By Foday Moriba Conteh
High Court Judge, Justice Adrian J. Fisher, presiding over the case between Alfred Peter Conteh (Plaintiff) and the Chairman and Leader of the main opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) party and others, has on the 19th April 2021, ordered the 3rd Defendant (APC party) to hold an emergency National Delegates Conference for the purpose of adopting its amended draft constitution.
This follows an application filed by the Defendants seeking among other things, the Court to strike out the Notice of Motion on the grounds of irregularity and that the originating process did not comply with Order 5(3) of the High Court Rules 2007 and Order 8 (4) of the High Court Rules 2007.
The 2nd Defendant had also prayed that the Court grants a stay of proceedings of the substantive action, pending the hearing and determination of the application and to set aside the interim injunction on the grounds that the plaintiff lacks the capacity to institute such an action.
He canvassed the Court to dismiss the substantive action instituted by the plaintiff on the grounds of lack of capacity to institute such an action.
The plaintiff on the other hand, had argued that the current national Secretary General, Assistant National Secretary General, National Organising Secretary, Assistant National Organising Secretary, National Publicity Secretary, Assistant National Publicity Secretary, and the National Treasurer of the APC party are illegitimate, on the grounds that they were not duly elected, as required by Article 6 (14) (1) (i) of the party’s 1995 Constitution.
He went on to claim that the four regional Chairmen of the APC party, 16 Districts Chairmen, 132 Constituency Chairmen are illegitimate and were not duly elected pursuant to the 1995 party Constitution.
In his ruling, the High Court Judge ruled that the injunction slammed on all political activities within the party dated 26th day of February 2021 continues in force.
He further ordered that, “the following office holders are restrained from taking part as delegates in the emergency national delegates convention: all members of the National Advisory Committee, the National Secretary General, the Assistant National Secretary General, the National Organising Secretary, the Assistant National Organising Secretary, the National Publicity Secretary, the Assistant National Publicity Secretary, the National Treasurer, the five Regional Chairmen, the 16 Districts Chairmen, the 132 Constituency Chairmen.’’
He added that all other members of the National delegates conference not named above are eligible to take part in the emergency national delegates conference as delegates.
Justice Fisher ordered the party to ensure that the elections of twenty delegates for the Women’s Congress, twenty delegates for the Youth League and five delegates by each constituency are conducted not later than 25th June 2021 from the date of the order.