President Bio didn’t ask for ‘more time’, says Lawyer Mewa

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*Extension of time necessitated by delay by Supreme Court Registry to serve court order     

August 1, 2018

By Hassan G. Koroma

Contrary to claims by Awareness Times Newspaper’s July 26th edition, published as banner headline ‘Maada Bio asks Supreme Court for ‘more time!, lawyers representing the President and the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) merely asked for an extension of time necessitated by administrative delays at the Supreme Court Registry.

“The Supreme Court of Sierra Leone will this morning of Thursday July 26th 2018, sit in Freetown to look into an urgent application made by His Excellency President Bio, through his lawyers, for him and his ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) to be given “more time” to do legal research so as to better object to the elections petition brought against them by Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, a popular female politician of the main opposition All Peoples Congress (APC)” claims the misleading story.

But according to Musa Mewa Esq., sequel to the filing of both petitions by Dr. Sylvia Blyden on the one hand, and Dr. Samura Kamara and others on the other hand, the law firm of Brewah & Co. filed a motion seeking to consolidate the two files, adding that the Supreme Court granted them that order, along with other orders and that all parties were ordered to file interlocutory application, if any, within five days from the date of the order – 18th July 2018.

Mewa said they were also ordered to draft and file the new heading of the consolidated file prior to filing any further papers.

However, according to the legal practitioner, the five days ordered by the apex court was rendered impossible to comply with because the court order of 18th July was not served until 20th July, as a result of failure by the Supreme Court Registry to serve solicitors, after apparently misunderstanding that only a certified true copy of the order ought to be served on solicitors.

The delay to serve the order, according to Mewa, caused Brewah & Co to file a motion seeking an enlargement of time from five days to twelve days, adding that he moved the court on 26th July, which was granted by the trio of judges: Justices Nicholas Brown-Marke, Eku Roberts and Glenna Thompson.

“I don’t see where the President was begging for time as reported by Awareness Times,” retorted the urbane Mewa.

Brewah & Co Law Firm is representing the 3rd and 4th respondents, President Julius Maada Bio and the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) respectively, in a petition challenging the validity of the presidential election that President Bio was duly declared winner on 4th April. The other respondents are the National Electoral Commission and Chief Electoral Commissioner Mohamed Nfah Alie Conteh.