TEMPERAMENTAL lawyer and politician , Charles Margai, today lost his case against the Sierra Leone Police.
Yesterday, The high Court of Sierra Leone, Presided by Hon. Justice Dwarzak, had granted a temporal injunction order against the Sierra Leone Police restricting vehicular movement during polling day on 7th March 2018.
It must be recalled that an application was filed by Lawyers- Charles Francis Margai, Pa Momoh Fofana and others praying for the Court to rule against the decision of the Sierra Leone Police to restrict the movements of vehicles and people on polling day. The applicants described the action of the police as “illegal and unconstitutional.”
The Court had ruled that the action of the Sierra Leone Police be suspended until the final determination of the matter, today Tuesday 6th March 2018.
But today, upon hearing the case, the court rejected the application and cancelled the interim injunction.
At a high level security meeting held yesterday at the office of the IGP, it was agreed that vehicles carrying the aged (70 years and over) and people with disabilities be allowed through check points as long as they can convince security that they aregoing to voting centres. It was further agreed that registered motor tricycles (Kekehs) be allowed to ply even without accreditation
Dr. Al Shek Kamara
Deputy Inspection General of Police
A Police Spokesman posted this on Facebook :
Desmond Pessima, Your quote…”A force for good should provide the highest internal security to citizens without restricting free movement.” Let me use this opportunity to reiterate that the SLP is committed to providing the highest level of internal security which thus culminated in the restriction on vehicular movement. The information/intelligence we are privy to, you are not privy to it.
You might have a different interpretation of the vehicular restriction but the fact remains that we are being guided by what we know that you do not know. If anything goes wrong with regards the security of the state, the blame goes to the police and nobody else or institution. This is why we are doing our homework very well. We cannot allow ourselves to be caught pants down. Let me also make this abundantly clear that we did not crave for a restriction of the movement of people. We never thought of restricting people’s movements neither did we ever seek to pursue that line.
What we craved for was and still the RESTRICTION OF VEHICLES. And restriction is not a total ban. As a responsible institution, we had put measures in place to allow vehicles to move around through the system of accreditation. Even registered tricycles (kekehs) can ply without accreditation. This shows how sensitive we are to the situation. Conveying the aged (70 years and above) to cast their vote, would also be given consideration if the vehicle owners/drivers are able to convince security personnel that they are conveying the aged to a polling station to vote.
The bottom line is this: People are free to move as their movements were and never restricted for polling day. If we restrict their movements, how would they then go and cast their votes? I, therefore, would implore every peace loving Sierra Leonean to respect the ruling of the court and abide by the vehicular restriction. Let me there and then state that the police will continue to be an agent of protection of the rule of law and not otherwise, as may be misconstrued.