Sierra Leonean lawyer and social activist, Augustine Sorie-Sengbe Marrah ESQ, expressed disappointment after the Supreme Court said he failed to comply with the Court Rules of 1982 in the matter against the Electoral Commision For Sierra Leone (ECSL), Chief Electoral Commissioner & Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

Marrah defended his actions, citing the Interpretation Act 1971 and High Court Rules 2007, asserting that his filing on October 23rd, the next business day after the deadline, adhered to legal provisions.

He said, “It is mischievously erroneous to say, 17 days after arguments were filed, that I did not comply with the Rules.” Marrah highlighted the potential impact on democracy, expressing concern that such incidents fuel skepticism towards the judiciary. He suggested a need for introspection, stating, “Maybe the doubting Thomases and Debbie Downers were right about justice being in stark scarcity.”

Referencing past criticisms of the opposition’s reluctance to seek legal redress, Marrah pondered whether apologies were due. He urged respect for citizens choosing legal avenues to address governance issues, emphasizing the importance of keeping the doors of justice open.

In his concluding remarks, Marrah cautioned against hastily dismissing litigants due to technicalities, stressing the significance of upholding the principles of democracy. This incident raises questions about the accessibility and fairness of the justice system, prompting a broader conversation about the role of the judiciary in Sierra Leonean democracy.