Africa News Sierra Leone’s 2018 elections – supreme court petition hearings...

Sierra Leone’s 2018 elections – supreme court petition hearings begin next Monday

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Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 February 2020:

After almost two years since general elections were held in Sierra Leone which saw swathes of the then ruling APC constituency seats won at the elections, taken away from them after a court ruling in Freetown, a statement published by the judiciary yesterday says that appeals for the decision to be overturned will be heard next Monday at the Supreme Court.

Ten seats won by the APC were declared null and void by the High Court in Freetown in 2018. And within hours of the High Court ruling, the ruling SLPP that had failed to win a majority in parliament, moved swiftly to fill those vacant seats without going through a re-run of the elections for those annulled seats.

Will the opposition APC receive the justice they are seeking through the Supreme Court?

Opposition’s confidence and trust in the judiciary are running very low, and is not being helped by unconfirmed reports that the three Supreme Court Judges appointed to hear the appeals, are governing SLPP sympathisers.

Critics of the government say that the three Justices – Ivan Sesay, Sengu Koroma and Barnett, are pro-SLPP and will therefore be unable to impartially hear both sides and see that justice is served.

“We should have Judges from other West African countries hearing our appeals. If we can do this for the commissions of inquiry, why not do the same for our election petitions,” one of the APC appellants told the Sierra Leone Telegraph.

The notice of next Monday’s hearing published by the Judiciary said: “The Judiciary of Sierra Leone wishes to inform local and international media houses and general public that the first hearing of the Election Petition cases is slated for Monday 17th February, 2020 at 9:00am prompt at Court No.1 Siaka Steven Street,  Freetown.

“The media practitioners are expected to be in court on or before the aforementioned time and should produce their respective staff identity card to  security personnel at the main entrance by Cotton Tree.”

These ae the summons sheets received last night by some of the appellants:

In May last year, the opposition APC Secretariat published a statement, denouncing the ruling SLPP’s decision to occupy its seats won at the 2018 elections, and called on the Chief Justice to appoint Judges to hear its Supreme Court petition. This is what the statement said:

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