LIBERIA: Margibi Citizens Petition NEC to nullify Nathaniel McGill’s Nomination Over ‘Fake’ Domicile Declaration

From Christopher Wiah / Margibi County/

A group of pro-democracy activists under the banner Concern Youth of Margibi County has lodged a petition to the National Elections Commission (NEC) to revoke the certification of U.S. sanctioned former Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathanial F. McGill, for reportedly faking his domicile.

The disgraced former minister McGill was recently nominated by the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) to contest for senator of Margibi County and subsequently certificated by the National Elections Commission (NEC) as a candidate for the ensuing October 10, 2023, Legislative and Presidential Elections.

Mr. McGill certification has now triggered the Concern Youth of Margibi County to file a two-page petition to the National Elections Commission (NEC) requesting that body to revoke such certification.

“We the undersigned Concern Youth of Margibi County, Republic of Liberia do here write with abysmal grief and dismay objecting to the nomination of Hon. Nathaniel Farlo McGill to contest for the post of Senator of Margibi County, Republic of Liberia and request the National Elections Commission (NEC) to reject the nomination of Hon. Nathaniel Farlo McGill, deny his qualification, registration and certification and legal and factual reasons,” the petitioners said.

The group alleged through its petition dated July 6, 2023, addressed to the Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission (NEC) that Mr. McGill currently domiciled in Montserrado County District Six contrary to his declaration made to the NEC that he resides in Margibi County.

“Our request is based on the false information he provided to the National Elections Commission (NEC) as provided for in His Affidavit of Confirmation of Domicile in which he stated under oath that he’s Domicile in Margibi County, the county of which he wants to represent,” they claimed.   

The Concern Youth of Margibi County said their reliance is based on Article 30 (b) of the 1986 Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, adding that this constitutional provision states that: “citizens of Liberia who meet the following qualifications are eligible to become members of the Legislature: a. For the Senate, have attained the age of 30 years and for the House of Representatives have attained the age of 25 years—And b. Be domicile in the county or constituency to be represented not less than one (1) year prior to the election and be a tax payer.”

The petitioners argued that Mr. McGill cannot be domicile in District Six of Montserrado County and at the same time be domicile in Margibi County and or any other place in the Republic of Liberia for the purpose of contesting in the ensuing October 10 elections in keeping with law.

The Concern Youth of Margibi County, however, made reference to the Supreme Court of Liberia 2006 ruling that denied the chairman emeritus of the National Patriotic Party (NPP), Chief Cyril A. Allen from contesting a representative bi-election in Margibi County District Two due to domicile clause.

“That the Supreme Court of Liberia held in the case: the National Patriotic Party (NPP) versus the National Elections Commission (NEC), Supreme Court Opinion decided August 11, 2006, that the term ‘domicile’ as defined by NEC for the purpose of the ensuing Margibi County By-Election in District Two, means “the residence in the constituency of an aspirant or candidate who seeks elective public office in which he lives and pay taxes; for purpose of these regulations such residence shall be a place where habitation is fixed, where an aspirant or candidate has the intention of remaining and to which, whenever he/she is absent, has the intention of returning; The Supreme Court also held the term is also defined as the placed ‘where one habitually eats, sleep and makes one’s home,” The group recounted.

At the same time, the petitioners asserted that they are relying on the Supreme Court’s Definition/Opinion on domicile to pray the National Elections Commission (NEC) to reject and revoke the nomination of Mr. Nathaniel F. McGill as a candidate for senator of Margibi County in the pending October 10 polls—And appeal to the NEC to grant unto the Concern Youth of Margibi County of any other and further relief as the law, equity and justice deemed in the premises.

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