By: Christian Conteh
Claim- The ruling government (SLPP) lost the general elections in 2012, they took their case to the judiciary but the judiciary refused to hear the matter. In 2018 the APC lost the elections, their leader did not go to court, he instead threatened to make the country ungovernable.
Verdict- FALSE– In 2012 Julius Maada Bio and the SLPP took their grievance to court and the matter was heard, same happened in 2018: Samura Kamara and the APC took their grievance to court and it was heard and even publically televised.
The Director of Operations at the Sierra Leone Police AIG Braima Jah has at the usual police press conference held at George Street in Freetown claimed that the ruling SLPP lost the 2012 elections, took their case to court but it was not heard whilst in the reverse the APC lost the 2018 elections and did not go to court but rather threatened to make the state ungovernable.
In the video that has gone viral https://www.tiktok.com/@medulla571/video/7241384588554063147 AIG Jah is heard commending the ruling government for being law-abiding and politically tolerant.
“The ruling government is law-abiding, they believe in the rule of law, they are politically tolerant and those who actually claim that the police are at the beck and call of the ruling government are those that are not politically tolerant, are those that do not believe in the rule of law.
“Let me give you a clear example, in 2012 the ruling government at this point lost the elections, they went to the judiciary which is actually there to look into their case, they were denied their chance, the judiciary could not hear them. When they did not hear them what did their flagbearer do?
“He packed his bag and said ‘leh ar go London leh ar go do PhD’ and then he left to read abroad.
“And then in 2018 the opposite happened; a political party leader lost the election, he did not go to the judiciary which is provided to actually look into his case and see whether there were issues of concern and they were genuine, he simply said I will make Sierra Leone ungovernable.”[Directly transcribed from the video taken at the weekly police press conference]
In order to verify the claim, the SLAJ/NDI SuperNewsRoom did thorough research on election cases that had been brought before the courts. The research confirmed that:
In 2012, Julius Maada Bio and the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) challenged the results of the presidential elections in Sierra Leone. The elections took place in November 2012, and Bio, the SLPP candidate, filed a petition against the victory of Ernest Bai Koroma, the incumbent president and candidate of the All People’s Congress (APC).
The case was brought before the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone, where the SLPP alleged irregularities and electoral malpractices that influenced the election outcome. They sought the court’s intervention to overturn the results and declare Bio as the winner.
The Supreme Court carefully reviewed the evidence presented by both parties, heard arguments from their legal representatives, conducted an extensive verification exercise of the election materials and scrutinised the conduct of the elections.
On September 26, 2013, the Supreme Court delivered its verdict, unanimously dismissing the petition filed by Bio and the SLPP. The court upheld the victory of Ernest Bai Koroma and the APC, as the SLPP’s claims of irregularities and malpractices were not sufficiently supported by evidence to justify overturning the results.
Consequently, the case concluded with the Supreme Court affirming the legitimacy of Ernest Bai Koroma as the elected President of Sierra Leone for the 2012-2017 term.
In 2018, Dr. Samura Kamara and the All People’s Congress (APC) filed a petition challenging the results of the presidential elections in Sierra Leone. The elections were held in March 2018, and Dr. Kamara, the APC candidate, disputed the victory of Julius Maada Bio, the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) candidate. The APC alleged irregularities, electoral malpractices, and constitutional violations during the electoral process that they believed influenced the election outcome.
The case went before the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone, where hearings were conducted and evidence from both parties was reviewed. The court carefully examined the election materials, scrutinised the conduct of the elections, and listened to arguments from the legal representatives of the APC and the SLPP.
On March 31, 2018, the Supreme Court delivered its judgment, ruling unanimously to uphold the validity of the presidential elections and confirming Julius Maada Bio as the winner. The court determined that the APC’s allegations were not adequately supported with evidence to justify nullifying the election results.
As a result, the legal challenge by Dr. Samura Kamara and the APC concluded with the Supreme Court validating the election of Julius Maada Bio as the President of Sierra Leone for the 2018-2023 term.
The evidence conclusively proves that in 2012 Julius Maada Bio and the SLPP brought a case before the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone. The Supreme Court delivered its verdict, unanimously dismissing the petition filed by Bio and the SLPP.
Similarly, in 2018, Dr. Samura Kamara and the All People’s Congress (APC) filed a petition challenging the results of the presidential election. On March 31, 2018, the Supreme Court delivered its judgment, ruling unanimously to uphold the validity of the presidential elections and confirming Julius Maada Bio as the winner.
This fact-checked story is a product of the SLAJ/NDI SuperNewsRoom on Combating Disinformation in Sierra Leone’s 2023 electoral cycle. The project is supported by Global Affairs Canada to enable citizens have access to credible and accurate information during the elections.
The SuperNewsRoom is powered by Africell SL.
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