May 7, 2019
By Regina Pratt
Justice Momoh Jah Stevens, presiding at the High Court in Freetown has last Friday promised counsels representing petitioners and respondents that he would expedite the trial and hand down judgement.
Justice Stevens told lawyers representing Hon. John Sattie Kargbo of Const. 111, Hon. Mohamed Sheriff Raham Koker of Const.131, and Hon. Kemokoh Conteh of Const.108 that, he would inform them on the date for ruling.
Meanwhile, Rev. Horace Vincent, Osman Jalloh and Ahmed Joseph Kanu are the petitioners.
Earlier, Lead counsel, I. Kanu, who represented two of the petitioners, told the judge that in the previous hearing, there was a court order that compelled all parties to file an affidavit in support or in opposition, but that counsels on the other side had disobeyed the said order.
But lawyer D.T. Taylor stated that they have chosen not to file an affidavit and that the court should give them opportunity to make submissions not only in fact, but also in law.
“On this basis, I submit that this honourable court grant us to be heard on submission of law,” he said
Lawyer Taylor further submitted that denying them the opportunity to argue orally would mean an unfairness to them, thus submitting that the 2, 3, and 4th respondents be given the permission to make their submission before the court.
Lawyer Brima Koroma, representing one of the respondents, told the court that they wanted to make oral submission in opposition to the affidavit of the 1st respondent.
Lawyer Koroma also submitted that they would bring in case law authorities and apart from the affidavit, election petition should adhere to strict laws and rules.
“I further crave the indulgence of the court to allow us present our case,” he said.
Ady Macauley representing another respondent, Hon. Kemokoh Conteh, urged that the matter should be disposed of.
Lawyer Macauley submitted that counsel for the petitioners did not file in all forms of affidavit as they were absent in the bundle, adding that it seemed there was no petition case filed as the bundle was empty.
He said they brought them for not complying with the rules and that they too have not complied with the rules, stating that the deponent’s occupation was not stated in the affidavit and several other omissions.
“It’s a purported affidavit and it should be struck out,” he urged.
In reply, Lawyer J.K. Lansana said they relied on the affidavit filed for and behalf of the petitioner and submitted that proper and enough evidence is filed in their affidavit.
Meanwhile, Justice Momoh Jah Stevens told the court that his ruling would determine as to whether the MPs would continue to be in parliament or not.