“Your presence here is a violation of the Court’s ruling and you all have to be sincere to the practice,” Justice Kabina Ja’neh averred during the hearing.
Justice Ja’neh noted that Kamara is still blatantly violating the Code of Conduct (CoC) as he is still serving as Assistant Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, and the same time wanting to be Representative, which violates the CoC.
The lawyers had appeared before the full bench to request a Writ of Prohibition on the electoral process and the National Elections Commission for rejecting Kamara without any hearing.
“Your client is still holding office so he continuously violates the Code of Conduct,” Justice Korkpor said.
Also condemning the disregard to the CoC, Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor said, “This is election matter so we wouldn’t want people make all sorts of speculations pertaining to what we do here. The law of the country should be respected. Advice your client on issues you know will affect the law in the country.”
Cllr. Arthur Johnson, one of the lawyers representing Kamara, told the judges that they were only hired after the petition for the Writ of Prohibition was filed. He argued that they don’t reject the CoC.
However, he stated that the amendment was a breach of an ECOWAS Protocol which states that no country should make new election laws six months to the elections.
“We are not looking at the decision of the Court, but the National Legislature took political participation from the Ombudsman to the National Elections Commission (NEC) which violates the ECOWAS Protocol,” Cllr. Johnson argued.
But Justice Philip A. Z. Banks, III said Kamara’s lawyers were mixing up a substantive element and procedural method of the law.
“Substantive element say you cannot contest because you aren’t qualified which was passed in 2014. The ECOWAS Protocol recognizes substantive claim which is not supported. It makes your case worse because your client is still an employee and in office. You are pretending like the Code of Conduct doesn’t cover you. I have an obligation to abide by the law and you as lawyers should have given him the advice to resign but he’s still in office,” Justice Banks asserted.
The Chief Justice maintained that Cllr. Johnson and his client were disrespecting the law, noting that “he who calls for equity should come with clean hands”.
Justice Korkpor: “We take public notice of Ngafuan, he respected the law. Maybe you don’t have a possible explanation. When we say it, it’s finished so you people must abide by the law.”