… APC Ibrahim Sorie Koroma to pay
April 10, 2018 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara
Lawyer representing the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Drucil Taylor, yesterday told a panel of three Supreme Court judges that his client incurred additional two million dollars after the High Court slammed an injunction, restraining NEC to conduct the runoff election on the stipulated date.
The High Court judge presided over by Justice Abdul Rahaman Mansaray had placed an interim injunction on the presidential runoff after Ibrahim Sorie Koroma, through his lawyer, had asked the court, among other relieves, to grant him an interim injunction restraining NEC from conducting the runoff on March 27.
But Drucil had argued that the High Court lacks the jurisdiction to hear the matter on the basis that it falls under the Office of the President, thus he refused to file in any affidavit in opposition.
After the High Court ruling on Saturday, 24th March, in which it vacated the interim injunction and stated that it has the jurisdiction to hear the matter, lawyer Taylor stood up and made an application pursuant to Section 124 of the 1991 Constitution for the interpretation of Section 45 of the same constitution in the Supreme Court.
Yesterday, lawyer Taylor asked the apex court among other things, to quash the orders slammed on it by Justice Mansaray on 24th March, 2018, and the plaintiff, Ibrahim Sorie Koroma, to repay the additional cost they incurred at the end of the matter.
Throughout the proceedings in the lower court, the NEC lawyers including Taylor, Joseph E Kapuwa and B E T Cummings had argued that the High Court lacks jurisdiction to hear the matter and therefore it orders in the matter were illegitimate.
The panel of three judges could not fathomed the basis Justice Mansaray granted the injunction since the two parties in the matter never argued the case, and that the judge never mentioned such reasons in his ruling on the preliminary objection raised about its legitimacy.
Justice Nicholas Browne-Marke, Justice Eku Roberts and Justice Glenna Thompson- all said the lawyer for the plaintiff, Lansana Dumbuya, whose experience almost qualifies him for the position of a Supreme Court judge- took advantage of the High Court Judge naivety.
“If the court makes a mistake, as an officer of the court, your first duty is to bring it to the attention of the court. Therefore, even if the mistake favours you, you should bring it to the court’s notice,” Justice Glenna told lawyer Lansana Dumbuya, who has been deserted by his colleagues at the bar.
The judges noted that the plaintiff’s prayer for a forensic investigation on NEC without stating how it would be financed and implemented clearly shows ‘you came to court using the wrong method’
The judges, pointing to one of Lawyer Dumbuya’s errors in his file at the Supreme Court, noted that “these are the things you use to confuse judges. You have the chance to guide him (Justice Mansaray) but you did not because it was at your advantage. Did you know the enormity of your action?”
Justice Browne-Marke wondered how could a judge grant such an injunction without the plaintiff making an undertaking as to cost supposed the injunction turned out to be wrong.
“The judge must consider the merit of the injunction before granting it,” justice Browne-Marke noted.
Justice Browne-Marke pointed that the intention of the plaintiff, a private individual who is not contesting the runoff elections, was to derail the process and he succeeded.
Justice Browne-Marke questioned Lawyer Lansana when former President Koroma’s tenure ended, stating that “had you known when his (president Koroma) time ended you would know the seriousness of what you did.”
Meanwhile, Lawyer Dumbuya, in his defence at the Supreme Court, told the court that NEC was not properly before the court, noting that the issue was not constitutional and the case was misleading.
However, the Supreme Court judge has promised to send out notices for ruling on the matter.