APC Must Abide by the Law & its own Constitution -Justice Fisher Cautions

12

By Amin Kef Sesay (Ranger)

Hon. Justice Adrian Fisher, High Court Judge, has on the 23rd November, 2022 disclosed that the Interim Transition Governance Committee (ITGC) members are responsible for the state of readiness of their party to contest the next general elections,

“I have not disbanded the ITGC,” Hon. Justice Adrian Fisher said. He went on to say that IGTC under the leadership of Alfred Peter Conteh remains in full control of the APC Party. According to him, those who can’t work with the ITGC MUST resign or COMPLY with the Court Order.

Justice Fisher said, “The ITGC must understand and reflect that they alone are responsible for the state of readiness of their party to contest the next general elections. The future of their party is in their hands and blaming the courts or other institutions is an exercise in futility. The court has done its best to ensure that they comply with the law and their own constitution and where there is a failure to do so, the court would enforce the law.
As an added measure, I have come to the conclusion that enforcement of the rule of law is at the apex of dispute resolution, particularly in political disputes. Notwithstanding, there is room for alternative dispute resolution as part of the legal framework for enforcement. To that extent, the involvement of the Peace Commission is necessary to ensure that the parties respect the rule of law and settle their political differences in a democracy, peacefully for the good of the country. The parties have proven that they are unable to settle their differences amicably and if left alone, lawlessness and chaos will prevail. A multi-faceted approach is therefore needed from different institutions of the State to achieve peace within the party.”

In his 55 pages Judgment, Justice Fisher concluded that, “With respect to appointments to the TIIEMC, I shall vary the previous order and make the following orders.

The chairman of the Transition Interim Independent Elections Management Committee, shall submit a list of seven names who shall be members of the 3rd defendant APC party of good standing for at least five years to the ITGC within 72 hours of this ruling, in any event not later than 4pm on Monday 28th November 2022, for ratification by the ITGC.

The Interim Chairman of the ITGC shall submit a list of seven persons, to the Secretary to the ITGC, who shall be members of the 3rd defendant APC party of good standing for at least five years, within 72 hours of this ruling, no later than 4 pm on Monday 28th November 2022.

The leader of the 3rd defendant APC party in Parliament shall submit a list of seven persons (not necessarily members of parliament), who shall be members of the 3rd defendant APC party of good standing for at least five years, within 72 hours of this ruling, no later than 4 pm on Monday 28th November 2022.

The diaspora region of the 3rd defendant APC party shall nominate one person who shall be a member of the 3rd defendant APC party of good standing for at least five years, within 72 hours of the date of this order, in any event no later than 4pm on Monday 28th November 2022.
The National Women’s Congress of the 3rd defendant APC party shall nominate one person shall be a member of the 3rd defendant APC party, of good standing for at least five years, within 72 hours of this judgement, no later than 4pm on Monday 28th November 2022.

The National Young Congress of the 3rd defendant APC party shall nominate one person who shall be a member of the 3rd defendant APC party of good standing for at least five years, within 72 hours of this order, no later than 4pm on Monday 28th November 2022.

The ITGC shall hold a meeting to ratify the appointments to the TIIEMC no later than Wednesday the 30th November 2022 for the purpose of this ratification, a vote is not required.

The interim chairman of the ITGC shall submit the ratified list of appointees to the chairman of the TIIEMC and the PPRC no later than 4pm on Friday the 2nd December 2022.

The chairman of the TIIEMC and all appointed members shall ensure the conduct of the lower-level elections within 45 days commencing from Monday 5th December 2022 and all such elections shall be completed under the supervision of the PPRC no later than the 19th day of January 2023.

The ITGC shall make available all APC party resources to the TIIEMC and all party offices, to enable it to meet its mandate.

The ITGC shall ensure the conduct of the National Delegates Conference under the supervision of the PPRC no later than the 29th January 2023, to elect a new executive and a flag bearer.

All previous orders of the 28th April 2022, not varied by this order, remains in force.

All decisions of the ITGC must be by a simple majority of all members of the ITGC present or absent at the meeting, save for the meeting ordered by this court for the purpose of ratification of appointees to the TIIEMC as set out at paragraph 54(3)(4) above. To that extent, the following shall apply.

The Chairman shall summon a meeting in consultation with the Secretary.

The Secretary shall circulate notice of the meeting to all members by whatever means necessary, at least 24 hours before the meeting is scheduled to take place.

All members shall vote on any decision to be taken by the ITGC by whatever means they have at their disposal.
The Secretary shall record the number of votes cast with respect to every decision in the minutes of meeting.

The mandate of the ITGC in Paragraph 90(10) of the judgement of the 28th day of April 2022, is varied by the following new paragraphs:
The ITGC shall have overall responsibility for manning the affairs of the Party until the National Delegates Conference when their mandate would expire. To that extent, the ITGC shall be responsible for:
Ensuring that all lover level elections are conducted by the TIIEMC and supervised by the PPRC within 45 days commencing from Monday 5th December 2022 and all such elections shall be completed under the supervision of the PPRC no later than the 19th day of January 2023.
Resolving all membership issues in accordance with Article 10 of the of the APC 2022 Constitution, prior to the national delegates conference no later than the 20th day of January 2023.

The holding of the first National delegates Conference after the APC  2022 Constitution no later than the 29th January 2023, which shall be supervised by the Chairman of the 4th defendant PPRC.

Holding regular meetings at least once a week, in accordance with paragraph 54(3)(10) above.

The interlocutory injunction I granted on the 18th day of November 2022, is hereby lifted.

With respect to the contempt of court by the plaintiff/contemnor, I have to assess the seriousness of the breach of the orders of this court. Whilst the breaches are serious, I am satisfied that there are many mitigating factors that mitigate against a sentence of immediate imprisonment. In any event the conduct of the plaintiff is deserving of some punishment on his part, particularly with regard to the deliberate distortion of portions of the judgement in a bid to aid his disobedience of the court orders. In that regard, the plaintiff/contemnor shall pay a fine of NLe 50,000.00, with an alternative of 30 days imprisonment which shall be suspended for seven days on condition that he swears to and files a sworn affidavit to the court undertaking to comply in future with all orders of the court, no later than 4pm on Wednesday the 30th November 2022. There shall be no orders as to costs.”

J.M. Jengo Esq. representing Alfred Peter Conteh had argued that the decision to initiate Contempt Proceedings is a decision ought to have been taken by Simple Majority as ordered by the Court on 28th April, 2022.

In his defence, Jengo Esq. referenced the High Court Rules, 2007.

 

 

 

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here