Should Sierra Leoneans hold out hope that the Supreme Court will throw out the PR system Bio is trying to use to rig the 2023 elections ?

Should Sierra Leoneans hold out hope that the Supreme Court will throw out the PR system Bio is trying to use to rig the 2023 elections ?

By Kabs Kanu

A Sierra Leonean political and social media activist told COCORIOKO yesterday that one would have to be a fool functioning at the level of an imbecile to nurse forlorn hopes that the Sierra Leone Supreme Court would rule against President Maada Bio and his manifestly rotten government  in the matter of the Proportional Representation system that the SLPP  wants to use to rig the forthcoming 2023 presidential and parliamentary elections.


To many Sierra Leoneans on social media, it was all stage-managed and conducted live on national TV yesterday  to give the nation and the world the feeling of a semblance of a free, fair and impartial judicial process, one of the ways Maada Bio fools the international community; “but we all know what will be the outcome — The Supreme Court will ultimately rule on behalf  of the SLPP and the irredeemably corrupt,  undemocratic and dictatorial President Bio will go ahead to use the PR system in the elections in June.”


Whichever way you look at it, Sierra Leoneans have a right to be sceptical about what will be the outcome of the Supreme Court sitting yesterday on the petition filed by JFK and Partners Law Firm on behalf of the opposition APC’s Abdul Kargbo against the Attorney General/ Minister of Justice and the Elections Commission on plans by the government to use the Proportional Representation system in the June multi-tier elections.

The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land , trust with the responsibility to defend and protect the constitution. It has the further responsibility to impartially, fairly and correctly interpret the constitution and to be able to discharge these responsibilities well, it must be impartial. It is very imperative that the Supreme Court be neutral, non-partisan , uninvolved and detached from the political squabbles in the land , but Sierra Leoneans do not consider themselves to be blessed with such a judiciary.

Governments in, governments out and through successive administrations, the Supreme Court has never been known to render judgement against the sitting government. Most often, the Supreme Court has sided with the government. This is the premise on which Sierra Leoneans built their scepticism of the outcome of the case yesterday.

In a high-profile sitting of the Supreme Court, made more spectacular by live television screening of the proceedings by the national broadcaster, SLBC-TV and the AYV, lawyers for plaintiffs and defendants laid out their case before the justices after which the matter was adjourned indefinitely. Should Sierra Leoneans hold out hopes that the court would rule in favour of the plaintiffs who have the backing of the nation and sections of the international community that the conditions no longer exist in Sierra Leone for the Proportional Representation system in elections ?

The Supreme Court owes the nation and the world a duty to ensure that the SLPP  do not change the rules of the June elections mid-game and that the tenets of democracy are upheld in the land. It will be a monumental task , given the fears of reprisals and an unwanted backlash that could be unleashed by the government if the court rules against them.

Government sycophants and bootlickers would not like this kind of analysis. Supporters of the SLPP Government will charge that those who advocate for a judgement against the government are hypocritical and will draw from the Supreme Court ruling in the President Ernest Bai Koroma/ Vice-President Alhaji Sam Sumana case, which a lot of Sierra Leoneans thought was biasedly rendered in favour of the President and his APC Government and had to be decided by the ECOWAS Court which overturned the ruling of the Sierra Leone Supreme Court. They might have a legitimate case of double standards by those who supported the ruling against Chief Sam Sumana  but should we ever continue to wallow in past misdeeds and hurts and use them as alibi for not moving our nation forward to better judgements, decisions  and actions ? So, if it happened under the APC, it should happen also during SLPP time ?

It is time for the judiciary and the Supreme Court to break free from the stigmas and miscues of the past and launch the nation into a new era of judicial independence and impartiality. We cannot continue to hold injustices and bad rulings by previous Supreme Court justices dearly to our hearts because the previous governments did the same. There comes a time when change is imperative for the good of our nation.

The Supreme Court should  protect the Sierra Leone constitution , the electoral process and the tenets of democracy by ruling against the use of the PR System, because the conditions for it no longer exist in our nation.


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