Lawyer Sulaiman Banja Tejan Sie the lead counsel for the three plaintiffs Alusine Bangura, Alex Kargbo, and Victor Sheriff had strongly argued that plaintiffs were deliberately deprived of exercising their democratic and constitutional rights at the party’s recent lower level, constituencies, districts and executive elections.
He submitted that during the Sierra Leone Peoples Party recent elections, the defendants in the matter used fictitious parallel executive list and that thirty nine constituencies were rigged in favor of Dr. Prince Harding led executive, normally referred to as “Pao-pa” Group and a host of other violations are allegedly committed by the defendants.
In the light of the above Lawyer Banja Tejan- Sie applied to High Court as a way of originating notice of motion, seeking for an injunction on the defendants and at the same time restrained them from proceeding with plans and preparations for the forthcoming party’s national delegates conference, slated for February 2017, in the eastern district town of Kenema.
Against this backdrop, lead counsel for defendants Umaru Napoleon Koroma rebuked that defendants never violated the democratic and constitutional rights of plaintiffs. He informed the court that after the party’s supreme court matter in which the presiding judges ordered that, the rules and regulations should be established for the conduct of internal elections, he said the party established the supreme Court recommended rules and regulations which were used to hold the party’s recent internal elections.
He also submitted that the said rules and regulations were approved by the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), gazette and used for the conduct of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party lower level, constituencies, district and executive elections.
At the conclusion of the election process Lawyer Koroma expressed that the Plaintiffs raised certain concerns and reservations about the conduct of elections in thirty nine constituencies, but that they have never exhausted the local remedies with the party’s administrative organ, as ordered by the supreme Court judges but resolved to court action.
He concluded by canvassing the bench not to grant any injunction, as prayed for by plaintiff’s counsel stating that the defendants were the national officers responsible for the day to day conduct of the party administrative machinery, and that any injunction would further derailed and undermined the party’s preparation for it planned national delegate conference.
After thoroughly perusing and digesting the submissions of both counsels for Plaintiffs and defendants, Justice Babatunde Edwards ruled that a speedy trial was more important than interlocutory injunction.
It would be recalled that before the matter was adjourned to today Wednesday 25 January 2017, Plaintiffs Lawyer Sulaiman Banja Tejan Sie told the court that he intended to filed more violations allegedly committed by defendants. Similarly, Counsel for defendants, Umaru Napoleon Koroma also intimated the court that he would be also filing another affidavit in opposition.