Wednesday August 31, 2005
We are reliably informed that the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone, in the matter Samuel Hinga Norman (Plaintiff) versus Sama Banya, Prince Harding and the SLPP (Defendants), will give its ruling tomorrow. Readers may recall that the High Court, for the past two weeks, has been delibrating on a motion filed by former Regent Chief, Sam Hinga Norman, against the SLPP and its leaders challenging the right of the party to elect a Party Leader in its now defunct Delegates Conference.
In reaction to the lawsuite, the party decided to forego its biennial convention altogether rather than hold two seperate conventions, one to elect the party leadership and another to elect a presidential candidate also referred to in the party constitution as Party Leader. Chief Norman argues through Counsel that the title of Party Leader for the ruling party is one and inseperable from President of the Republic and as such President Kabbah cannot relinquish one title without relinquishing the other. Kabbah’s term in office expires in 2007 and is ineligible for re-election.
His Vice President, Solomon Berewa, believed to be Kabbah’s choice to succeed him recently walked out of a strategy meeting called by Party Chairman, S. S. Banya, allegedly angered over the party’s attempt to negotiate an out of court settlement with Mr. Norman. For his part, Chief Norman has held his grounds refusing to withdraw his motion. If successful, Mr. Norman’s suite will also bar party leaders from also holding executive positions in the government such as Minister of Transport, Prince harding who is also party General Secretary as well as Minister of Finance, J. B. Dauda, who was also vying for Party Leader.
We expect to receive the verdict by end of business day tomorrow.
Campaign to Elect Hinga Norman.