Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 February 2020:
After almost two years since general elections were held in Sierra Leone which saw swathes of the then ruling APC constituency seats won at the elections, taken away from them after a court ruling in Freetown, a statement published by the judiciary yesterday says that appeals for the decision to be overturned will be heard next Monday at the Supreme Court.
Ten seats won by the APC were declared null and void by the High Court in Freetown in 2018. And within hours of the High Court ruling, the ruling SLPP that had failed to win a majority in parliament, moved swiftly to fill those vacant seats without going through a re-run of the elections for those annulled seats.
Will the opposition APC receive the justice they are seeking through the Supreme Court?
Opposition’s confidence and trust in the judiciary are running very low, and is not being helped by unconfirmed reports that the three Supreme Court Judges appointed to hear the appeals, are governing SLPP sympathisers.
Critics of the government say that the three Justices – Ivan Sesay, Sengu Koroma and Barnett, are pro-SLPP and will therefore be unable to impartially hear both sides and see that justice is served.
“We should have Judges from other West African countries hearing our appeals. If we can do this for the commissions of inquiry, why not do the same for our election petitions,” one of the APC appellants told the Sierra Leone Telegraph.
The notice of next Monday’s hearing published by the Judiciary said: “The Judiciary of Sierra Leone wishes to inform local and international media houses and general public that the first hearing of the Election Petition cases is slated for Monday 17th February, 2020 at 9:00am prompt at Court No.1 Siaka Steven Street, Freetown.
“The media practitioners are expected to be in court on or before the aforementioned time and should produce their respective staff identity card to security personnel at the main entrance by Cotton Tree.”
These ae the summons sheets received last night by some of the appellants:
In May last year, the opposition APC Secretariat published a statement, denouncing the ruling SLPP’s decision to occupy its seats won at the 2018 elections, and called on the Chief Justice to appoint Judges to hear its Supreme Court petition. This is what the statement said:
Young4na – Putting the cart before the horse that pulls it,is the SLPP way; Thefts, robberies, and obnoxious deceits are all seen as being legitimate,channels,and avenues for achieving their goals,aims,and objectives.Sincerely, never in my life,have I seen a group of people anywhere in the world so inept,deplorable,and questionable. They are stealing donated rice intended for the poorest of the poor among us, boldly stoking the fires of tribalism,accepting discreet bribes,here and there; arresting the little guys struggling to make ends meet, overspending allocated budgets by billions, endangering the lives of the public with trucks that belong in the junk yards,blazing with toxic gasoline smoke,and fire…wasting meagre resources on wild good chases for investors; And to add salt to already open wounds,using the Judiciary,and the Chief Justice as if they were worthless puppets,controlled by strings.
And now after two years,when the game is already far gone,here they come again with another disgusting,repulsive charade by highly trained SLPP agents,parading,portraying,and masquerading themselves as Judges.(lol) The outcome of these flimsy, fabricated,superficial petition hearings,can easily be predicted just as you would,rain falling during an imminent rainy season.The results of these hearings are going to be shockingly tainted,compromised, biased,and in their favor. Remember I said so folks;then you can all call me a Prophet!(lol) Rising Sun Will Rise Again.
It appears the circus have just arrived in town with a planned performance that can only be described as shambles. Our justice system has really become a joke under this PAOPA regime. While in opposition, these unpatriotic individuals were the loudest in trumpeting how EBK regime had taken over the judicial system. As a candidate, our current president used every media opportunity to lash out at the judiciary for their corrupt tendencies, declaring over and over that, if given the opportunity to rule, he will prioritize the reformation of our justice system so that all citizens regardless of political inclination will be treated fairly and just under the law. Fast forward 2 yrs into his presidency, the tables have turned for the worst. We now have a judiciary branch that takes direct orders from the PAOPA regiment.
With all seriousness, how can you summon an election case almost 2yrs later and after the parliamentary seats have been automatically awarded to the SLPP with occupants receiving salaries and all the benefits that comes along? What exactly are these clowns that call themselves judges trying to prove? Even primary kids can tell you that, if 2 of their mates fight over the ownership of a soccer ball, a thorough investigation must be carried out, including hearing from other witnesses, prior to awarding the ball to any of the opposing parties.
Here in Salone, we are having so called learned judges awarding the ball to the rich kid who enjoys the most popularity and influence first; then, just when the ball is completely deflated reaching the end of its usefulness, they decided to do what they should have done at the very beginning. This is a typical case of ‘putting the cart before the horse’. Absolutely makes no sense.
Wow Mr. Bilal Coleman you have just rubbed a lime leaf on my heart, indeed you’re a well truth spoken – bless you bro. I don’t really understand why APC just want to take the country like a monarchical state, it’s only for them or else no, what a heck? I am glad that you mentioned the firing of the former VP. Without a better explanation they only say that “The president can fire you if he wants to”. To date APC never accepts 2018 poll defeat; why? The most dangerous people in this APC party are well known to all of you but the whole world is watching.
We are now heading to the SLPP 3rd year in power, so let the people decide in 2023, stop your blaming game. These are the same judges that presided most of the cases for you, when you were in power; then what happen today?. May God continue to direct the leaders of this country.
What is APC afraid of? Is Sierra Leone not a democracy where the separation of powers is entrenched in the constitution? Besides, is the present judiciary not the same as that which existed when Ernest Koroma was in power? And is it not the same judiciary that ruled in favor of Ernest Koroma when he fired the vice president? So, how can this same judiciary all of a sudden change colors and go against the former fountain of honor’s party?
We would never build a society of trust and honor if we do not believe in our institutions. Our judges are some of the hardest working in West Africa. And our justice system is based on procedural fairness and the treatment of people with respect and dignity. Thus, APC has nothing to be afraid of.
Fact first dude. Case for firing a VP is not the same as case for election petitions. Lets compare apples with apples not apples with bananas. The VP instance you are confusing yourself with is different.In that case,it was a political party decision – owned and controlled by that same political party, unlike in this case, which is between two political parties ie SLPP and APC. However, ELECTIONS PETITIONS are state issues and its rulings are owned and controlled by the supreme Court of the state or land. Therefore, decision made or taken by the supreme court of the land – particularly those of elections petitions, should be swift, accurate, impartial and timely.
And ABOVE ALL, the reason why people are appalled over this whole saga is the length of time taken for a court to make a crucial judgment over a national election petition case, not a political party dismissal of its vice president. So get your facts straight brother. Until we pay full attention and adhere to king masco’s song title called “attitude” that says: “Salone man if wi wan mek salone wi for cheng wi attitude”, we will continue to linger in poverty for ever.
And my advice for all political pundits of this forum, please put your integrity above all things, so that you can be a shining light to the dark places of Mama Sierra da Leoa…be a guiding figure to the new generation that will fill your space after you guys are gone. Some of you here are graduates from different universities. But you are not living up to that standards at all. Most if not all of You are still embedded in your predecessor’s archaic ignorance mentality of, no matter what, I will support my party. Even if your party is doing something wrong? Come on y’all! But remember that, blind partisan sentiments can not and will not move Sierra Leone farward!