Four days to election runoff – ruling APC abandons Yumkella Supreme Court case

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 23  March 2018:

As the presidential runoff election campaign and horse trading intensify in Sierra Leone, the ruling APC has pulled off a master-stroke by today announcing that the Supreme Court case brought by one of its supporters – Mr David Fornah, challenging Dr Yumkella’s right to contest the elections, has now been dropped – ‘nolle prosequi’.

Reporting yesterday, the Sierra Leone Telegraph said that Yumkella’s decision to remain neutral and not supporting any of the two parties – APC and SLPP, will pave the way for the ruling APC to see its way clear to withdraw its Supreme Court case.

While this announcement does not come as a surprise, what remains unclear now is whether this decision will change the position of Dr Yumkella and his NGC party with regards to the runoff.

Though controversial, it may not be impossible for Dr Yumkella as an individual citizen to now throw his weight behind the ruling APC’s bid for the presidency, while his NGC party’s official line is to remain neutral.

Speaking in a video recorded message to his supporters last week, Yumkella said: “The NGC will be in the runoff”.

It is not clear what form the NGC’s presence in the runoff next will take, but today’s decision by the ruling APC may well be very important in that decision.

The Sierra Leone Telegraph is awaiting a response from Dr Yumkella, regarding this breaking news story from the Awareness Times newspaper this afternoon.

Speaking to Awareness Times Newspaper, an APC spokesman said that “the APC party is looking forward to having Sierra Leone’s internationally recognised and eloquent son of the soil – the Honourable Alhaji Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella seat and deliberate issues in parliament for the common good.”

According to Awareness Times, the spokesman said that the APC did not commence the Supreme Court action in the first place. He said that one of the APC party members did. “Now the APC has shown good faith to not only congratulate Parliamentarian-elect Alhaji Dr. Yumkella, but the APC as a party also wants it to be made known that it has no intention of filing any other papers in court to challenge the election of Alhaji Yumkella as the duly elected parliamentarian for Constituency 62 in Kambia.

“Rather, the elected APC MPs are already looking forward to working with all elected NGC MPs, C4C MPs and SLPP MPs in Parliament for the common good of Mama Salone,” the APC spokesman told Awareness Times this afternoon.

In his statement announcing the withdrawal of his court action against Yumkella, the petitioner – Mr David Fornah said:

“I took the case against Dr. Yumkella to court because I had no way of knowing if he was an American citizen. Now that he has shown that he voluntarily renounced his American citizenship since November 2017, there is no more need for my case so I instructed my solicitors to withdraw the case. I congratulate Alhaji Dr. Kandeh Yumkella as a duly elected parliamentarian from Kambia and I wish him well.”

But speaking to a senior NGC executive under anonymity for his response to the APC party’s decision to nolle prosequi the Yumkella Supreme Court case, there is a sense this matter is not yet over. “This issue of Sierra Leoneans with dual citizenship being excluded from contesting elections in this country is bigger than Dr Yumkella.

“Its an issue that affects hundreds of thousands of our citizens that are living and working abroad, who may want to come home to contribute to nation building politically. We must remove all legislative and constitutional barriers that will impede them from exercising their birthright,” he told the editor of the Sierra Leone Telegraph – Abdul Rashid Thomas.

The Sierra Leone Telegraph put this concern to a senior APC spokesman this afternoon, who said that: “Should the ruling APC wins the presidency next Tuesday, our parliamentarians will support a Bill that makes it constitutionally acceptable for Sierra Leoneans with dual citizenship to contest parliamentary election, as well appointed to cabinet positions, but excluded from the presidential election. But this will be subject to the requirement of having lived in the country for the past twelve months”.

Many Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora, especially NGC supporters may welcome today’s development, though there will be others who will regard this decision as a cynical attempt by the ruling APC to win the support of Dr Yumkella, as the party faces the opposition SLPP at the runoff next Tuesday.

The Sierra Leone Telegraph will soon bring you Dr. Yumkella’s response to this development.


  1. APC is made up of diabolical liars. Fake news. I don’t think Dr. Yumkella will compromise his integrity for few dollars and an eventual gallows if he supports APC. APC has a way of getting their critics in and kill them afterwards. It happened to Hindolo Trye, when he joined the APC, which was a stupid decision. After spearheading a student revolt against APC, then you join them.

    There is secret plan to arrest Dr. Yumkella, Maada Bio, Chief Sumana and Musa Tarawali, force them to join a One Party state or else EBK will charge them with treason against the State for their campaign rhetorics. So, if Dr. Yumkella decide to join APC, he may be digging his own grave.

  2. All pattern of humiliation, distracted from your campaign. Instead they keep you busy defending yourself. How foolish you are to talk to the APC.

    You have my sympathy Dr Kandeh Yumkella. Any unlawful action against our will, and we all have to come together and remove APC quickly or else this country is going to become a province of China soon. Let the APC reverse their decision and continue the court case. W3hat we all know is that you are a Sierra Leonean and that is fact.

    We are now waiting to see if you going to take any action. With all your doctorate qualifications, APC isn’t proud of you at all. Dr YKK come out and endorse SLPP now!!

  3. Dr Kandeh Yumkella we are watching you keenly from the diaspora and around the world, if you mistakenly betray us definitely you will pay the price heavily we promised. You were man enough to endorse SLPP openly in public but it shows that you mad at SLPP than the APC that led you to abandon your valuable US Citizenship with failed hope.

    Also it shows that you are just eager to assume power – not your integrity. APC will teach you lesson you would never forget in your life. Have a good time – bye.

  4. The sequence of events is quite suspicious: Ernest visited Yumkella’s mum, then came announcement that NGC will remain neutral, and few days after, case against Yumkella/NGC is dropped. Yumkella is in the best position to connect the dots for us, so that we don’t second guess him on premises and true motives.

    I’m sorry to say, because this will not be a pleasant saying to our diaspora and local supporters of Yumkella, but you know not what he knows. I would not put my trust in him on basis of the emerging evidence. He does seem to come through as someone who care less about the common interest of Sierra Leone. Afterall, he is not getting the presidency on this occasion.

    Is Yumkella tacitly in love with and supportive of APC, since this will sound outrageous for him to declare publicly? Does Yumkella not follow the trend across the Sub-region, where guys in opposition have set aside their differences, aggregated support, so they can deal with the elephant in the room?

    I’m sorry Yumkella, you must put Sierra Leone first; please do! As captain of passengers you had on your boat, you have abandoned them when the journey has gone in the other direction. A captain is the last to evacuate, not the first, Sir.

    APC has set this chap up, and he walked right into it! May I remind you, Sir, that an APC victory marks the beginning of the end of your NGC: they gonna finance internal revolt and the very leadership position of your party. NGC parliamentarians are going to crossover, etc.

    I’m sorry to say, because it may offend folks, but your integrity and reliability have been significantly compromised. You are likely to emerge out of this in a weakened position, with a shrinking constituency, because many of those voters you have sent away to explore their individual choice, rather than on a collective basis, are just not coming back.

    As an individual, I often employ contextual intelligence to appreciating both internal and external environments of my situation – quite adaptable to trade-off in decision making, especially when it comes to strategic matters. I’m afraid there is a fine line between strategy and tactics, and I’m not sure how this distinction was factored into NGC position.

  5. This is the final indication that the APC government and the president in spiritual terms can be associated with “WITCHCRAFT”, based on the way they tend to manipulate the lives of average citizens. They believe they have the switch or remote control to turn people on and off, whenever they choose.

    In our Sierra Leonean culture, the way and manner the president who also doubled as the Almighty chairman for life displayed within these few days, after the humiliating defeat by the SLPP by visiting the mother of Dr Kandeh Yumkella and now this about face turn in the Supreme Court, can be termed as “U DRY YAI LEK WITCHMAN”.

    Finally, this will be the final manipulation and hopefully we will never see the “ARIOGBO” in our State House anymore; because there are signs that indicating the hands of the Almighty God is covering the length and breadth of Mamma Sierra Leone. And in few days time the people will definitely have the last laugh after voting the APC out of office through the only weapon they have which is the ballot paper.

  6. The timing of this ruling immediately following the refusal of Kandeh Yumkella to endorse either the APC or the SLPP party is very suspicious. It is common knowledge that his endorsement of the SLPP party would have given the party a big boost, and folks such as myself would be interested to know whether this is a trade off.

    As it is now, people are saying that he is a sell out and worse than the politicians he has been vigorously criticizing. If no attempt is made to douse this allegation that is catching on like a wildfire, it may cause irreparable damage to his presidential aspirations.

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