As Supreme Court commences hearing presidential petition…

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Judges order petitioners’ Lawyer to properly address President Bio

April 18, 2018 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

The Supreme Court of Sierra Leone has ordered Lawyer Lansana Dumbuya, who is representing the applicants in the petition filed by Dr. Samura Matthew Wilson Kamara, the defeated presidential candidate of the opposition All People’s Congress (APC) and two others to address the third respondent as ‘President Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio,’ and that his address the service should be the appropriate office – State House – and not the Sierra Leone People’s Party headquarters.

Dr. Samura Kamara, Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray, Deputy National Chairman and Alhaji Osman Foday Yansanneh, National Secretary General of the APC, have filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the presidential run-off election results.

The trio filed the petition against the Chairperson of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Mohamed Nfa Alie Conteh, National Election Commission (NEC), and President Julius Maada Bio, winner of the 2018 presidential run-off election.

The applicants claimed in their petition that they were deprived of victory in the election for the presidency of Sierra Leone and averred that the first respondent, Mohamed Nfa Alie Conteh, who is National Returning Officer of NEC, notwithstanding alleged irregularities, went ahead to announce Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio as president.

They also prayed that the apex court determines that the NEC chairperson acted illegally when he included results of polling stations where over voting took place.

They further prayed that the court directs that all results of polling stations where over voting took place be excluded from the final tallying and final results declared by the NEC chairperson.

They also urged that the court directs that the declaration of Julius Maada Bio as duly elected president in the presidential run-off elections held on March 31 was ‘invalid and cannot be supported in law and any other or further orders that the court may deem fit and just.’

Speaking yesterday at the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone, presided over by Justice Nicholas Brown-Marke, Eku Robert and Reginald Fynn, Lawyer Dumbuya informed the court that he had served all the respondents in the matter, except the third respondent, President Julius Maada Bio.

However, after having gone through the petition papers, the learned Judges observed that the third respondent was not properly addressed as ‘President’ Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, instead he was addressed as Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, thus ordering that the necessary amendment be made.

They also observed that the address of the third respondent was addressed to the Sierra Leone People’s Party headquarters on Wallace Johnson Street, instead of State House – his present office – thus ordering  that an amendment be made in that direction.

According to the judges, the third respondent was declared winner in the just concluded election and was sworn in as president in the presence of all relevant stakeholders, therefore he should be addressed as President in the petition.

Lawyer Lansana Dumbuya promised to make the necessary amendments in the petition and serve the third respondent as soon as possible.