For those who think the international community is a lame duck in Sierra Leone’s politics, here is something for you.
Smelling a rat, The international community ( Britain and EU ) “warranted “ yesterday against the SLPP Judge Bonnie injunction that called off the APC National Delegates Conference scheduled this weekend. They thought that there was no legal reason for an injunction on the convention.
I reported it yesterday and stated that they were mad but SLPP people denied it. My sources in Sierra Leone are very reliable. It turned out to be true.
The British High Commissioner, EU Representative, and international partners were said to have been very angry that democracy was about to be torpedoed by the SLPP government judiciary with the latest injunction that would have denied the opposition the opportunity to elect their flagbearer early and exacerbated the political tension in the country, with the case slated for hearing on February 25.
They met with the Minister of Justice and expressed grave concerns about the surreptitious role the judiciary was planning in undermining democracy and crippling the opposition APC. I reported this on Facebook yesterday but SLPP blogmasters denounced it and said it was false.
It was a dramatic 24 hours.
APC solicitors this morning applied with Judge Bonnie, asking for the injunction to be vacated.
In her first ruling, the judge denied the application and still ordered the convention not to be held after listening to lawyers representing the plaintiffs and the defendants. But according to reports, word came from above and the Judge called both parties back to the court as reported by former Secretary General, Ambassador Osman Yansaneh, in an audio in which he appealed to APC partisans to remain calm and law-abiding.
Ambassador Yansaneh expressed optimism that the second calling might portend success. Indeed, it did. Judge Bonnie reversed her earlier ruling and lifted the injunction on the convention. The case will still come up next week but she did not bar the defendants from participating in the convention, as later claimed by SLPP supporters.
This was the drama that gripped the nation yesterday until this morning.
APC supporters all over the country and abroad burst into jubilation with news that the court had reversed itself and that the Convention would take place after all.
Our reporters in Sierra Leone say that thousands of APC partisans are boarding vehicles from all parts of the country to proceed to Makeni for the convention. According to them, the cost of travel to Makeni had gone up as transport drivers are overwhelmed by the throngs of people heading for Makeni.