APC Rules Out Recourse to Court Action on Disputed June 24 Elections

By Abubakarr Harding

In a Public Notice dated 3rd July, 2023 ,the All Peoples Congress (APC) stated that it is hereby informing the general public that the Party shall not go to court over the disputed 24th June, 2023 polls because the APC has had a recurrent bad experience relating to the lack of impartiality and competence of the Sierra Leone Judiciary to provide redress for violations of electoral laws, processes and mandates.

The APC said the  public would recall that the party categorically rejected the outcome of the June 24 elections owing to the blatant violations of the tallying, verification processes and the fact that the results are clearly inconsistent, irreconcilable and totally unacceptable.

It continued that even a casual comparative analysis of what the ECSL announced and what the APC tallied shows widespread ballot stuffing and downright thieving of the APC votes.

According to the APC Party, in a normal society, the expectation would have been to seek redress in the court but said unfortunately the society is one where the President and his Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) have captured and dismantled the independence of the most critical national institutions to the extent that there is no chance of fairness and justice for the opposition.

It pointed out that amongst other institutions, as all witnessed during the course of the June 24 elections, the behaviour of the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL), the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) and the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) has confirmed that position.

The Party maintained that even more troubling, as in the above – mentioned institutions, the Judiciary of Sierra Leone (JSL) has demonstrated a relentless commitment to injustice borne out of an unbridle partisan loyalty furthering how such lack of faith in the courts have also been raised by the wider public, several national and international observers and development partners.

“Such sad reality emanates from an aggregate of several facts and issues which have shown a deep lack of independence and fairness in the Judiciary of Sierra Leone,” the APC stated.

It said  following the 2018 elections, the APC filed petitions at the Bo and Kenema High Court Registries, against 33 SLPP elected MPs on a number of issues ranging from dual citizens to election violence but the said matters were never heard.

The Party lamented that, however, at that same time, the SLPP petitions against our MPs were heard by the same judiciary and a controversial ruling was made in favour of the SLPP – cancelling those elections.

APC argued that instead of ordering a rerun for the cancelled elections and the vacant seats, as provided by Section 147 of the Public Elections Act 2012 and rule 45 sub-rule 3 of the Election Petition Rules 2007, (both provisions having now been repealed) the Court turned itself into a rogue electoral commission by replacing their ten APCs elected Parliamentarians with SLPP candidates who were a distance away runners-up in those elections.

The Party said in the case of the petition relating to Constituency 110 in the Western Area, where the runner up was a National Grand Coalition candidate, (not an SLPP candidate) the Court ordered a rerun in the hope that the SLPP will win the seat.

According to the APC, in April 2018, the APC sought redress against malpractices in the presidential elections of that year but the Chief Justice delayed assigning the case until three years later and even with that  administrative abuse of powers to assign, the Chief Justice assigned the case to himself, presided over same, wrote the judgement himself and disposed of the matter by throwing it out of court citing other  high profile political cases which the Chief Justice refused to assign to judges.

The APC said it should be also noted that owing to its monumental failure to dispense justice fairly, the Judiciary is endeavouring to hoodwink the public and the International Community by claiming that they have listed more APC cases than any other party.

According to the claim of the APC, the Chief Justice only assigns cases involving the APC to ‘special judges’ that are in cahoots with him to deliver ‘captured judgements and that a captured Judiciary can’t deliver a fair judgement.

The APC said therefore, going to court for redress for the June 24 electoral violations will only result in a captured judgement and they  will not legitimize the unlawfully proclaimed Government by going to a judicial system headed by a captured Chief Justice.

According to the APC it has the evidence to prosecute a strong case against the ECSL and its thieving proclamation of candidate Maada Bio as winner but said the only way its faith could be restored in the judicial system is for the current Chief Justice to resign and for an uncaptured and independent panel of judges from Commonwealth countries who understand the common law and have no political affiliation to this Country to preside.

The APC said other than that, as with the present set up, and the sad experience the APC has had so far with the Judiciary, they cannot go to that court. The Party added that they shall stand on their decision of NOT recognizing the presidency of Julius Maada Bio and NOT participate in any level of governance until that unprecedented daylight electoral toppling of the people’s mandate is amicably and satisfactorily addressed.


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