Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 February 2023:
Opposition APC’s national convention is in full swing this weekend, thanks to the international community who stepped in, in a last minute, desperate attempt to stop evil and macabre political forces in the country from rolling-back the country’s democratic achievements.
High court Judge of Sierra Leone, Justice H. Bonnie on Wednesday ordered an interim Injunction stopping the APC party from holding this weekend’s national convention, “pending the hearing and determination of an application filed by a party member”.
Alfred Peter Conteh, chairman of the Interim Transition Governance Committee (ITGC) set up by High Court Judge Fisher nine months ago to manage the affairs of the All People’s Congress (APC), not surprisingly agreed to uphold the injunction and went on to announce that “the party’s national delegates conference will not hold.”
Conteh is described by many APC party members as a stooge of President Bio, who is determined to destroy the APC.
Even the head of Sierra Leone Police had revoked the permit they had given to the APC to hold their convention this weekend.
What is happening to Sierra Leone?
Using the judiciary to achieve a political agenda is not only wrong but dangerous for the peace and stability of the country. The seeds of the war in Sierra Leone were planted many years, even a decade before the first bullet was fired in 1991. Are we sowing new seeds for another civil war to germinate?
In an unprecedented and welcome move by the European Community Office in the country, the German Embassy, the Irish Embassy, as well as the British High Commission, Sierra Leone’s Judiciary and ruling SLPP were forced to back down from their bizarre decision to stop the country’s main opposition APC party from holding their national convention this weekend, ahead of presidential and general elections scheduled to take place in the next four months – June 2023.
This is what the international community, regarded as the moral guarantors of Sierra Leone’s development and democracy said in various Tweet messages posted on social media yesterday to let the people of Sierra Leone know that they have their backs covered:
Agreeing with his international community colleagues calling for fair, free, peaceful multiparty elections in Sierra Leone, the US Ambassador said: “Fully agree with this and previous tweets from my 🇪🇺🇩🇪🇬🇧🇮🇪 colleagues on the need for fair, free, peaceful multiparty elections. Appreciate hearing the encouraging reports at today’s Election Steering Committee.”
On 10th February 2023, the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Dr. Babatunde A. Ahonsi commended Sierra Leone’s Chief Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards, “on the giant strides amidst challenges to build a strong Judiciary as an independent arm of Government.” But little did he know that there are dark forces at work – both within the government and the Judiciary that are trying to derail the country’s hard won peace and democracy.
“In an emerging democracy, Sierra Leone needs a strong Judiciary as an independent arm of Government,” the UN Resident Coordinator said, adding that, “what the Judiciary offers is the protection of fundamental Human Rights. This election will be very consequential for Sierra Leone, and the world is watching.”
President Bio must heed the lessons of former Gambian President Jammeh, who had to be chased out of power after refusing to accept the will of the people and was forced into excile by ECOMOG troops at gunpoint. Do not tamper with Sierra Leone’s democracy and freedoms.
After being forced yesterday by the international community to move away from crass stupidity that could lead to another civil war in Sierra Leone, a statement by the Judiciary Communications Unit in Freetown published yesterday, said: “High Court Judge Hannah Bonnie, after carefully listening to the oral submissions of lawyers acting for the APC……..granted leave to the All People’s Congress to hold its National Delegates’ Conference effective 18th, 19th & 20th February, 2023 on grounds that the injunction didn’t affect the APC Party.”
So, why issue such an injunction in the first place?
The Judge has granted permission to the Transitional Interim Independent Elections Management Committee (TIIEMC) of the APC to conduct the National Delegates’ Conference which is in full swing in Makeni, from where the Sierra Leone Telegraph has been informed will see their delegates voting to elect Dr Samura Kamara as their Presidential candidate for June’s election and Lawyer Chernor Maju Bah as his Running Mate.
Responding to the High Court’s backdown, Africanus Sorie Sesay – head of the Legal Team and Presumptive National Legal Adviser of APC, said: “APC’s National Delegates’ Conference (NDC) shall hold with slight changes. This follows the ‘curing of mischief’ in the text, content, and spirit of the injunction.”
(Photo below: APC determined to hold its convention as planned this weekend)
YOU CAN WATCH THE APC NATIONAL CONVENTION HERE ON AYV TV: