The Court also restrained the National Election Commission (NEC) which is the second defendant from conducting the March 27, 2018 presidential runoff election. Hon. Justice Abdul Rahman Mansaray further ordered counsel for the first and second defendants, Lawyer D.E. Taylor to file papers to the Court today Monday 26 March, in respect of questions hinging on whether the matter should left for the consideration of the Supreme Court.
Earlier, counsel representing the other defendants Lawyer Berlyn Cummings, argued that the High Court of Sierra Leone lacks the inherent jurisdiction to hear and determine the originating notice of motion and the supplemental affidavits of the Plaintiff, dated 21st March 2018 of Lawyer Lansana Dumbuya in which he prayed for an interim injunction on the Chief Electoral Commissioner, Mohamed N’fah Alie Conteh and the National Electoral Commission (NEC).
She argued that it is the Supreme Court that has unlimited jurisdiction to hear and determine concerns and reservations dealing with the March 7, 2018 presidential, parliamentary and local council elections across the country.
According to her, counsel for the Plaintiff should have made such application to the Court by way of petition, and not by ‘exparte’ motion or originating notice of motion, and that the court should strike out the said application.
Replying to the submissions of counsel representing the defendants, Lawyer Lansana Dumbuya countered that the High Court has unlimited jurisdiction to hear and determine such application dealing with election matters.
He added that both the ruling All People’s Congress party and the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party raised serious concerns relating to the credibility and conduct of the March 7, 2018 general elections, adding that he was asking the court for the National Electoral Commission to put proper mechanisms in place for the conduct of future general elections and to avoid such occurrences.
Barrister Lansana Dumbuya also asked the court for a forensic audit on votes cast at various polling stations across the country, so as to avoid such recurrences during the country’s general elections, and concluded by asking the court to discountenance the submissions of Barrister Berlyn Cummings.
The matter comes up again today Monday 26 March 2018. See page 9 of this edition for court injunction.