We remember May 31 injustice in Sierra Leone – a call for the international community to wake up

The Group of Ten: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 31 May 2021:

Whilst the month of May is celebrated in Africa as Liberation Day (liberation from injustice and other prejudices), a significant small number of people in Sierra Leone cannot do the same.

On May 31, 2019, the High Court of Sierra Leone presided by Justices Komba Kamanda and Momoh Jah-Stevens unjustly removed ten Members of Parliament belonging to the All People’s Congress Party from the wells of Parliament.

This compromising decision by the Judiciary was to enable the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) to gain a simple majority in parliament.

Today, May 31, marks two years since that wrongful decision was made. We must keep reminding ourselves and the world at large about this day. This day in history will never be forgotten.

It is a day that the mandate of over 100,000 people was overturned by just 2 men supposed to mete out justice in the land but did otherwise.

These two men –  Justices Komba Kamanda and Momoh Jah-Stevens, did not only remove the 10 MPs but went ahead and ruled that 9 of them be replaced immediately without countenance to the Rules of Appeal. This was nothing but an arbitrary and indiscriminate perversion of justice. And the international community have turned a blind eye.

A day when a learned a lawyer who is the Speaker of Parliament did the awful and unwarranted – to hurriedly swore in the 9 Court MPs.

A day when the Sierra Leone Police unleashed their most barbaric and brutish conduct on innocent and harmless people marching from the courtyard to their party office.

We will keep commemorating this day not because we feel aggrieved or bitter anymore; but to remind the judiciary about the injustice they carried out.

This day will now be dubbed World Injustice Day. We will keep reminding the judiciary that their action to the effect will not be forgotten and there is always repercussion albeit many years down the line.

As a result of these unjust rulings, one of us, Hon Sheriff Carew has gone to the world beyond. May his soul rest in peace.

Four of us living in self-exile because of everyday taunting and provocation from supporters of these court MPs; Four of us jobless with daily pressure from our constituents.

This day will never be forgotten, and our judiciary is hereby called out to live to expectation. In the pursuit of justice, we will not remain silent. We remain the people’s Members of Parliament:

Hon Kemokoh Conteh – Constituency 108

Hon John Sattie Kargbo – Constituency 111

Hon Hariatu Ariana Bangura – Constituency 116

Hon Momoh Kamara – Constituency 120

Hon Ahmed Mansaray – Constituency -121

Hon Sheriff Carew (deceased) RIP – Constituency 122

Hon Rabbi Sirajin M. Rollings-Kamara – Constituency 127

Hon Abu Bakarr Sillah – Constituency 128

 Hon Osman Abdel Timbo – Constituency 130

 

4 Comments

  1. Really, Really!! The drafters of the constitution foresaw this situation. That is why it was stipulated that the Speaker of the House should be a retired Judge. It was the A.P.C who tinkered with the constitution and changed the Speaker to a sitting MP. You have fallen into the pit you dug by weakening the democratic process.

  2. This is where the judiciary, as one arm of the three branches of government has completely, and utterly failed us. If the Sierra Leone judges were independent minded, and dispense justice without fear or favour, these ten APC Members of Parliament, that were unceremoniously removed and expelled from the wells of Parliament, in any functioning democracy would have been allowed to have their day in court. And their cases dealt with expediently by independent minded judges. And with the knowledge that our judges will rule according to the evidence before them in a speedy manner. But we are talking about Sierra Leone, where some of our judges behave like taxi for hire. Or Uber judges. Because if our judges were independent minded, the MPs would have presented their case to our learned judges, who as the law state should listen to the evidence, and the facts relating to the case infront of them. And on that basis rule on the facts, not on emotions or party affiliations.

    As we all know, majority of political rulings are always made in favour of the sitting government of the day. And this is what has bedevilled our country going back to the first treason trials of the seventies. And this is where we got it all wrong from the word go. Just like these MPs today, people like Foday Sankoh, and many others that were to follow after him suffered the same fate in our not so independent judiciary. Our judiciary was politicised, and used as a tool to harass, intimidate, and sometimes used as a tool to legitimise government oppression against its political opponents. Rt. Major Paulo Conteh and Dr Blyden. And in carrying out this fishing political expedition, looking for individual, or groups that the government deemed as threat to their grip on power, those that found themselves in the net of state oppression can be politicians, journalists and ordinary citizens that disagree with the government of the day about the train of travel.

    The judges have been sitting on this case since 2018. Apart from the APC Members of Parliament that were ejected and denied the right to represent their constituents, no due consideration was given to the people that took their time out, risking life and limb to cast their ballot for these MPs. Effectively, the judges have stuck two fingers up to this communities, telling them their vote was a wasted vote. And given the nature of politics in our country, and how people are losing interest in their right to exercise their vote, surely this is not the best way to encourage people to drop every thing and troop to the polling stations on election. Our National electoral system is a disgrace. Any ambiguities expressed as a result of election outcome, fall within their lap. That is why they are funded to organise a free and fair election. No pressure, its only once every five years. So you have enough time to plan, register voters, demarcation of boundaries, and establish mechanisms where people feel free to express and vote for the people they want to represent them. Maybe its too much to ask for.

  3. Quid pro quo. You do me ar do you. Any political party in Sierra Leone that must thrive, must behave like savage APC.

  4. Someone once said – Injustice anywhere is a threat to Justice and Freedom everywhere; Totally agree. In our little Sierra Leone the government in power although dressed in the immaculate garments of a Democracy is still in its infancy is an autocratic, dysfunctional entity through and through. Idi Amin used to bully, intimidate opposition members until he erased them completely from Ugandan politics. Museveni has been towing the line also lately and so has Paul Biya and Maada Bio. My advice to the ten MP’s that were cheated of what was rightfully granted to them by the people is to not relent, yield or relax until the whole world hears their story. Its time to tell the world that there is a Dictator in State House that has been killing poor unarmed citizens and seizing power from members of Parliament through the most dubious and ruthless methods no one thought was possible.

    He wants to hold on to power by any means possible and therefore has been going to hell and back countless times in order to make such a futile dream a reality. Ladies and gentlemen the time to play nice and show warm courtesies is over it time to drag this government in the yucky, murky mud of protest; This President has the Judiciary on a tight leash like a hunters vicious dog waiting for the command to hunt down the fragile vulnerable prey.Ladies and Gentlemen those positions were stolen from you;Its time to stop feeling sorry for yourselves and begin to fight them back.

    Let the International Media and the rest of the world be duly informed about your plight, humiliations, bullying and degradation you have suffered at the hands of the Gestapos in the SLPP. Together you can move mountains – Fight them tooth and nail like wild buffaloes fighting a pack of wolves for their lives.Come rain or sunshine,hell or high-water – Fight them until victory is yours. Our thoughtful, discerning people are on your side.

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