A member of the ruling All People’s Congress Party-Lawyer Ibrahim Sorie Koroma through his lawyer-Lansana Dumbuya Esq (another staunch APC member) filed an exparte application against the National Electoral Commission and its Chief Returning Officer-N’fa Alie Conteh.
Though unprocedurally, according to the Supreme Court empaneled Judges-Justice Browne Marke and four other Justices, the High Court Judge-Justice A.R. Mansaray still went ahead to hand down Orders outside the Public Elections Act of 2012 and 1991 Constitution. In Justice Browne Marke’s note (figure 4), he stated unambiguously that the case was not argued. Instead of publicly exposing Justice Mansaray’s incompetence, he queried, « You mean the case was not argued and the Judge went ahead to grant an interim injunction? »
At the end, NEC denied to go by an « irregular High Court Order/s » especially to follow the most hyped Section 94 of the Public Elections Act. In the spirit of tolerance, (since going by Section 94 will not change the actual result) yet NEC was unconstitutionally forced to accept APC’s demands.
Going forward, APC insisted that all countings should be manually done. Transfer and tallying should also be manual. Even announcement should be done manually. They said no digital but manual. NEC and the main opposition SLPP again accepted APC’s proposal.
CHANGING FROM MANUAL TO DIGITAL
APC abruptly interfered with the entire tallying process on Sunday and wanted a change of the ground rules. If possible they wanted a change of the refree in the middle of the match. After a long drawn disagreement, APC demanded to move to electronics stating that they were not fully satisfied with manual. The unanswered question is, why change from Manual To Electronics? Is the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet not a digitalised system? Let common sense prevail!
APC 99 TACTICS
Many people are of the opinion that APC has 99 political tactics and if fully implemented they will always win elections. Jarrah Kawusu Conteh-State House’s Communications Manager (my elder brother) posted on his Facebook page that « SLPP has never defeated APC in an election. » Only God knows where he got that historical fact/s. So APC didn’t contest the 1996 and 2002 general elections?
APC is still forcing both NEC and SLPP to do things outside the remit of the law. Hope someone out there is listening. Why the unnecessary concerns?
EXCEL SPREADSHEET
The tallying which stopped because APC is terrific with the NEC traditional tallying system has resumed. Thanks to the International Observers and the SLPP leadership. If Bio’s SLPP had refused, this would have created a stalemate and a constant end to the process. Don’t hold us back coz Sierra Leoneans are tired of going back and forth.
EXCEL IS ELECTRONIC, NOT MANUAL
This was what Journalist and a media Consultant-Mustapha M.K. Sesay posted: « The use of ‘Excel’ or any other form of computer or computer assisted programme to tally the votes cast in the March 31, 2018 Presidential Run-off Election is an electronic form of tallying, not manual and goes against the High Court order.
At least most of us understand what manual means, as we were educated in African schools, where everything was done manually. Manual means using pen, charcoal, pencil, chalk, your fingers, feet, stoppers, straws, seeds, stones, etc to tally valid and invalid votes cast.
The final result must also be compiled on paper or a blackboard in handwritings, including the one that will be announced and published/shared. These include at polling station, district, regional and national levels.
How many people still want NEC to obey this unreasonable court order and follow that crude method of tallying and producing results in this advanced age of technology, which will last for at least one month?
You either allow NEC to use the tallying system that can detect fraud and can’t be manipulated, or we go real manual, as ordered by the court, not Excel.
SLPP AND APC
We expected those frivolous concerns to be coming from the main opposition SLPP and not the ruling APC. Both SLPP and APC must be willing and readily available to accept the result and embrace peace. Sierra Leone is not only meant for APC or SLPP. The country belongs to us all and therefore we must give peace a change.
CRYING FOUL
This is synonymous to crying foul. Let us keep an eye on NEC and allow a credible outcome and stop undermining the process. In the words of former Ghanaian President, « There is life after politics. »
This is the Pen of the Voiceless Sierra Leoneans

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Abu Bakarr Tarawally is a Journalist based in Freetown. He works for the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation as a radio producer. He has once served as Editor for a few newspapers in Freetown, including Sierra Express Media, The Exclusive Newspaper and his own newspaper, the Daily Express Publications. He is a teacher trainer, and loves writing and reading a lot. Email: abstarawally@gmail.com. Call +232 88601277 or +2327661303.

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