In local parlance, the word ‘Gbara Case’ refers to attempt to take up a case that you had no business with in the first place. So it was that yesterday 8th September 2015, the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone has ruled that the ‘Gbara Case’ matter brought in front of it by the two leading opposition political parties; SLPP and PMDC had a fatal flaw making it incurable and so the ‘Gbara Case’ was killed.
According to the ruling that lasted for an hour and a half and which was read out by Honourable Justice Nicholas Browne-Marke with Justice Patrick O. Hamilton and Justice Eku Roberts concurring, the SLPP and the PMDC’s attempt to ask the Supreme Court to look into constitutionality of the loss of his office by the former Vice President Alhaji Sam Sumana was nothing other than a ‘Gbara Case’.
It can be recalled SLPP and PMDC jointly had asked Supreme Court to look into their complaints of alleged constitutional breaches in relieving of Sam Sumana as Vice President by the President as well as similar allegations.
Lawyers for government officials led by Berthan Macauley Jr., had asked the Supreme Court to throw the PMDC/SLPP case out since political parties were not “juristic” entities that can on their own, sue or be sued.
In the ruling, the Supreme Court judges agreed with government’s argument and so they threw out the Gbara Case attempt of the SLPP and the PMDC.
Meanwhile, the other matter that is in front of five Supreme Court judges chaired by Ag. Chief Justice Valesius Thomas and which was brought by the former Vice-President Sumana, is not considered as a ‘Gbara Case’ but is a legitimate complaint to be examined as it was brought by the former VP himself in his own right. That case was allowed to go through full process and the merits examined.
The former VP says that even though the Constitution says he should be a member of a political party before he can be Vice-President, he believes he should still be in office, after his party had expelled him. The judgment on that one is expected to be heard today.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.