NEC Staff Trial On Election Malfeasance Yassah J Wright

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The Monrovia City Court has begun the prosecution of a staff of the National Election Commission (NEC) identified as Victor L. Johnson who was arrested, investigated and charged. Accordingly, the Acts of Election Malfeasance after Johnson was caught with alleged criminal changing votes in favor of Montserrado County district # 8, Representative Acarous M. Gray. Defendant Johnson was turned over to the court, Thursday, October 19, 2023 to answer to his crime. Johnson was later prevented from going to jail after his lawyer filed his criminal appearance bond to secure his release. According to court document, on Monday, October 16, 2023 defendant Johnson was arrested and duly charged with the Crime, act constituting malfeasance an act which is in violation of Chapter 10, Sections 10.1, A & C of the New Elections Law of Liberia.Based upon a complaint filed against Johnson by Vopea S. Gongloe, Election Magistrate of Lower Montserrado County. According to Complainant Gongloe, Election Magistrate of Lower Montserrado County of National Elections Commission (NEC) alleged that after the voting process on October 11, 2023 the National Tally Center at Samuel Kanyon Doe (SKD) sports complex, Paynesville City, received several ballot boxes which included Presidential and Senatorial tally process. Complainant Gongloe averred that after the ballot boxes were received, the NEC received complaints from parties’ agents that some of the tally sheets had more and less numbers for several Representative and Senatorial candidates, based on the complaints he (Magistrate Vonpea S. Gongloe) was instructed to Conduct re-count of the votes in the ballot boxes that complaints were filed against.  Gongloe conduced that re-counts were conducted and in the process were discovered that some of the ballot boxes had physical ballot papers less than what were in the ballot box from Richard N. Nixon Voting Precinct Capitol Bye-Pass, Polling Place Number 1, which was Seventy-Five (75) votes in favor of candidate Acarous M. Gray but was given One Hundred, Seventy-Five (175) putting him above other candidates. The court documents revealed that after the discovery of the votes the defendant Johnson was turned over to the Liberia National Police for investigation. However, defendant Johnson admitted to the allegation levied against him in the presence of his Lawyer Atty. Ernest J. Dunbar and further narrated to the investigation that he served as Voters Identification Officer (VIO) at AC Moseh Atina School System Voting Precinct, Polling Place number 2 on October 10, 2023 in Logan Town, Bushrod Island. Defendant Johnson averred that after the voting ends he and the Presiding Officer (PO) were counting and sorting all of the votes and after it’s ended, while Tracy Passawe was calling the numbers of the candidates one by one and he was writing them in the journal and was later instructed to write all of the numbers obtained by the candidates on tally sheets of the National Elections Commission (NEC), after he wrote the votes obtained on the tally sheet the parties agents and observers signed and after the presiding officer (PO) signed and the tally sheets were placed in the ballot boxes for transfer to the National Elections Commission ware house.  Defendant Victor L. Johnson concluded that days after the ballot boxes were transferred to the National tally center at Samuel Kanyon Doe (SKD) Sport complex, Paynesville City, he and the Presiding Officer (PO) were asked to report at the tally center which they did and when they got there, they were told that the tally sheets had problem and the National Elections Commission (NEC) will conduct re-count in the process of the re-count it was discovered that the physical ballot papers were less than what was written on the tally sheet; thereafter, he was turned over to the Liberia National Police for investigation. The investigative team was able to authenticate and established that the crime, was actually committed by the  defendant,  on October 10,  when the National Elections Commission (NEC) was conducting the October Polls, the defendant with criminal intent increased the votes in favor of candidates on the tally sheet and placed the actual votes obtained in the ballot box and presented the ballot box to the National Elections Commission (NEC) ware house through the Electoral Supervisor (ES) and thereafter,  The investigative team added that defendant went at his house, act which gives clues to the investigation that his action was criminal; further investigation established that the votes increased were discovered through re-count from the physical ballot papers that were placed in the ballot box by the National Elections Commission (NEC) Election Magistrate of Lower Montserrado County in the presence of parties agents and observers.

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