President Bio Dragged To Court
President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio has been dragged to the Supreme Court by prominent female Journalist and politician, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden together with the 2018 Presidential Candidate of the main opposition, All Peoples Congress (APC), Dr. Samura Matthew Wilson Kamara.
The Supreme Court of Sierra Leone has on Thursday 3rd December 2020 commenced the hearing of the petition case against current President Julius Maada Bio. On the commencement of the matter, the Supreme Court ordered that President Julius Maada Bio is now a “Defendant” who should defend himself against the Petition filed in April 2018 against his election. The Petition by Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden was filed on the 9th April 2018.
The Court which was presided over by the Chief Justice alongside four other judges, also ordered that both President Bio and his SLPP are to be labelled in all documents issued from the Supreme Court Registry as “Defendants” and not as “Respondents”.
The Hon. Chief Justice says this is because the matter of the elections petition was being heard in the “original jurisdiction” of the Supreme Court pursuant to Section 124 of the Constitution.
Dr. Sylvia Blyden has formally informed the Chief Justice and Judges of the Supreme Court of how the State police officers stole Exhibits needed to be filed for the Supreme Court Petition. She requested to be allowed to depose to an Affidavit with the facts of her unlawful detention and theft of her property for the attention of the Supreme Court.
This request was granted as one of the eight Orders unanimously issued by the Judges. After listening to Blyden, the Supreme Court ordered she can file such Affidavit.
Meanwhile, the matter which has been granted to finally now proceed, has seen directives issued; which are carried in a report from the Judiciary that we have published inside today’s edition.
The Supreme Court gave directions as to how Petitions against President Bio, which remained in stalemate for almost three years, should both now proceed.
It could be recalled that in April 2018, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden and Dr. Samura Kamara separately filed petitions challenging the pronouncement President Julius Maada Bio as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
That application is still pending even though affidavits in Opposition have been filed by Petitioners. Also, despite the Order to consolidate the petitions, the cases were still not consolidated.
Presiding on the matter, the Hon. Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards ordered that the Solicitors for the 3rd and 4th Defendants who made the Application, be given time to consolidate the said petitions which will now be one bundle and entitled as ‘Supreme Court Case Nos. 6 and 7 of 2018.’
The parties were also ordered to re-file their Motions and Affidavits in opposition under the said consolidated petition case, Supreme Court Case Nos. 6 and 7 of 2018
Among the eight Orders, the empaneled Justices (Desmond Babatunde Edwards CJ; Nicholas Brown Marke JSC; Eku Roberts JSC; Alusine Sesay JSC and Ivan Sesay JA) gave, they ordered that all parties should be given the opportunities to file any further affidavits if they so desire on or against the adjourned date.
The matter was adjourned to 21st January 2021 for purpose of confirming whether there has been compliance with all directions.
By Emmanuel I. Kamara
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