Monrovia - The Chairman of the National Election Commission, Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya, facing a mountain of allegations from some Liberians that he holds an American citizenship, says those making the claim are opening a Pandora box.
Report by Kennedy L. Yangian klyangian @frontpageafricaonline.com
Mr. Korkoya, who could not confirm or deny the allegation that he holds an American citizenship, explained that no private citizen has the right to question him regarding the allegation, but only the Attorney General of Liberia.
Said Cllr. Korkoyah: “It hurts me when lawyers are misrepresenting the facts."
"This latest allegation is not coming from a political party or group of concerned Liberians but from an individual. Let me say that a private citizen cannot question me on this matter rather it should be the Attorney General.
The NEC boss made the assertion when he took the stand in his own behalf at the Supreme Court on Monday during a chamber hearing over petition for a prohibition filed by veteran politician and economist, Dr. Togba Nah-Tipoteh, to Justice-in-Chamber, Phillip A.Z. Banks.
Dr. Tipoteh’s petition to the high court alleged that Korkoya was born in Liberia but renounced his duty of allegiance to Liberia and sought American citizenship which is evidenced by the American passport he holds.
“Your honor , we want a prohibition to lie in this case and stop Korkoya for performing the duty of NEC chairman because he is incapable of handling the country’s election commission when he is a US citizen,” said Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe .
But Cllr. Korkoya, while on the stand fought back, alluding that there are three branches of government. He said it could be illegal for one branch to remove another employee especially, an appointee from the Executive Branch.
“They have accused me of passing through dubious means to be confirmed by the Liberian Senate.
“But why come after me and fail to take the issue up with the Executive Branch of government that appointed me ,” said Cllr. Korkoya who argued that Cllr. Gongloe and others are making the move to have him removed, take away his citizenship and make him stateless.
In a bid to get off the hook, he told Justice Banks not to accept any evidence presented by Cllr. Gongloe.
This is the second time the NEC Chairman has been sued over allegation that he is not capable to preside over the National Elections Commission due to his alleged possession of an American citizenship.
A fortnight ago, the National Democratic Coalition, represented by its Vice President and Secretary General, alongside the Concerned Citizens to Protect the Constitution also represented by its CEO Miatta Fahnbulleh, filed a petition to the Civil Law Court at the Temple of Justice for declaratory judgment in order to seek the removal of the NEC boss because he bears an American citizenship.
Korkoya in return filed a motion to the court to have the petition dismissed because the court lacks the jurisdiction on some of the claims that Korkoya violated the Alien and Nationalization law as well as use dubious means to obtain his confirmation by the Senate.
After the hearing of the petition, presiding Judge Boima Kontoe reserved ruling in the matter until a later date when a notice of assignment has been made.
In the same vein, Justice Banks after the hearing into the writ of prohibition on Monday, told parties to the case that after 72hrs of research, he will be bringing down a ruling into the matter based on a notice of assignment.