By Alpha Bedoh
The ruling, All Peoples Congress (APC) is reported to have filed papers at the National Electoral Commission (NEC) headquarters on Wednesday against the ruling in favour of National Grand Coalition (NGC) presidential aspirant, Alhaji Dr. Kandeh Yumkella.
Yumkella’s nomination was recently challenged by the APC parliamentary candidate, Abu Bakarr Sankoh, who is contesting against Yumkella to represent Constituency 62 in Kambia District.
Sankoh petitioned that Yumkella was not “legally qualified to contest for parliament,” arguing that Yumkella is a dual citizen of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the United States of America and that contesting for a parliamentary seat is in violation of “Section 76(1a) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone (Act No.6) of the 1991 and the Public Elections (Act No.4) of 2012.”
The 1991 Constitution and the Political Parties Act of 2002 make it illegal for “dual citizens” to contest for political office, and prohibit anyone not eligible for election as a member of parliament to hold an executive position in a political party, and from also making financial contributions to any political party. Section 14 (1) of the Political Parties Act of 2002, in particular, clearly states that, “a political party shall not have as a founding member or a leader of the party or a member of its executive body, whether national or otherwise, a person who is not qualified to be elected as a member of parliament under the constitution.”
The APC secretary general, Alhaji Dr. Osman Yansaneh, is reported to have said the NEC exhibited incompetence at the district level when the NEC Kambia district officer made the decision to rule in favour of Yumkella without giving any reason, and also without allowing the APC lawyers present to say a word during the proceedings.
NGC Campaign Spokesman, Dr. Julius Spencer, responded that the APC can file anywhere they like.
“We are prepared to legally counter the APC up to Supreme Court,” he noted.