Sierra Leone Telegraph: 10 April 2018:
Last Sunday, both the newly elected president Julius Maada Bio and the defeated APC candidate – Dr Samura Kamara who had threatened to challenge the presidential runoff result, attended mass at their local catholic church.
It is said that, it is by divine intervention that the pastor of the church brought both Bio and Samura together to shake hands and bury the hatchet, with Samura agreeing to accept the presidential election result and Maada Bio as the winner.
But when questioned by the BBC Umaru Fofana during an interview whether his Supreme Court petition challenging the election results has been dropped, Samura said it’s a matter for the APC party to decide.
Last week, senior executives of the APC party, along with Dr Samura Kamara and the party’s Secretary General – Yansaneh, visited president Julius Maada Bio at his residence, where they congratulated Bio on winning the presidential election.
It is now almost a week since the presidential result was announced and Julius Maada Bio declared president. Today, a member of the now opposition APC party – Dr Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, who was sacked by president Koroma from his cabinet as minister of social welfare, has decided to take the matter to the Supreme Court herself.
This is what she says:
Sierra Leone Constitution (Act No. 6 of 1991) under Section 48.(4) says “While any person holds or performs the functions of the office of President, no civil or criminal proceedings shall be instituted or continued against him in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by him either in his official or private capacity.”
As a prominent Student Activist back then in 1991, I had supported such an inclusion as we need a sitting President to be well focused away from distractions of Court Cases. However, it was also made clear back then that such clause does not mean an elected President cannot be joined in suit when the recent Elections which brought him to office, are being petitioned to be overturned.
This was one of the several fatal mistakes done by current president H.E. Julius Maada bio when himself and two others petitioned the Election of Ernest Bai Koroma as president in November 2012.
They included the APC party, along with the National Electoral Commission (NEC), but they erroneously did not include President Koroma as a Respondent to their lawsuit.
The error was quickly picked up by Lawyer Berthan Macauley, who was representing the APC. Citing that and other reasons like late filing, late payment of judicial fees, no security deposit, Berthan Macauley Esq. asked the Supreme Court to throw out Maada Bio’s petition as the primary beneficiary (President Koroma) of what was being petitioned, had not been joined in suit as a Respondent.
The Court agreed with many of the arguments and threw out Bio’s petition for sake of the fatal mistakes.
You may ask if the situation is not in conflict with itself, since NOT including the sitting President in the court case makes the proceedings to be fatal whilst including the sitting President makes the proceedings to appear to be against Section 48.(4) of our Constitution.
Actually, it is just an appearance. A closer reading of Section 48.(4) shows that a sitting President can indeed be included as a Respondent in a petition of an election which happened whilst he was not yet President.
Furthermore, I believe the answer to this conundrum has already been answered by the Supreme Court itself via its actions of sixteen years ago in APRIL 2002, when the Supreme Court fully accepted a case against 2002 Elections eligibility of a sitting President (H.E. DR. AHMAD TEJAN KABBAH) and went on to sit on the matter.
That happened when one citizen by the name of DANIEL SANKOH on 11th April 2002, dragged the then President of Sierra Leone – H.E. ALHAJI DR. AHMAD TEJAN KABBAH to the Supreme Court.
That matter against President Kabbah was accepted for hearing by the Supreme Court and deliberated upon without any restraint on Supreme Court from Section 48.(4) of the Sierra Leone Constitution.
Legal luminary Dr. Ade Renner-Thomas had defended President Kabbah at the Supreme Court back then in 2002. Dr. Renner Thomas, one of our most brilliant legal minds, successfully argued on behalf of President Kabbah.
Subsequent to winning the case for President Kabbah at the Supreme Court, Dr. Renner Thomas was later appointed to be Chief Justice by President Kabbah. The main point here is that a sitting President in April 2002, was sued at Supreme Court and had to find a very good lawyer to defend himself over an Elections eligibility matter.
So, it is against the precedent of the Elections matter of DANIEL SANKOH versus PRESIDENT AHMAD TEJAN KABBAH that His Excellency President Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio has been made a Respondent party to answer to my Elections Petition filed yesterday, Monday April 9th 2018 at the Supreme Court of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
Yes, I can confirm that in my capacity as a citizen of Sierra Leone who voted in the Presidential Elections, I have yesterday Monday April 9th 2018, filed a STRONG challenge of the election of Julius Maada Bio as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
I filed a 38-paragraphed Petition alongside other needful paperwork as well as Affidavits, and paid the required legal Cash Deposits for Securities as per Law established. I have also ensured I paid all needful filing fees on time, so as to avoid my Petition being thrown out of Court for lateness as happened to the 2012 petition of Julius Maada Bio against Ernest Bai Koroma.
I had to do the Petition all on my own because all lawyers, approached by me so far, have shied away from being associated with the matter.
One of them bluntly told me this morning that if Honourable senior judges of the Judiciary were being treated in the jungle manner in which one judge was treated last evening by supporters of President Julius Maada Bio, then what will happen to ordinary lawyers who decide to associate themselves with such a Petition against the Election of someone like President Maada Bio?
I am however not afraid. I want to believe President Bio’s regime will even make extra efforts to ensure no harm comes my way, as I carry out this democratic exercise. After all, no-one harmed him or his lawyers when they petitioned the election of Ernest Koroma in 2012.
I do know that I have taken a very strong case to the Supreme Court yesterday. I do believe the case I have built is even stronger than the one taken to the Kenyan Supreme Court that caused the Kenyan presidential elections to be overturned.
However, I recognize the Honourable Judges of the Supreme Court will have the final say. I will humbly accept whatever their findings may turn out to be.
Meanwhile, I am continuing to reach out to various lawyers, especially amongst the APC ranks, in the hope I may find a lawyer who is brave enough to help me make the legal arguments at the Supreme Court. I will keep you all informed on that aspect.
Fortunately, the rules of Supreme Court allow for ordinary citizens without lawyers, to file in person. So, I have singlehandedly used my late grandfather Prof. Solomon A.J. Pratt’s law books to read and research on how to approach the Supreme Court on my own without any lawyer helping me.
I am very proud to announce that I have successfully done so yesterday and this afternoon, the final paperwork were concluded.
With immediate effect, the judiciary’s process servers are now set to serve the Petition on all concerned including on H.E. President Julius Maada Bio (Photo: Bio being sworn as the newly elected president), who is one of the four (4) Respondents in my humble Petition to overturn the declaration of Nfa Alie Conteh that Julius Maada Bio was duly elected as President.
Whilst I fully recognise H.E. Julius Maada Bio as my President under the Law, I firmly believe that H.E. Julius Maada Bio was NOT duly elected as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
So, I have gone to the Supreme Court to ask them to nullify the outcome of the Election, order fresh elections within 90 days of their Order and in the interim 90 days, appoint the Speaker of Parliament as the new Head of State, until fresh elections are held.
The full details of my 38-paragraphed Petition against the Declaration of NEC’s Mohamed Nfa Alie Conteh that Julius Maada Bio was duly elected, will be published shortly.
I remain Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, OOR.
We are ready to work with our president Bio. In Makeni city always ready you have our support knowledge centre
Allow Sylvia Blyden to exercise her right,she might be right over this issue. There is a clear indication that she is pursuing a just case.
It is difficult to see a govt. with the ruling party having minority representation in parliament. This will be a tight govt. for Bio. Maybe that is why he has started appointing opposition members to his cabinet, so as to form coalition against the party with the majority representation in parliament. Sylvia Blyden keep the fire burning!!
But you have to understand something, this woman has no dignity of her own, nor integrity or self esteem; this lady was shouting some months ago after being sacked or fired by her former boss, and she was deliberately talking about corruption saying too many negative about koroma’s government.
Sorry to say this, if Africa was also investigating about issues, like some other countries, we could have investigated about Dr. Sylvia and Koroma secrecy. These two full-grown persons are not clean. You can take H.E. Bio to anywhere you like. Look at you!!.
We are ready to work with our president Bio. In Makeni city always ready….. .you have our support knowledge centre
Silver Blinding or Bribing, whatever name she goes by, is no activist but rather an attention seeker and opportunist focused on being recognised by any government in charge.
She will be hailing this new president, as the best ever that the country has ever had. She is no activist. She is just an opportunist.
Corrupt APC presidential mattress Sylvia Blyden, is a disgrace to the civil society. After all the corruption and embezzlement of state funds, she had better find a place in China to drink Mateus.
What a disgrace she is! Go bury your sorrows to Ernest like you have always done. Lonta!!
Bravo to NGC Parliamentarians. I hope you will all work in parliament to better the people of Sierra Leone. We have all it takes to make us become wealthy; but those we elect often disappointed us. Why are we poor?
Please Let UsGive Peace A Chance. If Blyden Says She Wants To Take Court Action, Then So Be It. The Court Shall Look Into Her Claims And Decide.
Sylvia is making a nuisance of herself. She has to be very mindful of her move to take a democratically elected president to court. Such a case will be heard at the expense of taxpayers, who have been deprived of their dignity and now whose hard earned taxes are used for such stupid moves.
I hope she recognise the dangers of disuniting our country. Sylvia I say unto you: YOUR DAYS ARE GONE AND THE PEOPLE OF SIERRA LEONE HAVE had ENOUGH OF YOUR MANIPULATION. Go get another job from Koroma errrr well i dont know which!!!!!!!!!
I think it is good to go to court so that evidence of the alleged compromise of elections staff and the alleged over-voting can be produced and tested in court. This is for posterity.
It is just possible that the presidential election was rigged. After all, the APC swept the parliamentary elections with 68/69 seats, twenty seats more than the second-placed SLPP. Compromise of the elections staff was probably responsible for the SLPP winning the presidential election. We need to test this in court.
Oh Mr. Makevelli, that’s a typical statement made by a man. Women can only come üp when they go “in bed” with a conqueror, leader; the men rule the world. do you forget that women are the backbone of each society, especially in Africa? Do you forget that mainly men start wars, start killing and corrupt society?
For me the behaviour of Sylvia Blyden is brave, whether she is right or not.
Maybe in 5 five years she will be the first woman president of Sierra Leone. It is time for change.
She is not brave but sorry to say it, very very naive!! Our country is not ready for Mrs. Blyden not today, not in five years and forever AMEN!!!
By the way, Mr. Wiecha, Sierra Leone is proud of many clever, honest and reliable female politicians; unfortunately your choice is not one of them!!!
Blyden, or whatever you call yourself . With all your 100000000 pages of petition you have gathered just to distract our President, you shall surely not win okay?
So I urge you now to go to your president that swore you into his office for other plans.
But you have definitely failed.
If you don’t mind, you can fly to China for farming, okay? These good for nothing Citizens of Sierra Leone.
God will strictly deal with you people for your misrule of our beloved country, Mama Salone and her People
If you think that, it is because you are a jealous man. Dr Sylvia was right to do what she did as a citizen of Sierra Leone.
Can you tell me why the swearing-in was done quickly if Bio did not have anything to hide? The SLPP know they have done wrong.
Yes because it is our constitution mandate, you can be sworn-in immediately after winning the leadership. Koroma did the same and so what?
The chief justice did it – who are you to ask? it is too early mind you, otherwise you will soon die with anger because H.E.J.M. Bio has 6 months to go of 5 good years. Hmmmmmm okoooo
Mrs Blyden has been a publicity stunt powered by arrogance and narcissism. She is also a political vagabond, and she has played a big role in making journalism in Sierra Leone an issue of partisanship.
She brags a lot about her achievements and objectivity has never been her personal strength in life. Laws and principles are for others to obey, She is above almost everything.
I hope the court will put her in the right place she deserves, in our country’s political history – a con woman!
I believe that Ms Blyden is a troublemaker for a start. Petitioning for and calling another election within 90 days, leaving children out of school; businesses busted; all because of her selfishness and greed.
No wonder she was sacked. Squandering 6 billion Leones as Welfare Minister. Shame on you quoting SAJ Pratt, or reading his law books; as far as I am concerned, she can read his magazines and comic books.
Just greed and stupidity. Where was your medical intuition during the mudslide? Where are your ethics of caring gone? I thought you were smarter than just making yourself a nuisance, which makes you incredible to your neglected practice of medicine. Or is it African medicine you have practised? What is wrong with you, woman?
I think by the look of things, I envisage you might want to be the next president because it is easy. So many people are aspiring. Why not fight for the Creoles and deter from your egotistical narratives, by making comparisons between presidents and creating an atmosphere of unrest,for the less educated nation you all want to govern.
Now you’ve tasted a little bit of power, you are becoming like a vampire, seeking blood. If riches increase, set not your heart upon them. God has spoken once and twice we have heard the same. All the power you are craving for, belongs to God.
Please ask for your grandfather’s bible, instead of his law books. There might be new editions, to educate you and your cronies, on how to accept defeat; and then you can come again, ready and able, if at all.
Why is Dr. Blyden doing this now? Does she want any ministerial post in the new government? I pray she drops this injunction. We want to pursue a clean government and the need to work for the people.
She knows the country is wrecked and this is no way to make development start. We all want the president to focus his attention to something serious.
The president is doing the right thing for the ordinary people in the country. He cannot do anything, thinking of other affairs. Please, Dr. Blyden if the president does wrong things as embezzlement, corruption and other unnecessary things, you can take him to court but now no, no, no.
You were once in the APC and a minister as well, nobody has asked or presented your work to the court. I personally want our president to live in peace and use all his ideas wisely and fulfil the promise he made. Please give peace a chance.
MAY GOD BLESS SIERRA LEONE AND HER PEOPLE.
Sylvia Blyden seeks recognition from H E Julius Bio. She was very rude in her Awareness Times Newspaper cartooning Ernest Koroma, calling him all sorts of names just after Koroma was chosen president back in 2007 by Thrope’s NEC.
Immediately, she was on the heels of Koroma till she was recognized and appointed into government. Today she is starting the same nonsense with hidden agendas, but I will assure her that HE Bio is a solid leader and cannot be distracted by her rubbish.
When more than 400 plus polling stations were voided by the then NEC commissioner Christiana Thorpe in 2007, so called “activist” Blyden did not go to court as a Sierra Leonean. Rather, she was busy planning against the weak leader that Thorpe ushered in, so as to be recognized for a job which she got inside Koroma’s own office as personal assistant.
In 2012, while results of the elections were coming in, Thorpe announced Koroma as winner and told everyone including “activist” Blyden to “go police”. Again so called ” activist” Blyden did not go to court because she was “in bed” with Koroma.
Today she cannot see Koroma’s weakness in HE Bio, to lure him into giving her a government job, therefore she has resulted to go the Supreme Court, hoping to get attention and recognition. I can simply quote Thorpe other version, “go to hell “activist”.