Amin Kef Sesay: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 29 April 2022:
In the long-awaited conclusion of the legal battle between Alfred Peter Conteh and former president Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone – who is also chairman of the main opposition All People’s Congress party (APC), High Court Judge Adrian Fisher yesterday ordered the current APC National Executive Committee including the National Secretary General – Osman Foday Yansaneh to vacate office within 14 days and to provide handover notes to an Interim Committee.
The Judge granted an injunction against the current National Executive of the APC from acting as executive officers which also affects their eligibility to contest for any executive position in the party.
Lawyer Ady Macauley Esq. represented the APC Party; Africanus Sesay Esq., represented the Secretary General of the party, Ambassador Osman Foday Yansaneh; and I.I Mansaray Esq. represented Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.
High Court Judge Adrian Fisher also said that the National Advisory Council (NAC) and all of the Executive members of the APC are in office illegally, as they were not democratically elected as required by the 1995 APC constitution and or the 1991 constitution of Sierra Leone.
He said that NAC in particular, except for the Chairman and Deputy Chairman, was not properly constituted as majority of their members were not democratically elected into office.
Looking into the legality of the APC National Executive, Justice Adrian Fisher said the APC Executive ought to have been elected not selected.
“The Nation Advisory Committee of the All People’s Congress party doesn’t have the power to override the party’s Constitution.” Justice Fisher said adding that the APC National Executive was illegally selected and not elected.
“APC acted contrary to its 1995 Constitution and the Sierra Leone 1991 Constitution,” said Justice Fisher, adding, “Political parties are there to shape the political will of the people.”
He said there are no minutes of NAC meeting/s to be provided to the Court to confirm or dispute whether NAC met.
Justice Fisher then ordered that an Interim Transition Governing Committee be formed to conduct the forthcoming National Delegates Conference. He maintained that the Interim Transition Governing Committee shall comprise of 21 officers, of which nine members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Plaintiff – Peter Conteh, one of which shall be the Chairman.
Justice Adrian also stated that the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, who is Hon Chernor Bah alias Chericoco shall nominate the following in consultation with APC members of Parliament: 2 from the North, 2 from the Northwest, 2 from Western Area, 2 from South, 1 Young Generation representative, 1 Diaspora, 1 Women’s wing representative, and 1 legal representative of the party of not less than 20 years standing.
He also ruled that the Interim Transition Committee should be formed on or before 14 days of his judgement – exactly the 15th May, 2022 to take up office.
According to report by the communications unit of the Judiciary of Sierra Leone, the legal representative of Alfred P. Conteh, Jessie M. Jengo Esq on behalf of his client has demanded litigation costs of over Le1.3 Billion ($83,860) to be paid by former President Ernest Bai Koroma and the All People’s Congress (APC) Executive.