Sierra Leone
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2023 Elections: APC Samura Kamara’s legitimacy challenged in Supreme Court

By Alhaji Haruna Sani

Former All People’s Congress’ (APC) Minister of Sports, Paul Kamara and former Deputy Abassador to the United States, Coleson Turay, have filed three grounds of objections in the matter of the nomination of the candidacy of the 3rd, defendant, Samura Kamara, the Electoral Commissioner, Mohamed K. Konneh, the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (EC-SL) and the APC as 1st, 2nd, and 4th respondents respectively.

On behalf of  the applicants-Paul Kamara and Coleson Turay, Lawyer C. Pujeh  requested the Supreme Court to determine whether or not the Transitional Interim Independent Election Management Committee (TIIEMC) had the legal mandate to conduct the National Delegates’ Convention held in Makeni on the 17th 18th and 19th days of February 2023 ,notwithstanding a perpetual injunction dated the 28th day of April 2022.

The applicant are also requesting that the Supreme Court determine whether or not the findings of the Commissions of Inquiry on account of adverse finding of dishonesty against Dr.Samura Kamara ought to have be taken into consideration by the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone his nomination as Presidential Candidate for the June 24th Presidential Elections, with him currently standing criminal trial involving fraud at the High Court of Sierra Leone.

They are craving that Court construct, interpret and determine the legibility of the candidacy of  Dr. Samura Kamara Pursuant to Section 35 (4) of the National Constitution of Sierra Leone that “No Political Party shall have as a Leader a Person who is not qualified to be Elected as a Member of Parliament and Section 76 (1) (D) of the said National Constitution that,  “No Person shall be qualified as a Member of Parliament if he has been convicted of fraud or dishonesty on the premise of the findings of the Commission of Enquiry on dishonesty against the said 3rd Respondent, among others.

Since 2018, the APC and its flagbearer, Samura Kamara have been going through one political setback to another.

First, it was an injunction that prevented the party from holding its national delegates’ conference in Port Loko in 2021. The injunction was as a result of a court case brought against the party by its very own National Reformation Movement (NRM)-a group of disgruntled young men who wanted reforms within the party.

On 23rd November, 2021, Dr. Samura Kamara was again indicted alongside six others by the Anti-Corruption Commission on various corruption offences relating to the reconstruction of the Sierra Leone United Nations Permanent Representative Chancery Building in New York, a case for which Dr. Samura is still under trial.

Following those ugly developments for the party, another case was also filed in by Alfred Peter Conteh, a member of the party. The case was against the party and its erstwhile executives. And the matter was adjudicated for years before final judgment was given by Justice Adrian Fisher.

As if those were not enough, another matter was also brought against the party by its very own members at the eve of the National Delegate Conference in February this year.