By Edwin G. Wandah
Lawyers representing the National Democratic Coalition and the Movement for Progressive Change-MPC, led by its Political leader Simeon Freeman, former Internal Affairs Minister, Blamo Nelson of the Alliance for Peace and Democracy-APD, and former Information Minister, Emmanuel Bowier, have requested the Supreme Court for more time to adequately prepare themselves in presenting their case.
The two lawyers, Cllr. CyrinusCyfus, 1st Petitioner, who represents Minister Blamo Nelson of the Alliance for Peace and Democracy-APD, followed by Simeon Freeman, Political leader of the Movement for Progressive Change-MPC and former Information Emmanuel of the People’s Redemption Council of late Liberian leader, Samuel K. Doe which was later changed to the National Democratic Party of Liberia-NDPL.
However, appearing before the Supreme Court on Friday, Petitioners’second lawyer, Cllr. LavalahSupuwood told the Supreme Court bench that he needed more time to file in his brief but has already filed in an amended brief on Friday at 9:00 a.m., made it three in total the petitions filed before the Supreme Court by a single lawyer in a pending case before the court.
Meanwhile, Cllr. Supuwood further requested the Supreme Court to give him up to Monday today to prepare himself, meaning, he was also unaware of the Friday’s hearing simply because he was not notified on time to prepare himself.
Cllr. Supuwood told the court that he was notified at 11:48 a.m. on Wednesday, which could not have had him adequately prepared for the Friday hearing.
CounsellorSupuwood who humbly appeared before the full bench of the Supreme Court on Friday told Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor Sr. that due to the unfortunate situation, he was only before the Supreme Court as a sign of respect to the court but not to represent the interest of his clients.
In their closing application before the Supreme Court, both Cllr. CyrinusCyfus and Cllr. LavalahSupuwood jointly requested the Supreme Court for time to prepare themselves adequately.
Meanwhile, lawyers representing the National Elections Commission-NEC in separate applications felt disappointed over the actions of Petitioners’ lawyers.
Solicitor General of Liberia, Betty LarmieBlamo who represented the interest of the National Elections Commission-NEC and Cllr. Theophilus C. Gould in detail stated that Cllr. Supuwood’s action to file in a third brief, as an amended brief was deliberate and contemptuous.
In their application, Respondents also stated that they were not served copies of the amended brief filed by the adversary party, Cllr. LavalahSupuwood and CyrinusCyfus.
The Ministry of Justice which is the Government of Liberia’s legal arm representing the National Elections Commission-NEC most respectfully, led by Solicitor General of the Republic of Liberia Betty LarmieBlamo openly told the Supreme Court that they were not served copies of the amended petition which was filed on the day which should have been the hearing on Friday, December 2014 and filed at 9 a.m..
Second respondent’s lawyers, led by lawyers of the Henry Law Firm, and Cllr. Theophilus C. Gould and others representing the political parties, along with Solicitor General Betty LarmieBlamo requested the Supreme Court to at least fine the Petitioners’ lawyers for their failure to file in their brief on time, and again filing an amended brief against them who had already filed a writ of prohibition.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of Liberia granted the Petitioners’ request for time and gave them up to Saturday, December 6, 2014 to file in their brief but further dismissed the amended petition filed by petitioners’ lawyers.
This means, all parties, including Petitioners and Respondents will appear in court on Monday to present their case which set a date for the Supreme Court’s ruling which almost every Liberian both at home and in the diaspora waiting to know what comes out of the writ of prohibition filed.
Before the hearing which was postponed on Friday, several Liberians, including party litigants including former Information Minister Emmanuel Bowier who arrived 27 minutes late was allowed in after a tussle at the entrance with Supreme Court security officers.