Member of the opposition All People’s Congress (APC), Dr. Sylvia Blyden has cautioned the United Kingdom High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Lisa Chesney to stay off Sierra Leoneans’ access to Justice.
This is coming following reports that the Commissioner and other international partners have engaged the Minister of Justice, Chief Justice, and their judges to allow the national delegates conference of the APC to hold as planned.
Four months to the June 24 Presidential elections in Sierra Leone, the leading opposition party, APC is yet to elect its flagbearer and other party executives. The convention was scheduled to take place on February 17, 18, and 19 in Makeni. However, High court Judge of Sierra Leone, Justice H. Bonnie on Wednesday placed an interim Injunction restraining the party from holding the convention pending the hearing and determination of an application filed by a party member.
Alfred Peter Conteh, The Interim Transition Governance Committee (ITGC) Chairman of the Opposition All People’s Congress (APC) on Thursday announced that the party’s national delegates conference will no longer hold adding that the ITGC will communicate the new dates for the National Delegates Conference after the 23rd of February 2023.
However, reports emerged on Thursday evening that the party has made die-minute efforts to allow the convention go on all planned.
“The APC convention will go on as planned, the chief justice of Sierra Leone judiciary and others have asked the APC lawyers to write and respond to the injunction, as I type the APC lawyers are currently doing that, but convention has been approved to go on as planned by the necessary authorities from the judiciary”, an unconfirmed report which circulated on social media said.
Reacting to the development, Sylvia Blyden wrote: “This is a gentle (for now) caution⚠️ to UK🇬🇧 High Commissioner @LisaJChesney to maintain her Self-Respect & not interfere with Ordinary Sierra Leone Citizens accessing Justice after their Political Rights got muzzled for weeks, months, years; whilst Lisa had looked the other way.”
Her remarks fuels speculations that the United Kingdom High Commissioner, Lisa Chesney may have prevailed on the Judiciary to vacate the injunction.
As at press time, there is no official communication that the injunction has been vacated. According to the Judiciary Spokesman, Elklass Sannoh, “We would report accordingly if it has been vacated.”
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