Supreme Court orders petitions consolidated
July 19, 2018
By Regina Pratt
Supreme Court of Sierra Leone, empaneled by the Hon. Justice Nicolas Brown-Marke, Hon Justice Eku Robert and Hon. Glenna Tolla Thompson, on Wednesday ordered that the two petition cases brought before them by different plaintiffs seeking to annual the March 31st presidential run-off election be consolidated.
The ruling came following an application by lead counsel representing President Bio and the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), George Banda-Thomas, that the court to consolidate the two files.
Two petitions had been filed at the apex court against President Bio, National Electoral Commissioner (NEC), Chief Electoral Commissioner Mohamed N’fa Alie Conteh and the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party by Dr. Slyvia Blyden on the one hand, and Dr. Samura Kamara, Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray and Alhaji Foday Yansaneh on the other hand, for the court to nullify the last presidential runoff election.
Delivery the ruling on behalf the panel, Hon. Justice Nicolas Brown-Marke noted that both plaintiffs had asked the same questions in their reliefs – to annul the presidential run-off elections of March 31st.
Justice Brown-Marke cautioned the plaintiffs to follow the Supreme Court Rules, noting that leave has been granted to the plaintiffs to amend their statements of case.
Hon. Justice Brown-Marke further ordered that the 1st petitioner Dr. Blyden and solicitor for the 2nd petitioner should be served at the address stated on their respective files. He also ordered the 1st petitioner to serve her statement of case within 15 days from the day of the order.
He cautioned the lawyers that the procedure of challenging the presidential election should be done speedily, noting that the court was hearing for determination a presidential petition for the first time, thus alluding to the 2012 petition against then President Ernest Bai, Koroma which was dismissed on technicality.
Meanwhile, Lawyer Lansana Dumbuya, who represented the petitioners, informed the court that they ‘will streamline their witnesses as some of them were on the ground during the elections’.
No date was set for the next hearing, but the judges promised that notices will be sent to the parties.