APC chairman Minkailu Mansaray must prioritise safeguarding APC’s June 2023 votes

Sylvanus Fornah Koroma: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 12 June 2024:

On issues of video evidence that has to do with the June 2023 multi-tier elections which has gone viral, I am inclined to remind or inform opposition APC Chairman Minkailu Mansaray, that it is now public knowledge that his counterpart Chairman Dr. Prince Harding of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) has openly and publicly informed the Leader of the SLPP, Mr. Julius Maada Bio, that the membership of the All Peoples Congress (APC) are mad people.

Without any reprimand for such a derogatory statement that amounts to hate speech, Dr. Prince Harding went on to inform his leader that the SLPP would never again hand over power to the APC in this country.

I am also informing and or reminding Sierra Leoneans and the world at large to understand the issues at hand and that such statements from the SLPP leadership are no mere platitudes but are part of the grand plan along with the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL) in refusing to publish and gazette the June 2023 multi-tier elections results as the law provides.

If transparency is part of the fair play mantra that is expected of ECSL in the conduct of elections, then the ECSL should have avoided the controversies and done what the law states by publishing and gazetting the said results to allow the veracity, authenticity, and correctness of that official results to be tested.

Certainly, the results that were announced cannot have been announced out of nothing, they must have been announced based on the results that have been certified according to the electoral practices and those results must be gazetted as the official results. It is when the official results (gazetted results) have been made available to the public, that qualified person(s) is/are at liberty to challenge the results if there are issues to challenge.

No sensible person or institution would just simply give a blanket electoral figure without being able to justify it; in the same vein, sensible people will use the breakdown figure to probe the blanket figure. Therefore, I am of the view that at this time in our nation’s history, ECSL should be transparent and sensitive enough to provide the certified results by polling stations in the gazette to justify the blanket figure that Konneh announced on June 27, 2023.

The announcement of the June 2023 elections results must at least have been on the basis that the results have supposedly been received in a tallied, computed, and certified form as provided in section 51(2) of the Public Elections Act, 2022. These are the results that reflect the polling stations by polling stations which can be easily used to verify, inform, and advise anyone qualified to take legal action or not.

The Tripartite Committee’s findings and report must take into account all of these facts that precipitate the current political situation in Sierra Leone.

I must also hasten to specifically remind Hon. Chairman Minkailu Mansaray, who is now the symbolic head of the APC, of what the Leader of the SLPP recently addressed his SLPP MPs at a State Lodge dinner: Mr. Bio informed his audience that his reason for being in power is to protect his party people from being bullied. His recent statement to the SLPP MPs mirrored and corroborated one of his earlier statements made when he was the Head of State in 1996.

In video evidence, Mr. Julius Maada Bio admitted or confessed that he used his office to ensure that the SLPP won the 1996 elections, as he wore green – a different kind of green, that ensured the SLPP took over governance.

At this point, and before progressing into other pressing issues, let me leave this as food for thought, especially for the symbolic head of the APC, whose Party’s leadership solemnly pleaded with the electorates to vote in the June 2023 multi-tier elections and assured the electorates that they (the APC leadership) will protect the votes and ensure that their votes are reflected in the results: If you fail to protect the votes of the June 2023 elections as promised, and allow the boastful words of the SLPP to prevail, then the entire APC leadership, including the APC Tripartite committee members in the Unity Agreement and its subcommittee members as in the Tripartite Committee, would be considered unfit to handle the affairs of the Party going forward. In short, let this serve as a prompter for collective responsibility in the APC leadership.

The Law 

In brief, the ECSL has yet to provide a convincing argument or sufficient transparency in its voting Results Management Report System, otherwise, the stalemate in the legitimacy of its announced results remains a challenge for governance in Sierra Leone.

The Results Management Report System is a critical aspect of the electoral process of ECSL as it is the key determinant in electing candidates, and also forms the basis for determining the legitimacy of the elected candidates in transparent and fair elections. When legitimacy is lost, it becomes a challenge to ensure the success of any governance structure that emerges from such a discredited system, especially when transparency and fairness are conspicuously and deliberately absent.

The APC insisted on adhering to the law, basing its call for the publication and gazetting of results primarily on both the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone and the Public Elections Act, 2022 (PEA 2022). The APC argues that the publication and gazetting of the results are statutory functions of the ECSL, specifically mandated for the National Returning Officer. Nothing precludes the National Returning Officer from exercising the functions mandated by law, as provided in sections 52(b) and 93 of the PEA 2022.

The 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone supports this function, stating in section 32(11) under the marginal note ‘Electoral Commission’: “In the exercise of any functions vested in it by this Constitution, the Electoral Commission shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority.”

The PEA 2022 derives its authority from Constitution, as stated in its Long Title: “Being an Act to repeal and replace the Public Elections Act, 2012 (Act No. 4 of 2012), to provide for supplementary provisions to sections 32 and 33 of the Constitution of Sierra Leone , 1991 ( Act No. 6 of 1991) with respect to the Electoral Commission and to provide other related matters.” Therefore, the ECSL has no grounds to avoid exercising its functions as provided by law in sections 52(b) and 93 of the PEA 2022, which mandate that as soon as the results are announced, the National Returning Officer shall publish and gazette the results.

The law requires the results to be published and gazetted as soon as possible due to the time-bound provision in the later section. The announced results, or those from which the announcement is made, are organized and ready for publication and gazetting.

The instructions for the exercise of the function of the National Returning Officer to act immediately or as soon as possible are based on the readiness of the tallied, computed, and certified results in section 51(2). Section 51(2) clarifies this readiness: “As soon as possible after the receipt of the results of the counting of the votes under subsection (1), the Returning Officer shall tally and compute the results certified to him by various Presiding Officers and shall thereafter declare the results of the election.” This provision of the law also clarifies that the results received by the Returning Officer are in an organized form to prevent delay in terms of announcing, publishing, and gazetting the results.

The results certified to the Returning Officer in section 51(2) are the results for which the Result Reconciliation Forms (RRF) are issued by the Presiding Officer or ECSL to representatives/agents of the candidates/parties and accredited observers in some instances, on polling station by polling station basis.

These RRFs are meant to be later used to reconcile and ascertain the authenticity, correctness, and validity of the final results announced by the National Returning Officer. This is why section 52(b) provides: “The National Returning Officer shall, after declaring the result of the presidential election – as soon as possible, cause the result of the election to be published by notice in the Gazette and in any other manner that he may think fit.”

This provision is further emphasized in section 93, highlighting the conjunctive-conjunction ‘and,’ meaning the National Returning Officer must publish and gazette the presidential results inter alia. For Members of Parliament, the publication must be by Government Notice and it is also preferenced among other things, with additional means chosen by the National Returning Officer as he thinks fit.

It must be noted that the law specifically requires the National Returning Officer to gazette the results because gazetted results are treated as the official results of the Commission and are legally binding when acted upon. Gazetted results have legal efficacy, and courts will accept them as evidence because they are official, unlike the RRFs.

In conclusion, the provisions above are crucial as they create a basis for understanding the phrase ‘as soon as possible’ and link the relevant statutory sections in the PEA 2022, particularly sections 51, 52, and 93. These provisions enable a qualified voter to challenge the presidential election results in the Supreme Court within the 7-days requirement stated in section 54(1). In this light, section 51(2) is key to both sections 52(b) and 93 because it provides for the organized results for publication and gazetting, which are the results announced by the Returning Officers and can be verified using the RRFs.

Without the publication and gazetting of the results, the declaration process by announcement or proclamation of the election results of the Electoral Results Management Report System is incomplete. Therefore, the 7-day period after the declaration, as stipulated in section 54(1) of the PEA 2022, can only begin once the publishing and gazetting process is complete.

The Black’s Law Dictionary (11th Edition) defines ‘declaration’ as “a formal statement, proclamation, or announcement, especially one embodied in an instrument.” Thus, when a statute specifies that election results must be published and gazetted after the declaration, it only means that the official results provided in section 51(2) automatically make up for the embodiment that must be documented and disseminated to the public through publication and gazetting. Until this is done the political impasse in Sierra Leone remains a challenge, and we must all endeavour to ensure that the correct things are done now without bias.


Grapevine news within and outside the APC support base, both at home and abroad suggests that the Party’s Chairman Hon. Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray must avoid promoting his personal ambition of metamorphosing to becoming the APC flag bearer in 2026, and he must focus on protecting the June 2023 votes which the Party promised and assured the electorates that it will do.

The APC has all the legal and factual arguments and evidence to succeed in protecting the votes of June 2023 if only the current leadership of the Party is willing and ready to make the necessary sacrifices now rather than allow itself to be brainwashed into an AGENDA 2028 promise that will never be fulfilled.

Allowing the SLPP to continue with this impunity and not stopping the rigging now starting with this June 2023 elections, would only resort to empowering the SLPP to have entrenched and fortify itself into continuous rigging with impunity – a pattern the SLPP is steadily using and adopting including the most recent broad daylight rigging of the election for the executives for the Sierra Leone Bar Association (SLBA) election.

That SLBA rigged executive elections in Kenema on May 18, 2024, was spearheaded by no less than a person but the Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission Francis Ben Kaifala who, as a matter of fact, had no authority to conduct the said elections but he gladly led his imposition to conduct the election as the Returning Officer to again impose an executive with no legitimacy so far as the majority of lawyers are concerned!

Videos of the occasion speak volumes. So, be warned! The Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 And Amendments in sections 42, 43, and 44 respectively provide for persons like the National Returning Officer of ECSL, Mohamed Konneh, to be called to book by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for Abuse of office, Abuse of position, and Public officer using his office for advantage. But because of the State Capture scheme of the SLPP, Francis Ben Kaifala cannot do anything and hides in the immunity clause of section 20 of the same Act that states: “No action, suit or other legal proceeding shall lie against the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner or any officer of the Commission in respect of any decision taken or any act done or omitted to be done in good faith in the performance of any function under this Act.”

But again, what else could he have done when his recently imposed role as Returning Officer in what I will describe as a defunct Sierra Leone Bar Association executive elections, has attracted the same offences against him Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala with a possible additional offence as stated in section 45 of same that provides for Conflict of interest! So far for this purpose, let us leave Francis Ben Kaifala and the SLPP State Capture Scheme for another day.

Chairman Hon. Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray, whom the late Hon. Haja Afsatu Kabba used to call “Mr. Cunning Rabbit” (though the reason for this nickname remains unclear), is rumoured to be uninterested in protecting the votes of the June 2023 elections.

I must emphasize, that this election was one that the Party leadership, which he now heads symbolically, promised to safeguard. It is said that “Mr. Cunning Rabbit” is more interested in becoming the APC flag bearer for the 2028 presidential election, with plans to secure this position in the early 2026 APC convention. This might explain his recent statement at the Party Headquarters about holding elections in 2026, as the APC convention due that year will involve elections for national officers.

Again, I wish to advise Hon. Chairman Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray to focus on delivering the promise to protect the June 2023 multi-tier elections votes. The APC must remain focused, strategic, and prepared to defend the people’s votes against any challenges. If the Party maintains its stance, it could and would celebrate a resounding victory in the June 2023 election.

Another rumour suggests that the SLPP is attempting to lure the APC into a power-sharing deal, offering 8 out of 20 ministerial appointments under the guise of forming a National Unity government. I argue that even if the SLPP offers all 20 ministerial appointments to the APC, it would be unwise to accept. The SLPP leader is known for making deceptive promises, so for him to abruptly revoke such appointments would not be strange.

Furthermore, Hon. Chairman Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray, I advise from my small corner: as the current symbolic head of the APC, maintain your focus and put more energy into galvanizing support to protect the votes of the June 2023 electorate. You will surely succeed.

Remember this

There is/are only one or two logical conclusion(s) as to why the ECSL has not produced, published, and gazetted the results of the June 2023 elections, polling station by polling station, as were received and certified in section 51(2) of the PEA 2022. The most plausible conclusion is that the results announced by Mohamed Konneh on June 27, 2023, were not real and did not reflect the certified results in section 51(2). If they were genuine, Konneh would have published and gazetted the results long ago, allowing for verification with the RRF.

Another possibility is that the ECSL has no results and relied on the fabricated statistical data provided by an SLPP affiliate posing as a Civil Society Organisation and Activist rather than an SLPP-Partisan Society and Activist.

Finally, I implore the members of the APC Tripartite Committee in particular (and any other interested person) to endeavour to listen to the statements of the SLPP Leader of the House of Parliament Hon. Mathew Nyumah’s in the Well of Parliament on the day that they approved Edmond Alpha’s reappointment as ECSL Southern Region Commissioner. I am keen that people listen to his comments about the use of certain diction that his Party insisted on not being used in a document that had to do with the Unity Agreement at Bintumani. Let’s all pay ATTENTION!!!


  1. The All-People’s Congress (APC) party, like any political organization, stands to benefit immensely from adopting a strategy of engagement over tactics rooted in lies, destruction, and deception. Here are several compelling reasons and an advice to the APC party why they should prioritise politics of engagement:

    1. Building Trust and Credibility
    Engaging in honest and transparent politics helps to build trust and credibility with the electorate. When political parties engage in deception and destruction, they erode public trust, making it difficult to govern effectively even if they win elections. Trust is a cornerstone of democratic governance and is essential for long-term political success.

    2. Promoting Democratic Values
    Politics of engagement aligns with democratic values such as openness, accountability, and respect for the rule of law. By fostering a political culture based on these principles, the APC can contribute to the strengthening of democratic institutions and processes in their country, ensuring a stable and prosperous political environment.

    3. Encouraging Constructive Dialogue
    Engagement encourages constructive dialogue and debate, which are essential for addressing the complex issues facing any society. By listening to and addressing the concerns of citizens and opponents alike, the APC can develop more effective and inclusive policies that have broader support and are more likely to succeed.

    4. Enhancing Policy Development
    When political parties focus on engagement, they are more likely to develop policies that are based on evidence and a deep understanding of the issues. This leads to better decision-making and outcomes for the population. Policies rooted in deception are often short-sighted and fail to address underlying problems, leading to further issues down the line.

    5. Improving International Standing
    A party that practices politics of engagement is more likely to gain respect and support from the international community. This can lead to increased foreign investment, better diplomatic relations, and more opportunities for international collaboration. Conversely, a reputation for deceit and destruction can isolate a country and limit its opportunities on the global stage.

    6. Fostering Unity and Social Cohesion
    Engaging politics helps to bridge divides and foster unity within a society. When parties engage in destructive politics, they often exacerbate divisions and create an atmosphere of hostility and mistrust. By promoting dialogue and understanding, the APC can help to build a more cohesive and harmonious society.

    7. Long-Term Political Success

    Sustainable political success is built on a foundation of trust, integrity, and effective governance. Short-term gains achieved through deceit and destruction are often fleeting and come at the cost of long-term stability and success. By focusing on engagement, the APC can build a solid base of support that endures over time.

    8. Empowering Citizens
    Engagement empowers citizens by involving them in the political process and giving them a voice in decision-making. This leads to more active and informed citizenry, which is essential for a healthy democracy. Deceptive practices, on the other hand, disenfranchise citizens and undermine their ability to participate meaningfully in governance.

    In summary, the All People’s Congress party should embrace politics of engagement to build trust and credibility, promote democratic values, encourage constructive dialogue, enhance policy development, improve international standing, foster unity and social cohesion, ensure long-term political success, and empower citizens. By doing so, the APC can create a more stable, prosperous, and democratic society that benefits all its members.

  2. The fact has to be faced that the current leadership of APC is at best mediocre, they are run-of-the mill type of leaders. Sporadically, the deputy chairman, Osman Yansaneh, would put out a wimpish statement while looking over his shoulder to see who is watching him. The secretary general, Lansana Dumbuya, does the same thing, and afraid to go home afterwards. Minkailu Mansaray, the chairman, seems to operate from the mysterious spiritual world which we don’t see or hear. Does anybody even remember what he sounds like?

    When one has such a combination of people at the forefront of anything one should forget about sustained and unwavering leadership that is never ambiguous. APC are in for a long night.

    Prior to the 2018 elections,Alfred Peter Conteh, put out an audio message in which he narrated efforts made by him and others to have the Party reform itself to make it reflect current realities, but Earnest Koroma, Osman Yansaneh and the rest of the old numb heads resisted. Does Minkailu have the wherewithal to reorganise APC. The laws of probability say no.

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