The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Who Goes To NEC?

There are mounting speculations as to who will be the possible replacement-nominee at the National Elections Commission (NEC) as President George Weah has immediately withdrawn the nomination of Cllr. Ndubusi Nwabudike as chairperson-designate.
On April 2, President Weah announced the withdrawal of Cllr. Nwabudike amidst alarming calls from almost every sphere of society for his rejection including some members of the Liberian Senate who were clothed with the responsibility of vetting him for said post.
President Weah, who provided no reasons for his decision, informed the President Pro-Tempore of the Liberia Senate in a communication about his action and only presented his compliments; that was a decision made when the Senate committee had already began its investigation revealing the nominee’s naturalization status among other things so to submit its finding to the plenary for his qualification or disqualification for the said post.
Meanwhile, those said to have been tipped for the post based on the public perception are Associate Justice

Jamesetta Howard Wolokollie; Cllr. T. Negbalee Warner; Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe; Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott; Cllr. Koffi Woods; Cllr.

Jonathan Weedor; Atty Kanio Bai Gbala; Mr. Dorbor Jallah and Ms. Leymah Gbowee.
Associate Justice Jamesetta Wolokollie is the first vice president of the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL), who rose to the position of Associate Justice since 2007. One of her landmark decisions which is recorded to date is her refused to sign the 3-1 judgment which gave the Legislature the right to sit over an impeachment trial stating that her colleagues were in error in the trial of former Associate Justice, Cllr. Kabineh Ja’neh by the Liberian Senate.
But siting with four other justices on the Supreme Court bench, Associate Justice Wolokollie argued at the time that a review of the senators” petition simply stated that the Constitution being the supreme law and having a binding force and effect on all authorities and persons, any law regulations, etc found to be inconsistent with the Constitution shall be the extent of the inconsistency be void and of no legal effect.

Cllr. T. Negbalee Warner, is an Assistant Professor, a former dean of the Louise Arthur School of Law and a partner of the Heritage Law Firm with over 19 years of law practice in the country. Cllr. Warner, described as a transparency and anti-corruption expert based in Liberia, once headed the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) and also the University of Liberia legal unit of lawyers and paralegal personnel. He is a member of the board of examiners of the Supreme Court Bar and once served as the Executive Director at the Central Bank of Liberia.

Cllr. Gloria Maya Musu Scott earned her law degree from the prestigious Harvard Law School and reaching the peak of her legal profession in Liberia, she served as the chief priest of the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court. Cllr. Scott who remains a practicing lawyer since then was also elected as senator of Maryland County which introduced her as a politician; advocating for the passage of several women’s rights laws including the Rape Law and the Inheritance Law as well as the introduction of a bill called the ‘boyfriend and girlfriend’ Law which never left the corridors of the Liberian Senate. She is a founding member of AFELL and provided legal aid to indigent women and girls as well as the formation of what is known and recognized today the Women’s Legislative Caucus at the Legislature; a platform for women’s issues.

Leymah Roberta Gbowee, the famous 2019 national Independence Day orator who give the different positions of individuals in the country, is another person who has always been tipped for positions in government having led a non-violent movement for peace in Liberia during its hay days. The Nobel Peace Prize Award winner is known globally for her mass action for peace-Pray the Devil Back to Hell.
Cllr. Jonathan Weedor, having served as co-chair of the NEC with oversight responsibilities over policy making, training, staffing and finance, many believe could be the right nominee since he has served that Commission for almost 16 years and is considered as the doyen of the Commission. He holds a Master of Arts Degree in Sustainable Development from the SIT Graduate Institute at Brattleboro, USA.

Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe, a respected lawyer is the president of the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA) who earned for himself a household name for his persistency and determination in activism and advocates for what he believes in strongly regardless of whom he opposes. Cllr. Gongloe, a professor of law once served the country as Solicitor General.
Another individual tipped for the position is

Cllr. Koffi Woods, grounded human rights activist, a politician, journalist, and academia. He is the founder of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of Liberia. Cllr. Woods served the country as a Minister of Labor and later a Minister of Public Works. He honorably resigned his post in government and since then he has been living a private life.
The name Kanio Gbai Gbala, now a staunch member of the ruling political party, also surfaced but that has been met with a more harsh resistance based on his integrity before it is even taken into consideration in the public glare.

Atty Gbala, a young progressive lawyer, a politician who resigned from the Liberty Party, was appointed to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission last year as vice chairperson. Atty Gbala is a Prince 2 Agile Foundation Project Manager, managing multi-donor grant portfolios targeting democratic consolidation and the rule of law initiatives in post conflict settings.

Dorbor Jallah, the winner of the 2018 edition of Integrity Idol Liberia a ‘naming and faming’ initiative which highlights the effort of the most honest government civil servant is another individual who many persons believe is best suited for this position of high integrity. Mr. Jallah, a man famously known for being outright and principle minded is also a former professor at the UL with an undaunted record of possessing a responsible work approach and ensuring standards in the midst of challenges. His admiration dates back to the stance he took at the UL when an examination he spearheaded saw over 20, 000 applicants fail as well as his roles in the investigation of the Private Use Permit (PUP) sage, which was a massive abuse of the forest sector of the country by concessionaires while serving as Executive Director of the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC).
However, with the expiration of the tenure of the commissioners who did exceptionally well by the ushering in the leadership of President Weah through a democratic process, many politicians are looking up to the chief executive to announce the best choice for this post as the special senatorial election for 15 of the 30 senators now poised to be vacant sometime in October this year and that will be a litmus test for whoever sits atop the NEC during the general and presidential elections in 2023; by C. Winnie Saywah-Jimmy.

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