By Amin Kef (Ranger)
In the 19th May, 2023 edition, it was reported how two senior members of the All People’s Congress (APC) Party in the persons of former Minister of Sports, Paul Kamara and former Deputy Ambassador to the USA, during the presidency of Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, Hon Alimamy Coleson Turay, on the 17th May, 2023 filed a court injunction at the Supreme Court in which they raised objections bordering on the eligibility of the APC Flagbearer, Dr Samura Kamara, to contest in the forthcoming Presidential election slated for the 24th June, 2023. It could be recalled that in their application they sought the Supreme Court’s interpretation and determination of the following:
Whether the Transitional Interim Independent Election Management Committee (TIIEMC) of the APC was right to conduct the National Delegates Conference when a Perpetual Injunction stands preventing the old APC Executive participating but went on to constitute the ITMC that elected Dr Samura Kamara when it was the Interim Transitional Governance Committee that should have conducted the National Delegates Conference.
Whether the ECSL took into consideration the Commission of Inquiry’s adverse finding of dishonesty against Dr Samura Kamara during the nomination process; findings that were upheld or by the Court of Appeal as well as him being currently standing criminal trial involving fraud at the High Court of Sierra Leone.
Finally, they want clarification of the National Constitution of Sierra Leone that No Political Party shall have as a Leader a Person who is not qualified to be Elected as a Member of Parliament and Section 76 (1) (D) of the said National Constitution that No Person shall be qualified as a Member of Parliament if he has been convicted of fraud or dishonesty on the premise of the findings of the Commission of Enquiry on dishonesty against the said 3rd Respondent (Dr Samura Kamara).
This new political event, however, took a dramatic twist on the 19th May, 2023 when Lawyers representing the APC presidential candidate Dr Samura Kamara, led by Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara (JFK) ,acted swiftly by filing an application calling on the Supreme Court to strike out the application filed on behalf of Paul M Kamara and Rev Coleson Turay, citing numerous errors and irregularities they say are evident within the application submitted to the Supreme Court.
On behalf of his client and his colleagues, Lawyer Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara (JFK) categorically intimated that he acknowledges the submission of a Motion to the Supreme Court claiming to challenge the candidacy of Dr. Samura Kamara in the APC party further maintaining that the document is currently under review and an appropriate response will be provided in due course. He was also quick to state that the nomination of Dr. Samura Kamara remains unaffected expressing the view that the petition is an attempt to cause trouble and referred to it as mere mischief.
“We are in receipt of a Motion filed with the Supreme Court, purportedly objecting to APC Presidential candidate Dr Samura Kamara. It is being reviewed & response will be delivered accordingly. By law, the nomination remains unaffected. Mischief is the scent of the candle,” he said.
The lawyers representing Dr Samura Kamara and the APC Party raised objections to the motion filed by Paul Kamara and Hon Coleson Turay on the grounds that the application “is not properly before” the Supreme Court and further cited several irregularities.
“The said originating notice of motion dated 17th day of May 2023 is irregular in form and content in that it failed to invoke the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as required by the Constitution of Act No. 6 of 1991,” the APC lawyers said.
They added that Paul Kamara’s application failed to invoke the appropriate Supreme Court rules of Public Notice No. 1 of 1982.
The first defendant (APC Party) also has an issue with Paul Kamara’s intention. Its lawyers noted that the said application lacked “reasonable cause of action and is frivolous, vexatious and scandalous“.
The lawyers also said Paul Kamara’s intention is to waste the court’s time and powers.
“The Originating Notice of Motion dated the 17th day of May 2023 amounts to an egregious abuse of process of this court and for it to be struck out,” they said.
The APC lawyers also prevailed on the court to strike out the said application with cost.
It must however be noted that the application for clarifications by the Supreme Court filed by Paul Kamara and Hon. Coleson Turay also included the Chief Electoral Commissioner, Mohamed Kenewui Konneh and the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL).