The Supreme Court over the weekend struck off the appeal by the People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) against the decision by the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) on the eligibility of Vice President Solomon Berewa to lead the Sierra Leone’s People’s Party (SLPP) to the August polls.
The five Supreme Court Judges: Ade Renner-Thomas presiding, Uum Tejan Jalloh, Virginia Wright, Tolla Thompson and Senegal Janneh ruled that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the appeal.
They stated that one could only appeal against the decision of the PPRC “if the association is refused to be registered by the PPRC and this has not happened with the PMDC as they are now a fully registered political party and therefore should not be aggrieved”.
The PMDC, they said, “lacks locus standi since only an association can appeal against the decision of the PPRC and not a political party”. And that the PMDC ceased to become an association the moment it was registered.
The Secretary General of the PMDC, Ansu Lansana, they said “is an individual and the act does not provide for an individual to bring action but an association. So the appeal is therefore struck off.”
The appeal was filed by Ansu Lansana against PPRC’s decision that as an ordinary man the vice president has the right to contest the forthcoming presidential election. But they failed to answer whether as Vice President if Mr Solomon Berewa has the right to contest.
The judges in their ruling said there was no provision for an appeal for PPRC’s failure.
Earlier in their argument the principal legal adviser of the PMDC, Pa Momoh Fofanah, told the court that according to section 35 7 of the Sierra Leone’s Constitution, “the party has locus standi to bring the matter to the court and the court has jurisdiction to hear the case”.
He said the PPRC failed to answer the important question put to them and so they brought the matter to the court.
Asked whether he had anything to say after the judgment had been passed, the leader of the PMDC Charles Margai said: “the Supreme Court has spoken and the people are yet to speak. I hope you will be around to hear them speak.”