ECSL must publish the June 2023 election results by notice in the national gazette    

Sylvanus Fornah Koroma (What A Man): Sierra Leone Telegraph: 2 May 2024:

One of the principal tasks of the Elections Review Tripartite Committee is to ensure that the results of the June 2023 multi-tier elections are published by notice in the national Gazette.

It is the function of the National Returning Officer, Mr. Konneh, to publish the long-awaited June 2023 multi-tier elections results that he has so far failed to Gazette. The continuous refusal to publish those results in accordance with electoral laws, creates the potential for chaos and stalemate in the governance of our beloved country, Sierra Leone.

A lot can be written about the work of the Tripartite Committee at this early stage, but we need not allow detractors to move us from the goal that will usher justice to the nation’s quest for stability.

It is essential that we remain focused and ensure the right things are done now by bringing out the facts and laws for the needful to be done accordingly.

As the name implies, ‘Tripartite’ involves three parties: the Government of Sierra Leone; the All Peoples Congress (APC) party; and the Development Partners (International Community).

Any attempt to change the composition of the Tripartite would be suspicious and not be accommodated by many. In fact, it would be considered as a deliberate attempt to skew the process and a means to exacerbate confusion in the entire process.

Furthermore, it must be noted that the Tripartite does not include the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), but only those of its members who are public servants and are remunerated y directly from the government’s Consolidated Revenue of Fund.

This point is very significant because certain laws bind those who are in Government as they are unique beneficiaries of the consolidated revenue fund. For instance, the staff and members of the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL) are public servants whose salaries and benefits  are paid through the consolidated revenue fund.

The Commissioners’ appointments are made by the President in accordance with section 32 subsection (3) of the 1991Constitution of Sierra Leone. That said, it behoves the Government to ensure that ECSL and other government institutions that are beneficiaries of the consolidated revenue fund respectfully comply with the examination mandate of the June 2023 elections of the Tripartite Committee.

Based on the above, it will not be advisable to subscribe to the comments of anyone who is suggesting that the ECSL must not do what the laws provide for them to do especially regarding the result of the election to be published by notice in the Gazette. This is part of the duties of the National Returning Officer of ECSL, Mr. Konneh, and it is mandatory.

So, let us not be bothered by any misinformation or misconception of the law even if Dr Gaima, the Minister of Information, and the Chief Minister said they cannot tell ECSL to abide by the laws.

The law has to prevail to ensure Justice, and as a progressive nation, we must ensure that the right things are done this time.

In law, “to Gazette” refers to the official publication of certain legal notices, regulations, appointments, or announcements in a government gazette or official publication. The rationale behind gazetting is to ensure transparency, inform the public, and give legal effect to the matters being published.

“To publish results of elections” means making the outcome of an election publicly available and officially recognized. This typically includes announcing the winners of various positions, sharing the number of votes received by each candidate, and providing details about voter turnout and any relevant statistics including polling stations by polling stations information as tallied and computed.

Publishing election results promotes transparency, allows for scrutiny and verification of the electoral process by employing the use of the Result Reconciliation Forms (RRF), and ensures that the public is informed about the outcome of the elections.

The Law

The National Returning Officer, Mr. Konneh, has so far not provided any reason for his refusal to cause the result of the June 2023 elections to be published by notice in the Gazette. However, there are a plethora of laws that provide for the National Returning Officer and ECSL to comply with the law. For instance, under the functions of the Commission in section 7 subsection (1) paragraphs (g) and (h) of the Public Elections Act 2022 (PEA 2022) which state:

“7(1): The object of the Commission is to perform the following functions, in accordance with section 33 of the Constitution –

(g) the promotion of sound democratic election processes; and

(h) such other functions may be provided for by the Constitution, this Act or any other enactment.”

In line with its function, the ECSL in section 32 subsection (11) of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone also provides: “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 National Returning Officer, Mr. Konneh, and by extension ECSL, are blatantly flouting the exercise of their functions and laws of the land, by failing to timely publish the election results as stated in sections 51 subsection (2), section 52 paragraph (b), and section 93 of the PEA 2022.

All of the three aforementioned sections of the PEA  2022 used the phrase “As soon as possible …” indicating that time is of the essence, and it signifies urgency or promptness with which something should be done or completed. In other words, the phrase “As soon as possible…” indicates that something should be done without unnecessary delay or as quickly as can be managed,  depending on the context in which it’s used.

The rationale for the three provisions to be read in tandem with section 54 subsection (1) of the same is for obvious significance and section 54 subsection (1) states: “A person who is a citizen of Sierra Leone and has lawfully voted may, in a presidential election challenge the validity of that election by petition to the Supreme Court within 7 days after the declaration of the result of a presidential election under subsection (2) of section 51.”

Therefore, the election results must have been published within the 7-day timeframe to give room for the RRF to be used to verify the said official results, and thus direct the appropriate actions taken thereafter.

For the deliberate refusal to publish the election results by the ECSL Mr. Konneh, without explaining and providing any law for his action and inaction, and without providing any excuse, pro-active institutions should have joined us in demanding the publishing and Gazetting of the results.

One would have expected the Anti-Corruption Commission to have stepped in long ago on the blatant abuse of office by the National Returning Officer, but we are still waiting to see its late action in such a very sensitive and important matter.

The Anti-Corruption Act 2008 And Amendments provide for ‘Abuse of Office’ in section 42, ‘Abuse of Position’ in section 43, and ‘Public officer using his office for advantage’ in section 44 of the same.

Let me leave you with what the Anti- Corruption Act 2008 And Amendments states in the aforementioned sections, and encourage you to think deeply about the inactions and actions of the Anti-Corruption Commission in current day Sierra Leone:

Section 42(1): A public officer who uses his office to improperly confer an advantage on himself or any other person commits an offence.

42(2): A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) shall on conviction be liable to a fine not less than thirty million leones or to imprisonment for a term not less than 3 years or to both such fine and imprisonment.

Section 43. A public officer who knowingly abuses his position in the performance or failure to perform an act, in contravention of any law, in the discharge of his functions or duties commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not less than thirty million leones or to imprisonment for a term not less than 3 years or to both such fine and imprisonment.

Section 44(1) : Subject to subsection (3), a public officer who makes use of his office or position for an advantage for himself or another person commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not less than thirty million leones or to imprisonment for a term not less than 3 years or to both such fine and imprisonment.

44(2): For the purposes of subsection (1), a public officer shall be presumed until the contrary is proved, to have made use of his office or position for an advantage where he has taken any decision or action in relation to any matter in which he or a relative or associate of his, has a direct or indirect interest.

44(3): This section shall not apply to a public officer who-

  • holds office in a public body as a representative of a body corporate which holds shares or interests in that public body; and
  • Acts in that capacity in the interest of that body corporate.

Food for thoughts


  1. After years of working in Sierra Leone, as an expat, it amazes me the ongoing level of political corruption no matter what party is in power. Look after you people, not your own pockets. Sierra Leone has the potential to be a giant in the African nations, but continues to flounder due to corruption. Independent auditors should be overseeing the books, not being self managed by corrupt and dishonest politicians.

  2. Good luck with your attempt in squeezing blood out of stoney, corrupt and incorrigible former Bo School kondor Manager Mohamed Konneh using conventional means.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.