Court slams injunction on SLPP regional elections


…but Regional Chairman denied knowledge

December 13, 2016 By Mohamed Massaquoi

The Chairman and Leader of the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) last Saturday informed this medium that the High Court slammed an interim injunction on the party on Friday, 9 December, ahead of the conduct of the party’s regional elections that were scheduled for Saturday, 10 December, 2016.

Chief Somano Kapen disclosed that based on the Court orders, he instructed all Regional Chairmen not to go ahead to conduct any election scheduled hitherto by the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party, in consultation with the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC).

He further stated that three members of the party filed a suit in Court praying for an injunction on the elections, although he declined to comment further on the ramification of the said decision on the party, which has been in and out of the Courts since it lost power in 2007.

Justice Desmond Edwards granted an interim Injunction filed by Lawyer Alex M. Musa on behalf of Alusine Bangura, Alex Kargbo and Victor Sheriff, restraining national officers of the SLPP from conducting and managing the party’s regional elections.

“I don’t want to comment further on this matter. I have already informed the Regional Chairmen about this development,” said Chief Kapen in a snap telephone interview with our reporter.

However, SLPP Regional Chairman East, Hon. Philip Tondoneh, told Concord Times that they went ahead with their elections as had had received no official correspondence from the Chairman and Leader of the party to halt the conduct of the elections.

“I have just concluded our elections for the eastern region. The party did not stop us from going ahead with our elections,” he said.

Acting Publicity Secretary of the SLPP, Laurence Lahai Leeman, said he was in Bonthe district, southern Sierra Leone, to monitor the conduct of the regional elections and that they had already completed the process.

“We are moving on with these elections because immediately after this, there should be National Executive Council meeting, where we will discuss the Delegates List and agree on a time for the conduct of the National Delegates Conference. The regional election for the north would be held on Wednesday [14 December]. We want to fast track the process,” he said.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen what the Court would do in the face of the seeming failure by some members of the opposition party to adhere to its order. A legal expert told Concord Times the decision to go ahead with the elections could amount to contempt of Court, while the outcome could be deemed a nullity.