The Presidential nominee of the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) Solomon Ekuma Berewa is presently being challenged by the Peoples’ Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) flagbearer Charles Margai, over his eligibility to contest the August 11 elections.
A private citizen Abu Bakarr Conteh also joined in the action.
Yesterday at the Supreme Court presided over by Chief Justice Ade Renner-Thomas, assisted by Justice M.E. Tolla-Thompson and Umu Tejan Jalloh the first hearing of the matter started.
Counsel for the PMDC leader, Mohamed Pa Momoh Fofanah is challenging the qualification of Vice President Solomon Ekuma Berewa to contest the presidential elections on the grounds that his nomination is inconsistent with section 14(1) of the Political Parties Act No. 3 of 2002 as amended, sections 35(4), 41(d), 76(1)(b) and (h), 115(2) and (4) and 171(1) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act No.6 of 1991, and section 29(2)(d) of the Electoral Laws Act No 2 of 2002 as amended.
Mr Margai and Mr Abu Bakarr Conteh filed that as a result of the above citations, V.P.Solomon Berewa is not qualified to contest the Presidential elections and therefore he should not have been nominated as presidential candidate for these elections.
As a written response which is now part of the rules of the court, the respondent in filing a defense of his case, cited section 41 and 42 of the Constitution in which he reiterated that from the time of his nomination as Presidential candidate on July 7th he is qualified for election as president and is still qualified as he is a citizen by birth and he is also a member of a political party.
The matter was adjourned for verbal arguments on Friday.