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Chief Justice Rules High Court Has Powers to Determine Election Petition Cases

Chief Justice Rules High Court Has Powers to Determine Election Petition Cases

Delivering ruling on the March 2018 Parliamentary election petitioned cases filed to the High Court of Sierra Leone between the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and main opposition, All Peoples Congress (APC) after the controversial 2018 Presidential, Parliamentary, Mayors/Council elections.

While the SLPP marking one year anniversary in Governance yesterday, April 4th, 2019 under the supervision of former Junta Leader, Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, Chief Justice of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Desmond Babatunde Edwards ruled that the High Court of Sierra Leone possessed the judicial power to hear any election petition matter brought before it, citing different sections in the national constitution of Sierra Leone.

It could be recalled that after the 2018 general elections, there was so many controversies which resulted for the majority party in Parliament to petition seven Members of the ruling SLPP while the SLPP also petitioned 16 MP’s all belonging to the majority party in Parliament.

Sometimes during proceedings of the said election petition cases, one of the APC lawyers, Umaro Koroma who happens to be the legal representative for the first respondent, Honorable Osman Timbo for Constituency 030 among the APC petitioned legislators objected that the High Court lacks power to determine High Court cases adding that only the Supreme Court possessed such powers to sit on petition election matters, while on the contrary, the SLPP argued that, the High Court has the judicial and constitutional powers to sit on election petition matters.

Judge Desmond Babatunde Edwards concluded by stating that the High Court will give notice for the continuation of proceedings over the election petition cases within the next two weeks.

By Abdulai Mento Kamara

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