By Jane B. Mansaray.
The Supreme Court of Sierra Leone yesterday granted an application for consolidation of Dr. Sylvia Blyden election petition case against President Julius Maada Bio and three others to the other plaintiff petitioners case file as both case files have common questions in seeking the annulment of the outcome of the March 31st 2018 Presidential run-off election.
The application was granted following recommendations and orders that Dr. Blyden who in her separate petition matter file in a statement of case and serve the respondent parties within fifteen days. This is in line with Rule 35 of the election rules that permitted the exchange of files between counsels.
It would be recalled that on Monday 16th July 2018, the third respondent’s counsel, Lawyer George Banda Thomas representing President Bio in the petition matter made an application for a consolidation of files in respect of plaintiffs’ case before the court.
According to counsel’s application, both files have common questions which seek to annul the outcome of the March 31st Presidential run-off election result declared by the National Returning Officer, Commissioner Mohamed N’fah Alie Conteh of the National Electoral Commission (NEC). The application was supported by the other respondents counsel and plaintiff counsels.
The three Supreme Court Judges including Justice Nicholas Brown Mark, Glenner Thompson and Eku Roberts in their ruling made reference to petitioner matter in 2012 that was thrown out of court because of irregularities.
Justice Browne-Mark said the procedure of challenging Presidential election result should be done speedily, as the decision of the case depends on the statement of the different files.
The matter before the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone is a constitutional one that has to do with the Sierra Leone 1991 national constitution Act No.6, the public elections Act No.4 of 2012 and the election petition rules statutory instrument No.7b of 2007, and at the same time challenging the March 2018 polling, counting, tallying and results procedures issued by (NEC).
The respondents in the petition matter separately filed by Dr. Sylvia Blyden as plaintiff include the Chief Electoral Commissioner, the National Electoral Commission, President Bio and the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP).
The matter according to the Judges should be consolidated with that of the March 2018 now opposition All People’s Congress (APC) Party flag bearer Dr. Samura Kamara and Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray, as they seek a similar outcome.
The matter was adjourned for notices to be served.