''All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing'' - Edmund Burke


S I E R R A  H E R A L D

Vol XII No 2

The tendency sometimes to protect perpetrators for the sake of peace...doesn't help society. Impunity should not be allowed to stand. - Kofi Annan on Waki report

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Sunday May 24, 2015 - The Supreme Court of Sierra Leone - not so supreme in ensuring that justice is not only done, but seen to be done. The problems with the bewigged band of comics more concerned about pleasing the Executive (the rat).President Ahmad Tejan KabbahMargaret Macauley - the widow of the late legal giant, herself an authority in the field.

There's been quite a somewhat ever-increasing eddy of opinions regarding the decision of the Supreme Court not to grant an injunction that would have stopped a knave, a nation-wrecker and a thief from acting as the number 2 figure in the country.

Many viewed this initial decision to allow the rat's chosen one to continue in that office as a big blow to common sense and indeed a slap for all those who had looked to the Supreme Court as the court that should be seen to be unfettered and not directed by any one individual as enshrined in the Constitution which states in Section 120 subsection 3 - "In the exercise of its judicial functions, the Judiciary shall be subject to only this Constitution or any other law, and shall not be subject to the control or direction of any other person or authority."

However what is common knowledge to many watchers of the judicial scene is that the Executive, meaning the rat occupying State House would do anything, like his predecessors, to have the Judiciary on its side using any and all dubious manners to achieve this. Did we hear you whisper that we are hard on the Judiciary? We say no for the simple reason that no court in Sierra Leone has so far, under the reign of the corrupt rat, ever ruled against the Executive (read the rat)?

It was somewhere in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar that we saw this line -  

"O judgment! Thou art fled to brutish beasts, And men have lost their reason..." which would prompt us to ask if the Supreme Court has lost it when it failed to prevent the knave appointed by the rat to continue in an office for which he was never elected by the voters of Sierra Leone.

And we believe that the Supreme Court did not properly consider the implications of such a decision with the feeble reason it gave that lacked, in our opinion, the common sense that would have seen justice to be done and would have earned it the respect it deserves. That it opens the way for utter contempt for the very basis of constitutional rule in our fledgling democracy.

Look at it this way.

The 1991 Constitution clearly states that come Presidential elections, each Presidential candidate should have a running mate (and running mate does not mean the person holding the position should be forced to run away from his office!!!) so that voters and the people could see who will be the second in command of state affairs. And we are sure that had the rat chosen the equally odious and despicable rat now occupying an elected position, the people would not have voted for the APC as they did - for even the most dedicated of APC supporters would have cried down the nation wrecker that now occupies the position.

Let us again remind you of the dastardly and unpatriotic scheme of this knave that has been thrust upon the people of Sierra Leone. This is a part of the submission of then President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah when he faced the Truth and Reconciliation Commission -

"28a. Incidentally, before I leave the AFRC, I need to give a brief account of some of the reckless manner in which that regime dealt with the assets of this country. Some of the associates of the junta had no restraint in causing further havoc on the country.

At the request of Mr. Victor Foh, a gentleman, Mr. Michael Hart Jones, purporting to belong to a company named Africa Trade Link Ltd. entered into an arrangement with the AFRC junta whereby the unused mining and mineral reserves of this country were to be used as collateral for a loan that the junta was determined to obtain.

In this connection in a faxed message sent to Mr. Foh, dated 24th September 1997, Mr. Hart-Jones purported to have secured one billion dollars for the project. The project was to involve the Government giving four securities to the tune of $200 million and the mining concessions were to be the collateral. The funds to be raised by this arrangement were alleged to be intended to be utilized partly on the services of the AFRC junta.

The scheme was to be effected as follows:-

A company named Commercial African Development Ltd. (CARD) was re-registered in Sierra Leone on the 19th day of December 1997. This Company was made to enter into a joint partnership with the junta and the mining concessions in respect of the richest mining areas in the country were given to the joint venture.

Four Bank Guarantees of $50 million each dated 12th November 1997, in favour of CARD for the $200 million secured were then issued by the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone and the Minister of Finance, both appointees of the junta.

If the AFRC had not been ousted in February 1998, thereby aborting the scheme, the effect on Sierra Leone and its economy as a result of this arrangement would have been -

Laundered money would have been brought into this country undetected and this would have had serious adverse effect on the economy for a very long time. In the fax message in question, it was made clear that the one billion dollars which was said to have been earmarked to be brought to the country would have been brought stealthily and under cover.

The Bank of Sierra Leone and the Government would have been encumbered with an obligation to discharge the security of $200 million as a result of a scheme that would not have benefited the people and Government of Sierra Leone, and in any case, only members of the junta and their associates like Victor Foh would have been the beneficiaries of that arrangement.

The worst aspect of that scheme was that the richest and most profitable mining areas in this country were given as collateral under that arrangement and those areas were available to be mined without restriction and the proceeds from them taken away without any account given. The areas to be affected were carefully identified and mapped out.

The documents involved in this transaction are available here for the Commission's perusal. The account of this transaction needs to be brought to the notice of the Commission merely for the purpose of further illustrating the reckless manner in which regimes, which were unaccountable, schemed to wreck the economy and destroy the mineral assets of this country."

Given the track record of the rat and more so of his appointed, not elected deputy, one can well imagine the kinds of deals they would be engaged in even now as they try to make as much money as they can at the expense of the suffering people of Sierra Leone for whom the basic amenities like safe drinking water, medical care and free initial education is now utopian.

What is even more worrying is a recent report that caught our eye - that the rat and his cabal were seeking authorisation for the importation of more lethal weapons - and this for a country that was not at war - a country that should be concentrating  on addressing the bread and butter issues of Sierra Leoneans. A country that should be more concerned about improving its health-delivery system after the country suffered from so many preventable deaths and suffering - first with a cholera outbreak and then the deadly Ebola Virus Disease that killed more than three thousand Sierra Leoneans.

We worry about the new arms importation request given the penchant of these two rogues and their keen supporters like Transport Minister Balogun Koroma (of the Kono road development fund infamy), we would not be surprised if those weapons find their way to extremist groups operating in Africa - sold to the highest bidder in what would be a profitable and illegal arms sale. Never mind the UN Security Council's worry about the proliferation of small arms and associated weaponry in Africa and other volatile regions of a troubled and conflict-laden world.

Again look at things this way if you will. Law courts main building in Freetown - whose justice do they serve?

If the rat is allowed by what looks like a compliant Supreme Court to get way with what is quite clearly an illegality, then we would have Presidential candidates presenting running mates that look good enough and are qualified - running mates that would soon be replaced by characters of shady repute that were never voted into office by the people of Sierra Leone.

Kindly take a look at one man's desperate cry in a book, when the law of the land held him accountable for the actions of his wife with the law actually assuming that the wife was acting under his direction. A fine example of where the law confounds common sense and logic.

“It was all Mrs. Bumble. She would do it," urged Mr. Bumble; first looking round, to ascertain that his partner had left the room. That is no excuse," returned Mr. Brownlow. "You were present on the occasion of the destruction of these trinkets, and, indeed, are the more guilty of the two, in the eye of the law; for the law supposes that your wife acts under your direction."

If the law supposes that," said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, "the law is a ass — a idiot. If that's the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is, that his eye may be opened by experience — by experience.”

There are provisions within the 1991 Constitution that allows for the inclusion of judges from other parts of the world to sit on the Supreme Court and we would have hoped that given the perception of the ordinary Sierra Leonean that the Judiciary stands compromised, the most sensible option would have been the addition of legal minds from outside Sierra Leone. This provision could be found in Section 121 subsection (1)(c) -

(1) The Supreme Court shall consist of—

(a) the Chief Justice;

(b) not less than four other Justices of the Supreme Court; and

(c) such other Justices of the Superior Court of Judicature or of Superior Courts in any State practising a body of law similar to Sierra Leone, not being more in number than the number of Justices of the Supreme Court sitting as such, as the Chief Justice may, for the determination of any particular cause or matter by writing under his hand, request to [sit] in the Supreme Court for such period as the Chief Justice may specify or until the request is withdrawn.

Subsection (c) is even more interesting. It makes provisions for the Supreme Court to have legal minds from say, the United Kingdom, to sit in and take a good hard look at the provisions of the Constitution as it relates to the rat abrogating all to himself the power to appoint a deputy who, in our opinion was illegally thrust upon the people.

We would again want to remind ourselves about the pantomime that was at play as the Judiciary was compromised and co-opted to serve the purpose of the Executive in the elimination of perceived political enemies.

The greatest nation wrecker of them all, one Siaka Probyn Stevens, in whose footsteps the rat loves to walk in a bid to have his enemies trapped in the mesh of the Judiciary hurriedly pushed Sierra Leone into a Republic using the needed constitutional antics to make one Justice Okoro-Cole Sierra Leone's first President only to be dropped and replaced by an Executive President with extremely wide-ranging powers called Siaka Probyn Stevens.

Stevens' reason for this constitutional manipulation was quite clear to watchers. He wanted to have a free hand to execute and imprison for long periods those in whom he was not pleased. Previous to this, decisions by the courts in Sierra Leone could be challenged in the Privy Council of the United Kingdom. Brilliant Sierra Leonean lawyers made their mark there and quite a good number won their freedom in a situation, had it been left to the courts in Sierra Leone would have resulted in dire consequences for those so accused by the government.

Even then - with the courts wanting to assert their independence and authority, there are some fine examples of the government not getting its way all the time. Take this account from the spouse of the late legal luminary Berthan Macauley, the youngest QC Sierra Leone ever had, herself an authority on legal matters especially on human rights issues - Mrs Margarette Macauley -

"While working on a case in the Republic of Gambia, Margarette and Berthan got some news. Berthan was wanted by the police. Friends who were there told us that they had heard on the news that some people were being detained and arrested and that there was a list of people who the Siaka Stevens government wanted and that his name was on the list, and so we should consider not returning....but they returned anyway.

....After several weeks of detention he was charged with treason, a crime punishable by death in Sierra Leone, but Berthan fought the charges representing himself and 16 others charged with the same crime. After 13 months of trial he managed to get himself and everyone else acquitted of the charges with Margarette by his side. And that was not all.

Mrs Margarette Macauley or better still the great lady with a flair for protecting the rights of people recalled another legal triumph

But the biggest ordeal was yet to come. After the trial ended in 1972 Berthan went back into private practice only to find his life almost snuffed out in the presence of a judge and jury.Aziz Carew lies in a coma - the Gestapo Chief of Police insisted he was pretending to be in a coma to evade "justice".

He had taken up a case on behalf of some leaders in the opposition, who had found themselves on trial for murder. It was alleged that one of their vehicles had knocked down and killed a pedestrian in an area where they were not even present.

Margarette was on her way to meet Berthan for lunch when the incident happened.

As she drew near the court she noticed a multitude of soldiers and policemen and frantic people. The prelims (preliminary hearings) were going on when they tried to kill my husband in court. He was shoved down by two police officers under a bench and they lay on top of him because they threw a lit dynamite into the court and somebody threw it out of the window, she recalled."

That was then  - a very sad and violent event created by the APC where violence and brutish force was given free reign as long as it was good in the eyes of the party.

Rather than having a revamped and trusted system in place that would have given the Judiciary its rightful place as an independent entity, what is now observed is a Judiciary which actually believes that its duty is to tow the line of the ruling party and government, a Judiciary that is now perceived as being led on a leash in the hands of the Executive, the rat at State House. Kindly read a part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report on Governance -

"16. The Commission heard submissions from a variety of authoritative sources that the war in Sierra Leone was largely the result of failures in governance and institutional processes in the country.

Successive governments diminished the state's capacity to meet such critical challenges as the security and livelihood of its citizens, let alone to provide for democratic participation in decision-making processes.

The Commission shares the view that unsound governance provided a context conducive for the interplay of poverty, marginalisation, greed and grievances that caused and sustained the conflict.

The Commission hopes its treatment of issues of governance - by identifying past distortions, evaluating the adequacy of current remedies and making recommendations to fill the gaps - will enhance efforts towards national recovery, stability and reconciliation.These are the victims of state-sponsored brutality as APC thugs attacked the offices of the main opposition SLPP in 2009.

17. The instruments of proper governance include laws, institutions, due processes and humane practices that lead to such desired ends as security, justice, enhanced livelihoods and democratic participation. The perceptions adduced by the Commission during its hearings indicate that Sierra Leoneans yearn for a principled system of governance. They want a system that upholds the rule of law over the rule of strong patrons and protects the people from the abuse of rulers through a system of checks and balances. They wish to see horizontal and vertical accountability through the effective operation of such institutions as the judiciary, the auditor general's office, the electoral commission, the media and civil society."

We also see this in another section of the report - Weakening of the National Judiciary System

"The judiciary has not been independent for the past two decades. The executive arm of government was directly involved in the judicial processes, which invariably inhibited access to justice. Backlog of cases became the order of the day as the courts became overcrowded with cases. "Justice delayed is justice denied". People were held custody for long periods without trial. Most Magistrates and judges were accused of being notorious for bribe taking and were known to have adjudicated matters in favour of their clients. The instruments and structures used by the judiciary were and are still obsolete. Most of the laws are not in consonant with international standards and therefore only protected the political aspiration of the ruling party."

We would again remind the rat and his legion of vermin passing themselves off as constitutional experts and journalists of a part of the APC 2007 Manifesto presented to the people.

"In every nation today, the principles of transparency and accountability and the elimination of corrupt practices are generally recognized as indispensable attributes for good governance.  An APC government will ensure the strict adherence to these principles and practices, and will subject itself to an African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and any other international benchmarks. Under the principle of separation of powers as provided for in our national constitution, the Sierra Leone Parliament has, in the last ten years, clearly demonstrated an inability to exercise its functions as an institution distinct from the executive. 


Unfortunately, executive interference, coupled with the pursuit of political party interests have clearly undercut the constitutional role of the legislature..."



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