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Sierra Leone News: Despite Court Order…Akie-Sawyerr’s nomination deferred

The nomination process of the ruling All Peoples Congress Party candidate for the position of Mayor of Freetown was on Saturday 6 January 2018 deferred by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) based on address differences.
With broad smiles on her face Madam Yvonne Akie-Sawyerr in her red dress entered the nomination center at NEC headquarters along with the National Secretary General of APC Alhaji Osman Yansanneh, Alhaji Nuru-Deen Sankoh Yillah and other party supporters.
The nomination process started at the desk of the Enquiry and Scrutiny Officer, and it was there that Madam Akie-Sawyerr’s process stalled as the Officer in charge noticed that the address on her registration card is different from the one on her nomination form.
Explaining to the APC Mayoral candidate, the Enquiry and Scrutiny
Officer informed Madam Akie-Sawyer that on the voter registration the address indicated was Regent whilst on the nomination form, the address submitted stated Lumley. She added that the address must be consistent as stipulated by the procedure, as a result she cannot proceed with the process.
Madam Akie-Sawyer explained that she transferred from Regent to Lumley and according to the instruction on the form, the address required is the current address, which she did follow.
At that stage Counsel R. N. Nylander representing Akie-Sawyer served a Court Order signed by Justice A. R. Mansaray to the Enquiry Officer instructing her to continue with the process and failure to act as mandated by the Order will cause him to institute proceedings not only against the Commission but also the Officer who refused to act.
The Enquiry Officer made it clear before proceeding with the issue to the District Returning Officer that she is going according to the procedure set out for the nomination process.
At the District Returning Officer’s desk Counsel R.N. Nylander presented a copy of the Court Order and again emphasized on the point that they should proceed with the nomination process, but the NEC officials insisted that they are working within the confines of the law and they will not proceed until the right thing is done.
After about 15-20 minutes of heated discussion between the two parties the matter was taken into a room where it emerged that the matter will be presented before the Courts on Thursday 11th January and the judgement or outcome will determine whether NEC should proceed with her nomination process or not. Meanwhile, her nomination was deferred to 3pm on Thursday 11th January.
After the whole drama inside the registration hall, Madam Akie-Sawyer took to the streets of Freetown with her supporters singing and dancing.
By Alhaji M. Kamara
Monday January 8, 2018.

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