Wednesday August 17, 2005
Tamba Borbor reports from Freetown
Lawyers for the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) have agreed not to hold any conference until the court case filed by Presidential aspirant Samuel Hinga Norman is disposed of in the Supreme Court.
This was made clear in court yesterday by Lawyer Eke Holloway lead counsel for the SLPP after lawyer Bu-Buakei Jabbie representing Hinga Norman had filed for an interlocutory injunction to stop the SLPP from “choosing selecting or electing” a presidential nominee at their conference which was scheduled to be held this weekend.
Addressing the panel of judges, Lawyer Dr. Bu-Buakei Jabbie emphasized that they are not opposed to the party holding its conference this weekend, but that if they do, the SLPP should not nominate or elect a Presidential nominee or candidate or leader of the SLPP. He further argued that it should be done at the conclusion of the matter before the Supreme Court. Lawyer Eke Halloway replied saying that were ready to make an undertaking that they would not hold the conference until after the case had been decided on by the Supreme court.
At this point lawyer Bu-Buakie Jabbie argued that lawyer Halloway had gone too far, and that they were not calling for a postponement of the conference. Chief Justice Renner-Thomas joking remarked that Dr Jabbie was asking for ten dollars and he was given one hundred dollars and yet he was still complaining. But Dr Jabbie clarified his point that he was worried at the wide latitude of the undertaking because of the implications, which might arise when it came to considering damages for the action.
The Chief Justice then agreed with him and after a few other clarifications the court was adjourned for an hour to allow both counsels to formulate their undertakings. When the sittings were resumed almost three hours later the Chief Justice gave a six point order, in which he called on Dr Sama Banya (Chairman) Prince Harding (Secretary General) and Brima Koroma (Administrative Secretary representing the membership of the SLPP) to make an undertaking to the court that the SLPP conference to be held on 19-20th August or any other time in 2005 will not nominate or elect a presidential nominee, “candidate and/or a leader or at any other party conference thereafter in 2005 until the determination by this court of the plaintiff/applicant’s substantive application in the originating notice of motion of 27th July 2005.”
The Chief Justice further addressed Dr Jabbie representing Hinga Norman to give a cross-undertaking on behalf of Hinga Norman that they “shall abide by any order which this court may make as to damages in case this court shall be of the opinion that the defendants/respondents herein shall have suffered any damages by reason of the undertaking they have given to this court on the 15th day of August 2005 and which the plaintiff/applicant ought to pay.”
He also ordered that, both the undertaking and cross undertaking shall be perfected and filed not later than noon today. The Chief Justice further instructed that the notice of motion shall commence tomorrow and that all copies of all authorities to be relied upon should be filled with the Registrar not later than noon today. He ordered no costs to either party.
Assisting Lawyer Halloway in the matter brought against Dr. Sama Banya, Dr. Prince Harding and the SLPP Party are D.B. Quee, E.E. C. Shares-Moses and Anthony Brewah. The other Judges that constitute the panel of Judges are, Mrs. Justice Virgina Wright, Justice M.E. Tolla-Thompson, Justice Sir. John Muria and Justice Jon Kamanda.