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The Supreme Court of Liberia is expected to determine the fate of three representative candidates for the District #3 Lofa County seat in the October 10, 2017 polls in Liberia.

Clarence K. Massaquoi of Unity Party, Korva M. Jorgbor of United People’s Party and Independent candidate James Cooper will have to wait for the highest court to know their status.

The District is one of several districts across the country where complaints of alleged fraud, irregularities and breach of constitution and election laws marred the outcome of the October 10 vote.

The legal battle prevented the National Elections Commission (NEC) from certificating Clarence Massaquoi, who was previously announced winner of the district #3 seat.

During the arguments before the full bench of the Court, Massaquoi’s legal counsel prayed the wisdom of the court to dismiss the matter because the court has opined that the failure to fulfill or confirm to the appeal requirements of the law renders the appeal dismissible.

Cllr. Albert Sims emphasized that Chapter 6, Section 6.3 of the New Elections Law provides that “any contestant affected by the decision of the commission shall have the right to appeal to the Supreme Court not later than seven days after the decision is rendered.”

According to him, the appellants failed to adhere to the legal requirement.

He also wants the appeal dismissed “because on Friday, December 1, 2017, the Board of Commissioners of the NEC ruled on the minutes of the hearing dismissing appellants/ respondents’ appeal and confirming and affirming the final ruling of the hearing officer dismissing respondent’ complaint for filing beyond statutory time.”

Cllr. Sims of the Sherman & Sherman Law Firm informed the Court that instead of appellant filing its bill of exceptions on December 8, 2017, same was filed on December 11, 2017, three days after the due date.

Same was served on the Supreme Court on December 15, 2017, four days after same was signed by the NEC Board of Commissioners, he said.

According to him, appellant obtained a clerk’s certificate to substantiate this averment, which he attached as exhibit “M/1” to form a cogent part of this motion.

Cllr. Sims prayed the Court to deny and dismiss said appeal and grant his client (Massaquoi) further relief as provided for.

However, in defense of Korva Jorgbor and James Cooper interest, Cllr. James Kumeh prayed the Court to deny appellee’s motion on grounds that his client did file the Bill of Exceptions within the statutory period, as the minutes of the elections commission was received on december9, 2017.

He further argued that the Bill of Exception was filed on December 15, 2017, and pleaded with the Court to order the matter proceeded with on its merits and render unto respondent any and all further relief as “the court will deem just legal and equitable in the premises.”

Cllr. Kumeh informed the Court that there was no hearing into the client’s complaint because the hearing officer in Lofa said similar case was already before that body; he such he quoted him that they could not look into the matter.

During the legal argument, the Highest Court promised to do everything possible to conclude with matter to afford winning parties participate in the election for the speakership which is expected to kickoff next week.

“We are doing everything possible to conclude with elections cases between now till the weekend, because we are aware of the speaker elections and these people need to joint their colleagues up,” Justice Francis Korkpor assured.

The Court, however, reserved ruling after listening to the arguments, and is expected to render judgment into the matter anytime soon.

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