Mohamed Ibrahim Basma & another AND Toufic Houballah (MISC.APP 3/2014) [2014] SLSC 9 (12 December 2014);

  1. That this Honourable Court do grant an interim stay of execution of the judgment of the High Court dated the 4th February, 2014 and the Order of Court of Appeal elated the 7th November, 2014 and all subsequent proceedings pending the hearing and determination of this Application.


  1. That this Honourable Court do grant  a  stay of  execution  of  the  judgment  of the High Court elated the 4th February, 2014 and the Order of Court of Appeal dated the 7th November, 2014 and all  subsequent  proceedings pending the hearing and determination of the Appeal on its merits.


  • 3. Any further and/or other Order (s) that this Honourable Court may deem  fit and just in the circumstances.



4. That the costs of this application be costs in the cause.



Counsel for the Appellants stated that this application  is  mc1de  pursuant  to  Rule 36 of the Supreme Court Rules, 1982, Public Notice No. 1 of 1982 (the Rules) which is as follows:

"36. An application not relating to any appeal of which the  record  has been registered in the RegistnJ of the Supreme Court and any other application containing allegations of fact which cannot be verified by reference to the registered record or any certificate or duly authenticated statement of the Court of Appeal shall be supported by  affidavit.  Where  the appellant or respondent prosecutes or defends in person, the said affidauit shall be swam by him and shall state that, to the best of his knowledge, infonnation and belief, the allegations contained in the application are tme. Where he is represented by a legal practitioner  the said affidavit shall be sworn to by such  legal  practitioner  and  shall, beside stating that, to the best of his knowledge,  information  and  belief, the allegations contained in the applications are true, show how  he obtained his instnictions and the information enabling him to present the application."

Clearly this Rule is  most  inappropriate  as  the  provision  pursuant  to  which this application is made. In fact  an  application  of  this  nc1ture  cc1nnot  be made directly to the Supreme Court and there is nothing in the Rules  of  the Court which  is  authority  for  the  application  herein.  The  Constitution  of Sierra Leone, Act No. 6 of 1991 (the 1991 Constitution) makes provision m sections 128 (2) and 130 (b) thereof for  the  composition  of  the  Court  of Appeal and the power of a single justice of that Court  for  the  purpose  of hearing and determining appeals from decisions of the 1-ligh Court as follows:


"128. (2) The Court of Appeal shall be duly constituted by any three Justices thereof and when so constituted the most senior of such Justices shall preside".


"130. A single Justice of the  Court  of  appeal  may  exercise  any  power vested in the Court of Appeal not involving the decision of any  cause  or matter before the Court of Appeal save that---

(b} in civil matters, any order, direction or decision made or given in pursuance of the power conferred by this section may be varied, discharged or reversed by the Court of Appeal as duly constituted."


The effect of the above provisions  is  that when  a  litigant  is dissatisfied  with the decision of a single Justice sitting in the  Court  of  Appeal  pursuant  to section 130 of  the  1991  Constitution,  the  avenue  open  to  him/her  for a review of that decision with  a  view to  having it varied,  discharged  or reversed is to apply for the full court of  three  Justices  to  hear  and  determine  the decision of that single Justice.  The  jurisdiction  of  the  Supreme  Court  to review decisions of the Court of Appeal is in my judgment limited to decisions 111ade by that Court duly constituted and not decisions  of  a  single  Justice sitting in the Court of  Appeal  pursuant  to  section  130  of  the  Constitution, vide section 123 of the 1991 Constitution.


In the circumstances, I will dismiss this application for the orders prayed for

in the application herein. The costs of this application to be paid by the Appellants to the Respondent assessed at