Investigations carried out by Internews Election Reporting Fellow, Jenneh S. Kemokai of Radio Cape, have uncovered the participation of Sierra Leoneans in Liberia’s Biometric Voters Registration (BVR) exercise in Grand Cape Mount County.
The activity is suspected to be coordinated and orchestrated by politicians with cross-border connections and partially aided by some NEC officials in Liberia.
The investigation revealed that external voters trucking was also going hand in hand with the internal voters trucking, leading to confrontations among residents at some registration centers in the county.
“The unscrupulous act is alarming, with reports of Sierra Leoneans obtaining the Liberian BVR cards, which is a breach of the registration guidelines,” the report stated.
The investigation revealed several individuals involved in a similar situation with several BVR cards belonging to Sierra Leonean nationals.
One such person is a Sierra Leonean Immigration Border Guard whose name is Sylvester J. Koroma but managed to change his name to Sylvester Flomo to acquire a Liberian BVR card.
According to the investigation, Koroma was seen in Bamballah Town where residents of the town saw him very suspicious and decided to question his nationality if he was a Liberian. Koroma, now Flomo is said to have registered at the Vaikenway Registration Center a Village along the way to Mano River Kongo and was reported by residents who were not satisfied with him. He was later arrested by Joint Security at the Bamballah Police Details while on his way to Sierra Leone using the Gangamah crossing point.
The Sierra Leonean Immigration officer was not the only person involved in such a crime, the investigation uncovered several others in a similar situation with several BVR cards belonging to Sierra Leonean nationals.
The Grand Cape Mount County NEC Magistrate, Joseph Kiazolu, has questioned the online portion of the registration, citing that it allowed foreigners to participate in Liberian elections.
Meanwhile, the Liberia National Police told investigator reported that the Sierra Leoneans who were arrested in Grand Cape Mount for acquiring Liberian Biometric Voters’ Registration Cards were turned over to Sierra Leonean authorities some time ago, where they are expected to face the law in that country for their illegal actions into neighboring Liberia. It is not however known whether the Liberian government will pursue the prosecution of those Sierra Leonean nationals who committed electoral crimes in Liberia or they will let the accused go unpunished in keeping with the laws.
Disclaimer: Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of Sierraloaded or any employee thereof.
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