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Sierra Leone News: Defense calls on Court to throw out Margai’s application

The lawyer for the first defendant in the matter between Mohamed Ayoba –Joaque (plaintiff) and Samura Wilson Kamara and the National Electoral Commission Sulaiman Kabba Koroma on Monday 5 March 2018, has asked the Supreme Court to throw out the application made by Charles Francis Margai.
On Thursday 1 March 2018, Counsel for the Plaintiff Francis Margai asked the Supreme Court for more time to file a petition objection to the candidacy of Samura Kamara on the grounds of ineligibility. Margai called on the Court to grant the plaintiff enlargement of time within which to file a petition objecting to the candidacy of Samura Kamara the first defendant hearing, the presidential candidate of the All People Congress (APC).
Secondly, for the order that the period within which the Court considers the application be abridged having regards to the exigency of time and finally that such order or further reliefs to be granted to the plaintiff as the justice of the case demands and finally cost in cause.
According to the Defense Counsel, the Court does not have the grounds to grant the application made by the plaintiff counsel for the extension of time in order for him to object to the candidacy of Samura Kamara. He underscored, the “petition is not defined in the Elections Act of 2012 but in the Electoral Rules.” He added that petition should come in after elections.
He stressed that Section 47 (2) of the Election Act, makes it a mandatory provision and not discretional. “The Act itself does not have any provision of such.” He also refers the judges to the case between Oponjo Benjamin, Maada Bio and others versus Christiana Thorpe and three others, and also to several Nigeria authorities with similar cases.
“Lawyer Koroma said, “If you entertain this application, it is indirectly amending the Election Act.” He tagged the objection to be frivolous, vexatious and time wasting of the Court, noting that’s why they failed to approach the Court within the stipulated time frame. He called for the application to be dismissed with substantial cost, so that people will start to treat the Supreme Court with all seriousness.
He noted that not a single document was presented by the plaintiff to attest that Samura Kamara is a British citizen.
The Counsel for the second defendant, Cummings, said the Plaintiff failed to comply with sections and provisions of the Elections Act and Elections Rules. She mentioned that Section 98 of the Supreme Court Rules is not applicable in such a case.
According to Margai that Section 164 of the Election Act gives the Electoral Commission power to enlarge time. He underscored that the Court has inherent decision to enlarge time. He stated that the Oponjo Benjamin case has no relevancy with regards to this one, adding that it is a notice before the Court, not a petition.
“All what we are seeking at this stage is enlargement of time.” He said there is every right to such application Pursuant to Section 89 of the Supreme Court Rules. Justice Abdulai Charm promised to serve them with regards to the next hearing.
MJB/5/3/18
Tuesday March 06, 2018.

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