The development came following the lifting of an interim injunction earlier slammed on the Chief Electoral Commissioner, Mohamed N’fah Alie Conteh by Honourable Justice Abdul Rahman Mansaray, restraining him and his Commission from conducting the presidential run-off election on 27th March 2018.
The honourable judge told the jam-packed court room that on Saturday 24th March 2018, the High Court delivered a ruling upon the objection raised by the first defendant, who is the National Returning Officer and second defendant, the National Electoral Commission (NEC).
Justice Abdul Rahman Mansaray further informed his audience that in that ruling, the High Court was of the opinion that it has jurisdiction to hear and determine the originating notice of motion lodged to the court by the Plaintiff lawyer, Lansana Dumbuya.
According to him, the objection was lodged on the jurisdiction and in that respect that the High Court proceeds with the originating notice of motion, adding that the High Court called upon Lawyer Dumbuya to move the court on the said motion.
He also intimated the court that Counsel for the first and second defendants, DE Taylor rose and asked the court to refer the matter to the Supreme Court, by stating two questions for the consideration of the court. There and then, the court ordered an interim injunction and directed DE Taylor to file his questions against Monday 26 March 2018 at 10.00AM
Justice Mansaray further disclosed that he perused the originating notice of motion of Lawyer Lansana Dumbuya, dated 21 March 2018 and considered the laws and legal issues relating to the application herein, and also considered the public interest at the material time and gave the following orders:
(1) That the interim injunction slammed on the Chief Electoral Commissioner, Mohamed N’fah Alie Conteh and the National Electoral Commission dated Saturday 27 March 2018 is vacated;
(2) That the first and second defendants shall ensure that both political parties, agents to the run-off election are given tamper evidence envelops (TEEs) containing signed copies of election results at each polling station nationwide;
(3) That the results from the districts and or regions are manually transferred to the second defendant tally centre and /or headquarters in a transparent and all inclusive manner;
(4) That the political parties accredited agents shall monitor the transportation and transfer of all sensitive polling materials;
(5) That at the close of polling at every centre, counting shall be done manually in the presence of the security forces and political parties’ representatives;
(6) That all ballot boxes containing the counted ballots shall be sealed in the presence of political parties’ agents and returned to the second defendant headquarter accompanied by security personnel;
(7) That all election results shall be published at each polling station immediately after the counting of ballots and the published result must be signed by political party representatives present during counting;
(8) That all political parties’ agents, security personnel on duty and the second defendant election officials working at particular stations on the day shall have a right to cast their vote at that particular station and whose names shall be written on a list to explain the issue of possible over voting in any polling station;
(9) That the second defendant shall send the full list of the ballot boxes and the serial number of their tags to each of the two political parties prior to election;
(10) And finally, that the provision of the Section (94) of the Public Elections Act of 2012 Act N0.4 of 2012 shall be complied with to the letter.
Yesterday’s Supreme Court matter was adjourned to tomorrow Wednesday 28th March to determine the High Court’s jurisdiction to hear the matter.