Mr Theo Nicol a member of the dream team led by Acting President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) Philip Neville has dragged the SLAJ Electoral Commission, and the executive of SLAJ to court to answer why the election for the Vice President SLAJ should not be suspended pending the resolution of claims that he Mr Theo Nicol had been wrongly disqualified by the SLAJ Electoral Commission from contesting for the Vice President of the Association.
According to the Chief Electoral Commissioner Samuel John he was served the writ late Friday afternoon (21st November) to appear in court on Tuesday 25th November 2008 as 1st defendant whilst the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists are to appear as the 2nd defendants.
According to the writ, Theo Nicol’s who wants to be the Vice President of SLAJ claim against the SLAJ Electoral Commission and against the Association (SLAJ) itself, is for the courts to declare that “the disqualification of the plaintiff (Theo Nicol) from contesting the position of Vice President for the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists by the 1st defendant is illegal.”
Secondly that “the plaintiff is qualified to contest for the position of Vice President for the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists.”
Thirdly that “an interlocutory injunction against the 1st defendant from holding elections for the position of Vice President for the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists pending the hearing and determination of this action.”
The particulars of the claim are that Theo Nicol “is a member of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists and is currently working with the Premier Newspaper,” and that “the 1st defendant is created by the 2nd defendant for the purpose of conducting election for positions to the National Executive of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists during the biennial conference.”
Further that Theo Nicol “on the 5th day of November 2008 was nominated to contest for the position of Vice President of the National Executive of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists and duly filled in nomination papers and paid the requisite fees for the contesting of the said position … that the 1st defendant accepted the nomination of the plaintiff to contest for the position of National Vice President of the executive of” SLAJ “… and on the 17th day of November 2008 the plaintiff through the executive media heard a press release from the 1st defendant stating that the plaintiff is not eligible to contest for the position of Vice President of the National Executive of” SLAJ “… that the plaintiff subsequently got a copy of the press release when same was sent to Premier Media Newspaper and discovered that the person who petitioned against him was not only contesting for the position of Vice President but also a member of the panel that disqualified the plaintiff from contesting for the position of Vice President of” SLAJ “ … that the plaintiff has always been a member of (SLAJ) since 1980 …(and) that the plaintiff was never and or informed by the electoral commission about any petition filed against him by any individual … that the decision to disqualify the plaintiff from contesting for the position of Vice President without hearing from him is a violation of the principle of Audi Alterem Partem – hear the other side to a dispute, … that the decision of the electoral commission in disqualifying the plaintiff is not done in accordance with any provision of the revised constitution of (SLAJ) … that unless restrained by this Honourable Court the 1st defendant shall conduct election for the position of National Vice President of (SLAJ) on the 29th day of November 2008.”
It should be noted that Theo Nicol is a member of the dream team headed by Ag. President of SLAJ Phillip Neville where he Theo Nicol was expected to contest for the position of Vice President.
Mr Phillip Neville however publicly dissociated himself from the actions of Theo Nicol at a public broadcast debate on Saturday saying that Theo Nicol is on his own and did not consult him before he took the action to take the association to court.
Theo Nicol’s lawyer is Mr S.K. Koroma.
By Kelvin Lewis