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Justice Banks Sends Korkoya vs. Tipoteh To Lower Court

Justice Banks denied a writ of prohibition requested by Dr. Togba Nah Tipoteh to stop Korkoya from presiding as chair of the NEC in the upcoming elections. At the Supreme Court conference, Banks said the writ cannot be issued because the high court cannot accept evidence.“We will not issue writ at this time. It is the view of the justice that the issuance of the writ will entertain evidence, and the Supreme Court is not supposed to entertain evidence on any matters.”

He added that matters at the court are not to be testified to by any parties in a case. Banks recommended that the petitioner takes advantage of the statute by filing a petition for declaratory judgment at the Civil Law Court. “The legal process is still available which can be done expeditiously and this refusal of issuing the writ is not based on prejudice.” But the ruling of the chamber’s justice is not a deterrent to lawyers representing Tipoteh as Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe said a petition of declaratory judgment will be filed today before the Civil Law Court. Gongloe said he is surprised by the ruling because several times the Supreme Court has heard cases with attachment.

“It is not over, and we will file the petition today.”

“The full evidence will be reviewed and they (Supreme Court) can look at it on appeal. We are not giving up and another Justice in chambers would have another discretion.Today the respondent (Korkoya) is not going to be responding to the writ but the war is still on. All is not lost and the Justice said the petition we filed is important but the court cannot take evidence and he recommended that the lower court takes jurisdiction or the Ministry of Justice but we will go by the way of declaratory judgment.”

Cllr. Gongloe confirmed that the evidence is from America specifically from the U.S. electoral authority. At the same time, Dr. Tipoteh said his request was to set the records straight so as to keep violence from the upcoming elections. He said the petition is also done in the interest of the Liberian people adding that it is to ensure that the wrong thing is right despite him presiding over past elections. It is never too late to do the right things so if he had an election before it wasn’t right, so we are doing what is right,” Dr. Tipoteh said.

“We know as a matter of record if elections aren’t fair, it leads to violence and it’s a patriotic thing to prevent violence and that is running through the court’s process.” For his part, Cllr. Cooper Kruah expressed joy over the court’s ruling. He said he is ready at all times to be present to defend the NEC chairman. “We are happy for the ruling, it was a wrong form of action they instituted and I applaud him for not issuing the writ and the ruling in favor of us. Cllr. Korkoya is currently facing a mountain of allegations from some Liberians that he holds an American citizenship. source/fronpageafrica

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