Ekemp sues Liberian commission over biometric voter registration procurement
China-based Ekemp and its partners have filed a Writ of Prohibition with the Supreme Court of Liberia on the entire biometric voter registration procurement process.
The lawsuit was revealed by the Daily Observer after a conversation with the Liberian National Elections Commission (NEC)’s legal advisor Teage Jalloh.
Because of ongoing legal proceedings, Jalloh did not disclose further information about the suit.
The filing comes days after Ekemp Managing Director Yan Liu claimed unfair treatment led to the company’s failure to prove that its biometric voter registration system met the bid requirements during a demonstration of its capabilities.
“At about a quarter of the time left allotted to us, while we were demonstrating the enrollment process on the tablet, the evaluation panel interrupted us and requested that we connect the tablet to the projector so that more people would be able to see what was being displayed,” Liu says, as quoted by the Daily Observer.
To fulfill the panel’s request, Ekemp reportedly had to change some configurations on the tablet.
“As this became time-consuming, we returned to the software demonstration and printing of the card but noticed that the configuration to project the tablet on the wider screen had affected both the wire and wireless printing functions of the tablet,” Liu explains.
As a result of these technical difficulties, the company was unable to complete the biometrics collection and credential issuance demonstration process in the allotted two-hour time. Front Page Africa also reports that no other bidder during the two days of the re-demonstration exercise was asked to project displays from their equipment on the wider screen.
“Notwithstanding, we were able to successfully print the card in the presence of some of the evaluation panelists and observers when we finally had time to resolve this configuration matter. The evaluation panel received the printed card,” Liu claims.
Before the latest developments, the Chinese Embassy in Monrovia appeared to support Ekemp’s claims of unfair treatment, adding that accusations that the company’s role could undermine the security of voters’ data could cause a diplomatic row.