Claim: A Facebook page, “Unity Party,” operated by the major opposition political party on Oct. 23, 2023, alleged that a man buying voter cards was arrested by citizens and turned over to the police in Lofa.
Verdict: Mostly True! David Tagbayoung, Police Commander in Zorzor District, Lofa County, said the suspect, Abdullah Dorley, was reported to the police for buying 82 voter cards with the amount of $200 Guinea Franc, equivalent to $1,000 Liberian Dollars in Waylawesu. However, Commander Tagbayoung says the suspect has been on the run as police investigation continues.
As Liberia goes to a run-off election in Nov., there have been numerous allegations of the ruling party (Coalition for Democratic Change) buying citizens voter ID Cards in opposition Unity Party strongholds. The action ostensibly is a ploy to prevent citizens from voting in the run-off elections.
Particularly, on Oct. 23, 2023, Unity Party claimed on Facebook that a man had been arrested and turned over to the police for buying citizens’ voter cards in Lofa County.
“Breaking news! Some citizens of Lofa have been arrested and turned over to the police. A man was caught buying VR cards,” the post indicated.
Even though the post didn’t mention which political party the suspect supports, followers argue that it was a CDC strategy to win the run-off. In contrast, others consider it a propaganda ploy by the Unity Party to seek Liberians’ support in the pending elections.
The public confusion about buying voter cards and the intention behind it led DUBAWA to fact-check the allegation.
DUBAWA first contacted the Commander of Police in Zorzor District, Lofa County, via telephone. He confirmed that a resident had filed a complaint against Addulah for refusing to return the voters ID cards. The Police Commander reported the complainant as saying, the suspect (Abdullah Dorley) seized the citizen’s ID cards because his candidate (CDC) didn’t get higher votes in the Oct. 10 elections in the area.
According to Commander David Tagbayoung, Abdullah got the citizens’ voter ID Cards on the pretense that he wanted to look at figures on them. The Police Head said Abdullah told the voters he would return their identification cards afterwards.
“According to them, Abdullah got the 82 cards in exchange for $200. Guinea Franc, which is equivalent to $1,000. Liberian dollars with the pretense that he wanted to see something on their cards, but has seized their cards because he said CDC didn’t get encouraging votes from the area,” Commander Tagbayoung said.
Commander Tagbayoung stated that Abdullah Dorley is yet to face a police investigation as he is currently on the run since the incident was reported.
“The individual in question who has the card has not been seen. His colleague, through whom their cards were given to Abdullah Dorley, reported the matter to the police,” the police commander asserted.
In further verification, DUBAWA contacted a Liberian Journalist residing in Lofa Mr Tokpah Tarnue, who confirmed the incident.
Based on our fact-check, it is true that a man did purchase citizens’ voter ID cards in Waylawesu, Zorzor District, Lofa County, but the man is yet to be arrested by the police.