8/26/2020

Jupica vs Nec – Supreme Court of Liberia

In February, 2014, or thereabout, Liberian health authorities announced the presence of the deadly
ebola virus in Lofa County, north of Liberia, bordering the neighboring Republic of Guinea. There had
been an earlier report of an outbreak of the disease in the Republic of Guinea. Efforts to contain the
virus in Lofa County did not succeed, thereby causing it to spread fast and wide, ravaging the nation
in no small measures. Many citizens and foreign nationals lost their lives to the dreadful disease,
with no indication as to when it would be contained. Rather, reports continued to emerge that the
disease was in fact spreading exponentially. There was report, also, of the spread of the virus into
other West African Countries—Sierra Leone and Nigeria. By August, 2014, what started in one
county in Liberia had reached all fifteen counties in the country with statistics showing that a total
of three thousand five hundred (3,500) people had died from Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and
Nigeria, the four countries in West Africa where the outbreak had been reported, and that Liberia
accounted for more than half of the deaths.
Furthermore, and according to experts, unless drastic measures were taken, as many as one million
four hundred thousand (1,400,000) people in Liberia and Sierra Leone were likely to be infected
with the virus by the end of January, 2015. The economy of Liberia was seriously impacted by the
ebola disease. These were public information and records of which we take due note.
Faced with the devastating effect of the disease, the President of the Republic of Liberia, Ellen
Johnson Sirleaf, by authority granted under the Constitution of Liberia (1986) declared a state of
emergency on August 6, 2014, for a period of 90 days in order to fight the disease. The declaration
and the measures to fight the ebola virus were endorsed by the Legislature. Pursuant to the
declaration, actions were taken which affected certain rights guaranteed under the Constitution. For
example, public gatherings in large numbers and the movement of people were restricted. This led
to the National Elections Commissions (NEC) informing the Government and the public in general of
the impossibility of holding the special senatorial elections scheduled for October 14, 2014.
On October 4, 2014 the President issued a proclamation suspending the holding of the special
senatorial elections.
The Legislature, in a Joint Resolution no.002/14, endorsed the action of the President suspending
the special senatorial elections, however, with the provisio that the elections be held not later than
December 20, 2014. In the Joint Resolution, the Legislature directed NEC to consult with all relevant
stakeholders, civil society groups, including political parties, religious leaders, etc.
On November 3, 2014, the Chairman of NEC, Counselor Jerome G. Korkoya, reported that the
stakeholders had agreed to hold the special senatorial elections on December 16, 2014. In a Joint
Resolution no.003/14 issued by the House of Representatives and the House of Senate, the
Legislature resolved that the elections be held on December 16, 2014. The Joint Resolution was
approved by the President of the Republic of Liberia and campaign activities were to begin
November 20, 2014.
Not satisfied with the actions of the Legislative and the Executive Branches of the Government, the
petitioners herein fled to the Justice presiding in the Chambers of this Court with requests for the
issuance of the extraordinary writ of prohibition to restrain, prohibit, or undo the actions of the

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