February 23, 2021
By Ibrahim Kabba Turay
Petitioners in the March 31 presidential election-Dr. Sylvia Blyden, Dr Samura Kamara, and Minkailu Mansaray have on Monday 22nd February, 2021, closed their oral submission before the Supreme Court in Freetown.
Earlier in court, the first petitioner, Dr. Sylvia Blyden submitted that the election petition is an originating process to invoke the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone tied to Section 55 of the Public Elections Act of 2012.
She said there are only two instances in the constitution that talk about petition: the removal of the Chief Justice, or when President wants the Supreme Court to advising him on important issues.
She submitted that the instant petition case is pegged on Section 55 of the Public Elections Act No. 4 of 2012 and not the Constitution of Sierra Leone.
She argued that she was not before the apex court on constitutional matter but rather on election petition, thus mockingly re-echoing the respondent’s earlier plea to the court to strike out the matter on technical grounds, thus disagreeing with them on the basis that petitions are not brought to court for endorsement but rather to probe the validity of the election.
She said the respondent had argued that if a petitioner does not follow the originating motion of the process, it should be stroke out; thus submitting that there was a clear and distinct difference between presidential election petition and originating notice of motion.
She banked her argument on paragraphs 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 of her affidavit; adding that it is only the Supreme Court that has the power to rule on the grounds cited in her affidavit.
She noted that she was not in court neither for interpretation of the constitution nor its enforcement, but for court to investigate as to how fair the 2018 presidential election was.
He cited the case of John Benjamin and others who went to the Supreme Court for interpretation.
Meanwhile, the matter was adjourned to Thursday 25th February, 2021, for further hearing.