High Court crushes APC appeal
Heard on Friday 28th May 2021 at the High Court of Sierra Leone, Justice Adrian Fischer has denied granting leave of appeal made by counsels representing former President Ernest Bai Koroma and Secretary General of the opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) in the matter between the leadership of the party and US-based Alfred Peter Conteh, pushing for democratic reforms in his party.
In addition to upholding his earlier Orders for the party to proceed to convention and adopt the 1995 amended constitution, while restraining the leadership from taking part in the said convention, Justice Fischer also levied a total amount of Le 60, 000,000.00 (sixty million Leones) to be paid as damages to the plaintiff by the respondents.
Responding to legal arguments advanced by Lawyer Ady Macauley representing the Chairman and Leader of the party, Justice Ficher clarified that the Orders did not exclude the Chairman and Secretary General from executing their normal duties, but that none of them should take part as delegates.
Reacting to the ruling, a jubilant Alfred Peter Conteh (in photo), speaking to Sierra Express Media, described the ruling as a step in the right direction.
“I received it in good faith. I am happy we are moving on with the necessary steps to adopting the amended 1995 APC constitution. This is the first step towards democratizing the APC”, he said.
A legal party luminary described the Orders as “vain Orders”, which could not be appealed and that appealing was not the right path to go.
He admonished the party to quickly proceed to an emergency convention with a quorum and adopt the amended constitution if the chaos of a possible extension of the Executive and its legal implications should be avoided in the case the timeframe of the constrained Court Orders lapsed without holding the said convention.
“The dark cloud now hanging over us is to fail to hold the convention, adopt the constitution and endorse members as approved by the National Advisory Committee”, he cautioned, adding that compliance would make the work of mediators light and the road to peace and unity short.
By Abdul Kuyateh
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