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22nd July 2018

FBC Law Lecturer and Civil Law Activist Clash on High Court Run-Off Tomorrow!

By a press release (30/03/18)

The recent High Court controversial ruling for tomorrow's presidential run-off has divided the Sierra Leone as voters prepare for the elections.


Two big guns in Sierra Leone jurisdiction have taken the centre stage to publicly undress one another regarding the High Court ruling and the implications the ruling will have on the National Electoral Commission and the country in general. The legal clash was between lawyer Ibrahim Tommy, who is also the CARL boss and Rashid Justice Dumbuya, a Human Rights Commissioner and Law lecturer at Fourah Bay College. (Photo: CARL-SL boss lawyer Tommy speaking).

Enjoy Rashid's reaction: "Today, I lose respect for a fine lawyer. The judge was merely admonishing Drucil what to do before coming to the Supreme Court and you called that an overturning of the High Court ruling? This is sickening! Tommy, what has gone wrong with you these days?

"Weak appreciation of issues. Be careful so you will not be found wanting of contempt by the Supreme Court. Until that ruling is overturned, NEC is bound to follow it. That u are here saying NEC should not obey the ruling clearly shows u are not a respecter of the rule of law.

"It's a shame indeed for a civil society activist to be ranting like this. Too bad. Look at the disgraceful things coming out of NEC and you are busy here defending them when the court is trying to help NEC fix things right. U certainly do not stand with the people of Sierra Leone and for a corrupt free election.

"Please Mr Tommy take time to read the ruling of Justice Mansaray clearly . He ordered for NEC to do an Affidavit in opposition and they failed.... And after having siesed jurisdiction of the matter, he decided the case in the public interest given the circumstances. If we go by your arguments that his ruling was irregular because the motion was never argued before the court, then you are ignorantly saying that the interim injunction he gave earlier on NEC still stands until the motion is argued before the High Court. Hahaha... Think bro," Rashid concluded.

Lawyer Tommy hits back: "Rashid Justice Dumbuya, you're going out of your way to get my attention, and you'll get it in abundance.

"I honestly couldn't care less how much respect you had for me. Take that crap to the marines. I am only serving my conscience. You work for a Commission, but certainly not the Electoral Commission. We should let NEC conduct these elections according to the laws of Sierra Leone. Period!

"Have you read what you just wrote? How disingenuous! Was the Supreme Court advising Drucil what to do before coming to the Court? Is Drucil not already before the Supreme Court? Has that matter not been adjourned to the 5th April in order for the other side to read and file replies? What a dishonest appreciation of yesterday's proceedings! Shocking!

"On the effect of yesterday's advisory statement by Justice Brown-Marke, I'll concede that the Judge didn't EXPRESSLY set aside the orders of the High Court but when a superior court says to an inferior court to re-open an already concluded matter and follow the proper procedure, to wit: hear arguments on both sides as NO ARGUMENT WAS HEARD, doesn't that effectively create a sense of irregularity about the order? Yes, an irregular order remains and order until it set aside BUT it will be set aside as of right or course. Get it straight!

"Should you not be more concerned about a superior court essentially telling an inferior court that you had to follow the proper procedure rather than expressing a hypocritical loss of respect for me? Who really cares about your respect?

"Let's be clear: nothing against the Judge below but I said from Day 1 that there was something wrong with the entire proceedings and the outcome thereof. The SC just confirmed it yesterday. You may choose to latch on to the technical bit of how it has not been expressly set aside, but you can't argue with the fact that it is now a patently questionable order.

"Like every well meaning citizen, I want NEC to conduct credible elections. The March 7 elections were no way perfect, and NEC themselves have owned up by not only excluding votes from 221 stations but also taking administrative action against wrong doers. That's a good step forward. I don't believe that we should compromise our laws or amend them through the backdoor in the name of helping NEC. Let us respect NEC's independence and hold them to account through the courts for any fraud or malpractices. That's a rule of law issue. Not a political one. You may not understand where I come from but we've been here before. I know how every effort is sometimes made to weaken or compromise the independence of national institutions. Enjoy your day!" Ibrahim Tommy of the Centre for Accountability and the Rule of Law CARL-SL ends his rebuttal.


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