Alfred Peter Conteh stands accused of undermining court order

Peter Conteh

By Alhaji Haruna Sani

Secretary and head of Secretariat, Abdul Kargbo of the Interim Transitional Governance Committee (ITGC) of the All Peoples Congress (APC) Party, has accused Alfred Peter Conteh, Chairman of the ITGC of undermining court orders and by extension the party’s progress.

The latest accusation was in a press release issued by Hon. Abdul Kargbo on behalf of majority members of the 21-man committee.

There has been accusations and counter accusations between the Alfred Peter Conteh  and Hon. Abdul Kargbo and co since the 21-man committee was instituted. The latest accusations between the two have further established a sharp contrast among members of the 21-man committee just ahead of the conduct of lower level elections of the APC and national voter registration.

The 21-man committee was formed as a result of court ruling by Justice Adrian Fisher J. in his judgment dated 28th April 2022.

Alfred Peter Conteh,who was bitter with the former executive for unconstitutionally occupying their various positions, vowed to reform the APC by taking the party and some of the ousted executives to court. The court slammed an interlocutory injunction and dissolved the APC executive.

The court ordered for the formation of a-21-man committee of which Nine (9) members were appointed by the plaintiff, Peter Conteh, who ended up being the Chairman. Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Hon. Chernor Bah also nominated 12 members as was ordered by the court.

However, the sharp division is seemingly between those members nominated by Alfred Peter Conteh (Chairman) and that of leader of the opposition in Parliament headed by Hon. Abdul Kargbo, who also serves as Secretary and Head of Secretariat 21-man (ITGC). 

Press releases and counter press releases between the two factions have clearly highlighted the level of division and disagreement in the party.

Press release from Abdul Kargbo, Secretary and Head of Secretariat 21-man ITGC has also referred to a press release issued by Alfred Peter Conteh dated 19th August 2022, as misleading.

The Committee called for the disapproval by Party members and the general public to the deliberate and continuous attempts by Alfred Peter Conteh, who, under the guise of Chairman, is in the habit of publishing misleading press releases purporting to have been published by the ITGC.

The ITGC also asked Party members and the general public to consider such behavior as not only a mere distraction and remiss of his position as Chairman, but also an attempt by him to subvert the orders of the High Court of Justice Adrian Fisher J. of 28th April 2022.

The ITGC said it shall continue to keep members strictly guided on the progress of the activities of the Party.

However, the ITGC also informed Party members and the general public that the Committee was in receipt of objections by members of the public through the Political Parties  Registration Commission (PPRC) to provisions of the Party’s published Rules of Procedures and Regulations for the conduct of Lower Level Elections

As required by the PPRC, the ITGC noted that the Party was accordingly responding to objections from a total of nine (9) objectors, maintaining that the Party shall serve copies of its response to each objection to the respective objectors through the PPRC.

According to the ITGC, the PPRC will be conducting hearings on all the objections and will deliver a ruling on the same, furthering that Commission will further cause the Rules of Procedures and Regulations for Lower Level Elections to be published for fourteen (14) days in the Sierra Leone Gazette as required.

After the 14 days, the count of 60 days will commence for the conduct of all lower-level elections of the Party by the Transitional Interim Independent Elections Management Committee (TIEMC).

“As the Party faces the dual tasks of effectively conducting its Lower-Level elections and participating in the National Voter Registration process, the ITGC wishes to inform all that it has accordingly forwarded the 25-Man TIIEMC nominees to the PPRC as ordered by His Lordship Justice Adrian Fisher J. in his judgment dated 28th April 2022,” the statement reads.

The ITGC noted it has activated preparations for the effective participation of the Party in the forthcoming National Voter Registration scheduled for Saturday 3rd September to Tuesday 4h October 2022. Therefore, the Party calls on all Sierra Leoneans aged 18 and above to go out and be registered at the nearest registration centre.

Meanwhile, another press release was issued on Monday August 22, 2022,  by Alfred Peter Conteh  on the closure of the Committee ‘Sanctioned Whatsapp Forum’.

“You unilaterally removed all members of the ITGC from the committee’s sanctioned WhatsAPP forum without warning and without out a justification to me or any member of the committee,” the statement reads”.

He said the WhatsApp forum was not anybody’s’ personal property and that the group belongs to the committee because its existence was a unanimous decision of the committee to enhance the flow of communication and ease the distribution of information and meeting invites amongst committee members.

“This action, like all others, continues to hinder the committee’s ability in performing its court-mandated tasks. Please explain why such action was taken unilaterally and any other reasons that may have prompted such action,” Conteh stated.