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High Court throws out Blyden’s affidavit

November 10, 2021

By Ibrahim Kabba Turay

Justice Adrian Fisher on Monday 8, November, 2021, trashed the application made by Dr. Sylvia Blyden, asking the court to include her affidavit into the existing petition that was filed by Alfred Peter Conteh in the on-going petition matter against the All Peoples’ Congress Party (APC), Ernest Bai Koroma- Chairman and Leader of the Party, and Osman Foday  Yansaneh-Secretary General.

Justice Fisher said Sylvia Blyden’s application was supported by a lengthy affidavit sworn on the 13 October, 2021, and that any person that wants to be added to an existing proceeding per Order 18, Rules 6, Sub Rule 2 (B) of the High Court Rules of 2007, shall subject to the rules at any stage of the proceeding in the course of the matter.

However, as per Order 31 Rules 1 of Paragraph 76 of the High Court Rules 2007, Justice Fisher overruled all the objections made by the first and second defendants against Dr. Sylvia Blyden.

He ruled that the court may on such terms as it thinks just, and either of its own motion or an application, orders the following persons to be added as a party.

He ruled that any person who ought to be added as a party or a person before the court, if necessary, to ensure that all matters in dispute in the course of the matter may be effectually and completely determined by the court.

He ruled that he had already ordered the court to conduct a national delegates’ conference to adopt their new constitution, thus noting that Sylvia Blyden has applied to the court on 19 October, 2021 for the court to nullify the convention.

He ruled that the court cannot grant such order because it was too late to grant such an order.

He said similarly in respect to the Order 23 in her affidavit, the court will have granted the order, but it was too late.

He,however,noted that the APC party should look at the application raised by Sylvia Blyden carefully because it raises serious concerns of the party that would lead to further court action in the future.

“In the circumstance of the available evidence before me, and having regard issue raised by Sylvia Blyden in application, her presence is not necessary in this mitigation for the purpose to determine the issue in the court, her presence will merely Lengthen the proceeding and will have the litigation which have already been  raised  by the plaintiff,” he ruled

He further ruled that, adding Sylvia Blyden to the matter will be inimical to the speed of the proceeding, and that the application by Sylvia Blyden as a party in her application was  therefore refused. 

He recalled that Lawyer Ibrahim Mansaray, the first defendant earlier objected to the application that was filed by Blyden, asking the court to include her affidavit into the existing petition that was filed by Alfred Peter Conteh in the on-going petition matter against the All Peoples’ Congress Party (APC), Ernest Bai Koroma- Chairman and Leader of the Party, and Osman Foday yansaneh-Secretary General.

Mansaray raised the objection on the grounds that the application breeched Order 31, Rule 1, Sub Rule 6 of the High Court Rules, submitting that all affidavits should be numbered before service.

He noted that the pages should be numbered in a way that it should not contravene Order 31, Rule 1, sub Rule 6 of the High Court Rules, therefore the affidavit should be struck out, accordingly.

He further argued that the content of the affidavit was faulty in every single paragraph, and added that it contained very scandalous averment against the first defendant.

He said paragraphs 3, 11, and others of the affidavit of the plaintiff were never supported by any evidence or document.

Ibrahim Mansaray further submitted  that in the proceedings of a civil case, every counsel would be present to represent his client, and that  the first defendant  is a former president, former Member of Parliament and a chairman and leader of the All People’s Party APC, so the plaintiff should not use any scandalous statement against him

He further argued that the court should strike-out the  paragraph mentioned, which the applicant  sought  to be determined by the court, submitting that the Bench should also consider that none of the pages were numbered in the affidavit.

Lawyer A. Sesay representing the second defendant, noted that the content of the affidavit sworn to by Dr. Blyden completely changed the existing action that was brought to court by the previous applicant, Alfred Peter Conteh.

He referred the court to Order 8 Rule 4 of the High Court Rules, and noted that the application of the plaintiff was not in the appropriate form, citing volume 2 of the White Book and Order 18, Rule 6, Sub Rule 1 of the High Court Rules of 2007.

He submitted that the provision, which the plaintiff relies on, is untrue and extraneous.

“Therefore, the claim that the plaintiff has prayed for must be looked into by the Supreme Court. I humbly submit that the motion paper be struck out  by Order 17,Sub Rule 1, paragraph (d) of the High Court rules,” he submitted. 

 In his submission, Lawyer Ady Macauley stated that the interested party applicant didn’t put the motion in accordance with Order 1, Rule 2 of High Court Rule of 2007.

He said at the back of the motion there  was no signature  of  the plaintiff and  such  contravenes Order 8, Rule 4 (1),thus referring  the Bench  to Order 18, Rule 6 (4)  of  the High Court Rules.

In her reply, Sylvia Bylden argued that what Lawyer Mansaray told the court that her affidavit was scandalous, was not true and correct.

She said the lawyer should have asked her to take the witness stand and cross examine her on the affidavit proper, arguing that the content of her affidavit cited the  irregularities of the just concluded convention of the party.

She argued that one of her prayers was that the court declares the convention null and void, and that the party should go back and do exactly what the court ordered them to do.

She noted that the court gave specific orders which were flouted by the defendant and that the said convention was held amidst a lot of irregularities.

Blyden cited that the court ordered for 660 delegates to participate in the adoption of the reviewed constitution, but that there were over one thousand that adopted the constitution.

However, Justice Adrian Fisher has ruled that the application by Sylvia Blyden as a party in her application is therefore refused. 

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