie’s assessment of the petitioners’ claims and found that the prayers in the petition were “non justiciable”, meaning that the claims put forth were not capable of being decided by legal principles and therefore “non-cognizable”, meaning that, as a result, the Supreme Court was not the rightful authority to hear such cases. Justice Yuoh therefore suspended the case, putting an end to any further pursuance of the matter at the Supreme Court level.

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