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Sierra Leone’s judiciary to expedite cases ahead march 7 polls

Freetown, Sierra Leone, 1st March 2018. The Chief Justice of Sierra Leone, Justice Abdulai Hamid Charm has given an assurance that the Supreme Court will expedite action on three cases before it including the alleged dual citizenship of two of the 16 presidential candidates for the crucial March 7 general elections.

“We are doing our utmost to ensure that if there is any fault (delay) it would not be from the judiciary, but we also have to go by the rules,” the Chief Justice said in Freetown Thursday 1st March, during a meeting with visiting Head of the ECOWAS Election Observation Mission, Prof. Amos Sawyer.

In response to growing concerns that the cases could have implications on the elections, the Chief Justice said at the meeting attended by five other Justices of the Supreme Court that: “as much as possible we will expedite the cases.”

The dual citizenship cases involve the candidates of the National Grand Coalition (NGC) Kandeh Yumkellah and his ruling All People’s Congress (APC) counterpart, Wilson Samura Kamara, the outgoing Foreign Minister. Both cases along with an intra-party dispute are before the Supreme Court for constitutional interpretation.

In his remarks, Prof. Sawyer had expressed the hope that the judiciary would live up to expectations by ensuring that election-related cases were handled expeditiously and according to the law of the land.

The meeting with the Justices is part of ECOWAS Observation Mission’s continuing consultations with Sierra Leone’s political actors and stakeholders towards ensuring that the March 7 elections complied with the relevant ECOWAS Protocols on good governance and democracy.


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