By: Christian Conteh
Claim: Two members of the All People’s Congress Party (APC), former Sports Minister Paul Kamara and former Sierra Leone Deputy Ambassador to the US Hon Alimamy Coleson Turay have filed an application in court questioning the legality of Dr. Samura Kamara’s candidacy as flagbearer and Presidential candidate of the main opposition.
Paul Kamara and Hon Alimamy Coleson Turay have filed an application for constructions, interpretation and determination to Sections 35 (4) and 76 (1) D of the national constitution 1991, Act No. 6 of 1991.
Full Text: Court documents, which have gone viral on social media platforms such as Twitter, WhatsApp, and Facebook, indicate that Paul Kamara and Alimamy Coleson Turay, both members of the APC, have raised concerns about Dr. Samura Kamara’s eligibility to contest the June 24, 2023, Presidential Election.
The documents reveal their intention to seek a determination from the court regarding the legality of the Transitional Interim Independent Election Management (TIIEM) conducting the APC National Delegates Convention in Makeni from February 17 to 19, 2023, where Dr. Samura Kamara was elected as the party’s presidential candidate.
Additionally, they question whether the findings of the Commission of Inquiry and the pending criminal case related to the alleged embezzlement of funds meant for the renovation of the Sierra Leone UN Mission Chancery in New York, USA, in which Dr. Kamara is one of the accused, should have been considered by the Elections Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL) during the nomination of Dr. Samura Kamara as the APC’s presidential candidate.
The application seeks constructions, interpretation, and determination of Sections 35 (4) and 76 (1) D of the national constitution 1991, Act No. 6 of 1991.
Many people have shared this claim prompting a need for a fact-check.
Methodology: Given the viral nature of the claim across various social media platforms, SLAJ/NDI SuperNewsRoom decided to contact Paul Kamara, the first applicant. He confirmed in a telephone conversation that, “Yes, it is me Paul Kamara, I have taken the matter to the Supreme Court for determination.”
The ECSL, the body charged with the responsibility to conduct elections and register candidates for the elections, is the second respondent while its Chairman and Chief Electoral Commissioner is the first respondent.
The researcher on 19th May 2023 spoke to Albert Massaquoi, Director of External Relations at ECSL. He confirmed that indeed his institution (ECSL) has received letters from the supreme court informing them of a matter to which they are a party. The letter, he says, confirms the claim above. “What I can say is the commission has received a letter from the Supreme Court about the matter,” Massaquoi says.
Conclusion: The claim that Paul Kamara and Hon Alimamy Coleson Turay have filed an application in court questioning the legality of Dr. Samura Kamara’s Candidacy as flagbearer of the APC is true.
Copy of Originating Notice of Motion circulating on Social Media.
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.