The judge told the jam-packed court session that prior the filing of the Originating Notice of Motion in the High Court, the Supreme Court had earlier gave orders and judgment in a matter between Alie Issa Bangura and some national officers of the SLPP, which the plaintiffs failed to comply with.
He opined that a court of law could not act in vain as the SLPP was ordered to establish rules and regulations for the conduct of lower level elections, which were to be endorsed by the party, approved by the Political Parties Registration Commission, PPRC, and gazetted for the peaceful conduct of the party’s entire election process.
According to Justice Edwards the SLPP had conducted its lower level elections and also realised that the plaintiffs did not comply with the orders of the Supreme Court, thus making the court to act in vain and therefore, the plaintiff’s lawyers should ensure that the defendants in the matter were served and their action instituted should be published in a widely read newspaper.
Earlier, lead counsel for defendants, Umaru Napoleon Koroma, argued that the court shouldn’t waste their time to look into the Originating Notice of Motion from counsels for the plaintiffs, Mugbe Musa and Alhaji Kamara, dated 14 December 2016, which sought for an injunction on the party’s administrative activities on the grounds that the motion lacked validity and legal substance.
He further argued that the SLPP established rules and regulations for the conduct of the party’s lower level elections as earlier ordered by the Supreme Court, noting that the said rules and regulations were endorsed and approved by the PPRC and gazetted as required by law, contrary to legal views and conviction of counsels for plaintiffs, who prayed on the face of their Originating Notice of Motion, seeking for an injunction on the party’ ongoing administrative arrangements.
Lawyer Koroma also submitted that the defendants were never served in respect of the matter before the court and plaintiffs deliberately reneged to comply with the rules and regulations for the conduct of party’s lower level elections, as ordered by the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone.
High Court , he went on, should discharged the motion with immediate effect, as the rules and regulations, lead Counsels for Plaintiffs, Musa Mugbe made reference to, were not endorsed and approved by the PPRC and gazetted, as ordered by the Supreme Court.
He also argued that defendants (party’s secretariat) never received any complaint about the conduct of the party’s lower level elections, stating that, the said rules and regulations were the only existing and acceptable instruments, used for the conduct of the party lower level elections , considering the fact that, national elections were just around the corner.
Lawyer Mugbe Musa, who represented all plaintiffs, countered that High Court should impose an injunction on the ongoing activities of the party , on the grounds that, the rules and regulations for the conduct of the party lower level elections, were never endorsed, approved by the PPRC and gazetted, as earlier by ordered by the Supreme Court.
He noted that, during the party lower level elections, Plaintiffs raised certain concerns and reservations about the conduct of the election, but that, the national secretariat, never bothered to look into their concerns and reservations.
According to lawyer Musa even the said rules and regulations, Umaru Koroma made reference to in his argument, were still in their draft stage, awaiting endorsement by the party and approval by the PPRC before being gazetted, as required by the Supreme Court orders.
After weighing and thoroughly perusing arguments put forward by Counsels for Plaintiffs and Defendants, Justice Babatunde Edwards in his wisdom ruled that, the Sierra Leone Peoples Party should continue with its administrative arrangement, until the matter is determined by the court.
The Plaintiffs included; Alusine Bangura, Alex Kargbo and Victor Sheriff, whiles Defendants included; Chairman and Leader of the SLPP, Chief Somanoh Kapen, Acting National Secretary General, Regional Vice Chairman North, Regional Vice Chairman South, Regional Vice Chairman East.
The matter was adjourned to Tuesday, 20 December 2016, in which counsels for plaintiffs, Mugbe Musa and Alhaji Kamara, would be expected to file in an interlocutory notice of motion, in furtherance of argument for High Court to impose injunction on the on-going administrative arrangement of SLPP.