Consultant at Ministry of State Charged With Election Fraud

MONROVIA, Montserrado – The Liberia National Police on Wednesday, March 1, charged four suspects recently arrested in Lower Johnsonville, Montserrado with illegally possessing election materials.

Among the arrested was a representative aspirant and a consultant within the President’s Delivery Unit at the Ministry of State, Amos S. Siebo.

The illegal voter registration ring was broken up by officers on Sunday, February 26 following a tipoff from community members in Montserrado’s first district.

Police spokesperson Sam Collins said several voter registration materials, including cameras and blank photo cards and forms, were retrieved from a private residence where the suspects operated.

The eight suspects initially arrested were Amos S. Siebo, Margaret Siebo, Milton Craig, Angeline Dennis, Tenneh Dahn, Martha Brown, Rebecca Dahn, and Lisa Mulbah.

After the police conducted further investigations, they charged Amos and Margaret Siebo, Craig, and Dennis with the crimes of criminal conspiracy and theft of property for possessing several voter registration materials belonging to the National Elections Commission. The other suspects were recommended for release as the investigation could not establish any link between them and the crime.

Voter registration materials retrieved in Johnsonville. Photo: Zeze Ballah

Voter registration materials retrieved in Johnsonville. Photo: Zeze Ballah

According to Collins, another suspect named Alphonso Somwarbi was also charged with similar offenses in absentia but he remains at large.

Amos Siebo, the main ringleader intends to contest in the October 2017 legislative election. Prior to his arrest, he had a consultancy contract with the unit that works close with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the Ministry of State.

The ministry has with immediate effect canceled Siebo’s contract following his arrest on election fraud.

Suspects Amos S. Siebo Bows His Head in Shame Photo Zeze Ballah

Suspect Amos S. Siebo Bows His Head in Shame Photo Zeze Ballah

Jerome G. Korkoya, chairman of the National Elections Commission, said in light of the occurrences, NEC has instructed all registrars to take the voter registration materials to the commission’s warehouse at the close of official working day. For centers far from NEC’s warehouse, the police are cooperating to store the materials at their depots.

Siebo is suspected of having convinced the voter registration staff members to whom the equipment were assigned to turn it over to him, Korkoya said.

He warned that any NEC staff member found guilty of providing Siebo with the election materials would be immediately dismissed and turned over to the Ministry of Justice.

“The voter registration process must be fair, credible and transparent,” he maintained.

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah

Zeze Ballah

Zeze made his journalism debut as a high school reporter at the LAMCO Area School System. In 2016 and 2017, the Press Union of Liberia awarded Zeze with the Photojournalist of the Year award. Zeze was also the union's 2017 Health Reporter of the Year. He is a Health Journalism Fellow with Internews.

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