Sierra Leone Telegraph: 02 December 2020:
Sierra Leone Judiciary’s Appeals Court yesterday Tuesday, rejected an attempt by the State Prosecutor to derail former minister of defence – Retired Major Palo Conteh’s appeal hearing.
According to report by Awareness Times, the legal manoeuvre by the State had sought to throw out the appeals filed by Conteh’s defense lawyers.
The Judges firmly rejected the application by State Prosecutor J.A.K. Sesay which had sought to capitalise on what the State presented as a seeming oversight of the defense lawyers in not seeking a certain approval of the courts before filing Appeals of the kind which they filed for Palo Conteh.
However, the Judges said not only did the State Prosecutor fail to realise amendments had been made to one of the Laws cited but also the Judges were displeased that the State Prosecutor delayed to raise the said objections at an earlier stage. They described the timing of the objection as a legal ambush attempt.
The Judges who spoke in turns, clearly told the State Prosecutor that the proceedings had already passed the point where such an application could be entertained.
The judges pointed out that the section of the Appeals Court Rules that the State should have used to make the objection was Rule 40 but it was not the one used by the State.
The Presiding Judge, Honourable Ansumana Ivan Sesay JA, then ordered for the Appeal of Palo Conteh to now proceed without hindrance from the State.
The matter was adjourned to December 15th, 2020 for the Appeal arguments to be heard. However, a fresh Bail application for Palo Conteh by his defense lawyers was refused by the Court.
Palo Conteh was taken back to his detention cell in Freetown. It can be recalled that Conteh is serving a 24-month sentence for gun possession crimes. He is appealing both the sentence and the convictions.
In another development, at about 17:09GMT today December 2nd 2020, an official of Supreme Court of Sierra Leone Judiciary named Mr. Jefferson, delivered a Court Notice at the Office of Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden OOR.
The Notice is to inform Dr. Blyden that hearing of the Elections Petition she had filed against the election of President Julius Maada Bio, will be coming up tomorrow December 3rd 2020 at 10:30GMT. This is a Notice of less than 24 Hours.
Responding to this late notice, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden told the Sierra Leone Telegraph that she has been invited by APC Western Area Regional Executive to be Guest Speaker at tomorrow’s Campaign meeting of Kadie Davies who is contesting the forthcoming election in the Hamilton Constituency 110.
Blyden said she will now cancel or delay her campaign appearance in Constituency 110 in order to be at the Supreme Court for the hearing of the Petition she filed in April 2018.
Dr. Blyden’s Petition was filed on April 9th 2018, and it was filed against the pronouncement that the SLPP’s presidential candidate, Julius Maada Bio, was duly elected as President of Sierra Leone on 4th April 2018.
According to Sylvia Blyden’s Petition, she wants the Supreme Court to declare that the SLPP’s candidate, Julius Maada Bio was not duly elected as President of Sierra Leone.
Dr. Blyden wants the Supreme Court to make an Order cancelling the pronouncement of President Bio as President of Sierra Leone.
Dr. Sylvia Blyden wants the Supreme Court to make an Order for whosoever is Speaker of Parliament to act as President for a period of 90 Days from such Order and for fresh presidential elections to be conducted for the People of Sierra Leone within that 90 days.