April 24, 2018 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
Justice Unisa Kamara, presiding at the High Court in Freetown, has voluntarily recused himself from hearing a petition filed by the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) against some Members of Parliament representing the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC).
Lawyers from both parties were present at the Pademba Road court to argue the matter, but the judge pulled out from the hearing ‘based on the nature of things’.
The judge was supposed to have heard five petition matters brought by the new ruling party, SLPP, but he chose to recuse himself from hearing the matter.
In what could be best described as tit-for-tat, the opposition APC had also filed petitions against a considerable number of MPs representing the SLPP ahead of the election of Speaker and deputy slated for today.
The SLPP claim among other things that, some newly elected APC Members of Parliament were not qualified to even contest for the position on the grounds that they were receiving salaries from the consolidated fund onto the time of their election.
Lawyer Hindolo M. Gevao, representing the petitioners, mentioned the matter after Justice Kamara had earlier told the crowded court that he was not going to hear the petition.
“It is my view and humble appeal that based on the nature of things, I am not going to hear these matters. I am going to recuse,” said Judge Unisa Kamara.
The Fifth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone now has 146 seats. However, for the first time in the history of Sierra Leone, the main opposition APC has the majority in the unicameral chamber with 68 members as against 49 for the ruling SLPP and 14 Paramount Chiefs Members of Parliament.
The National Grand Coalition, Coalition for Change, and independent candidates share the remaining 15 seats.