As 10 Await Judgment… 6 APC MPs In Court Today

 

By Thomas Kembay

Lawyers representing six sitting All People’s Congress (APC) Members of Parliament and their clients will today stand before Justice Momoh Jah Stevens to support their affidavits denying allegations of election malpractices and constitutional violations brought against them by their Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) opponents in the 7th March, 2018 parliamentary elections.

It could be recalled that on Friday 3rd May, 2019, Justice Momoh Jah Stevens heard the pleas of lawyers representing two APC MPs, Hon. Kemokoh Conteh of Constituency 108 and Hon. Sattie Kargbo of Constituency 111 in the Waterloo Area Rural District. The Justice also heard from the lawyer representing the SLPP MP, Hon. Mohamed Sheriff of Constituency 131, who was petitioned by his APC opponent. Upon hearing the arguments for and against, Justice Jah withdrew the files to await ruling.

Unlike the trial of the first set of seven Western Area Urban APC MPs before Justice Komba Kamanda that had since been completed and awaiting ruling, where lawyers representing the petitioners and respondents were allowed to make oral submissions on behalf of their clients, the trial before Justice Jah today will be by affidavit.

In total, sixteen Western Area APC MPs were petitioned by their contenders from the ruling SLPP after the results of the 7th March, 2018 parliamentary election results were announced by the National Returning Officer of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) on allegations of election malpractices, violence, intimidation and violation of the 1991 Constitution.

Some of the petitioned APC MPs are accused of not having resigned their posts as public servants one year before contesting the national elections as stipulated by the 1991 Constitution and continued to receive salaries and other emoluments from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) at the time they contested the 7th March, parliamentary election, while others are alleged to have won their elections through malpractices, electoral fraud and violence.

The trial before Justice Jah continues today and ends on Friday 10th May, 2019 with judgment expected to be delivered a few days after close of the trial.

Commenting on the matter, Justice Jah said trial by affidavit is intended to speed up the process as provided for by Rules 35 and 36 of the Election Petition Rules – 2007.

The 16 petitioned APC MPs are Hon. Kemokoh Conteh – Constituency 108, Hon. Kadie Davies – Constituency 110, Hon. Sattie Kargbo – Constituency 111, Hon. Rugiatu Rosy Kanu – Constituency 113, Hon. Hariatu Ariana Bangura – 116, Hon. Isaac Tarawally aka Zaco T. – Constituency 118, Hon. Wurroh Timbo-Jalloh – Constituency 119, Hon. Abdul Kargbo – 120, Hon. Mohamed Aziz Carew – 122, Hon. Chernor Ramadan Maju Bah aka Chericoco – 126, Hon.  Sirajin Rollins Kamara – 127, Hon. Abu Bakarr Sillah – 128, Hon. Emmanuel Saidu Conteh – 129, and Hon. Osman Abdallah Timbo – 130.