Appeals court strikes out election petition case

Judiciary of Sierra Leone Communications Unit: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 October 2020:

Yesterday, the Court of Appeal presided over by Hon. Justices Sengu Koroma JSC, Ansumana Ivan Sesay JA and Tonya Barnette J. struck out the election petition case brought forward by Hon. Osman A. Timbo and nine others on the grounds of “non-compliance” on the part of the appellants.

The matter was brought to the Court of Appeal by Hon. Osman A. Timbo; Hon. John Satty Kargbo;  Hon. Momoh Kamara; Hon. Mohamed Sheriff Kassim-Carew; Hon. Abu Bakar Sillah; Hon. Hariayatu Ariana Bangura; Hon. Siraj Muniru Rollings-Kamara; Hon.  Kadie Kallon; Hon. Ahmed Mansaray and Hon. Kemokoh Conteh all having failed in their separate election petitions brought against them in the High Court and having to appeal against the decisions to the Court of Appeal.

The appellants were represented by Lawyers, Africanus Sesay, Ady Macauley and Salmata Bah.

Lawyer Ady Macauley on behalf of his clients said there are certain applications that had been filed in the Supreme Court in respect of these Appellants for which they filed a motion for stay of proceedings.

He  told the Court that the Appeal Court’s direction which required that they file synopsis will not be complied with as they had received instructions from their clients that they should not file same, consequent upon the said instructions they were not going to file any synopsis as directed.

Representing the defence, Lawyer Musa Mewa said the other side should have filed their synopsis on the 9th of August, 2020 and they have failed to do so. In effect, he continued, “they have disobeyed the order of this Honourable Court.”

He submitted that this conduct amounted to a withdrawal of the Appeal. Relying on Section 78 (5) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act No. 6 of 1991 and Rule 24 of the Court of Appeal Rules 1985, he therefore applied that the said Appeal be dismissed with substantial costs.

The Appeal Court noting that the Appellants in this matter (Hon. A Timbo and others) and the other related matter have failed, refused or neglected to comply with the Order of the Court of Appeal dated 29th July 2020 and have failed to convince the Court of the reason for non-compliance.

In their unanimous Ruling, the Justices said that, “in the circumstances, this Appeal and the related Appeals are hereby struck out with costs of Five Million Leones (5,000,000) each. Costs to be borne by each of the Appellants.”

3 Comments

  1. This decision by the Judges will definitely send a clear message to the APC party that Violence and Unconditional methods are unacceptable in our democracy. The destructive APC party has always boasted that they have 99 tactics to win an election but the voters and the judiciary have proved them wrong. If Dr. Alpha Kanu who was an adviser to the president resigned a year before the 2018 presidential election just to contest why can’t the others do the same thing. “No one is above the law”.

  2. “Let us don’t get carried away here. For the interest of clarity, and wishful thinking, even if these MPs had obeyed the appeal court process to the letter, these appeal court judges would have find something.”- Abraham amadu jalloh

    Abraham Amadu Jalloh can we some of the time debate with some open mind. In every jurisdiction all over the world, failing to comply with court requirement to proceed with your trial would result to the doubt going to the favour of the other party. How can we argue that even if they had complied the judges would rule otherwise? That is speculation and here we are talking about tangible action.

    You cannot refuse to cooperate with a case that you have brought before the court and yet you do not expect to lose the case. If I was the appellants, I would sue my legal representatives because they did not do their job. It is the role of the lawyer to advise his clients on legal matters and its implication and not the other way round as claimed by Lawyer Ade Macaulay.

  3. This is another deliberate action by the appeal court judges, using a legal loophole to dismiss a petition brought about by these former APC MPs that were denied the right to take their rightful seats in Parliament by Bio and his auxiliaries. And now the appeal court judges have used the same bully tactics to reaffirm a position that have already been taken. Once again the constituents that took the trouble to elect their local MPs, have been denied the right to have their chosen representative in Parliament.

    Let us don’t get carried away here. For the interest of clarity, and wishful thinking, even if these MPs had obeyed the appeal court process to the letter, these appeal court judges would have find something. That if you discount meeting the deadline to file their elections petition. You are petty sure or guaranteed they will erect a road block to make the smooth running wheels of justice get stuck in the mud of judicial incompetence. This is classic – you are damn if you do, and damn if you don’t. It is high time we have an independent judiciary in Sierra Leone. May God bless Sierra Leone.

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