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State versus Sylvia Blyden: Big Comedy in Sierra Leone Court
By Our Correspondent
May 27, 2009, 21:54
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Dr. Sylvia O. Blyden
The third appearance of Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, Publisher of the Awareness Times Newspaper in the matter of her alleged conspiracy to incite disaffection in the Presidents marital home by publishing a false statement contrary to Section 32(2) of the 1965 Public Order Act, occurred yesterday Tuesday May 26th 2009 in front of Principal Magistrate Stephen Conteh of Court Number One in Freetown.

The State Prosecutor was no less a person than the Director of Public Prosecution, Oladipo Robbin-Mason Esq. accompanied by Lawyer Bintu Alhadi Esq. who both produced their first witness, Detective Police Constable 8321 Osman Kanu who ended up creating a hilarious spectacle in the Court Room as he was examined and cross-examined.

After Police Officer Osman Kanu had created some initial comedy in the Court Room with his response to Robbin-Mason that he did not know if he signed or did not sign the Arrest Warrant, he proceeded to later make even more hilarity in the Court Room by saying he was present when Sylvia Blyden was arrested but he did not know precisely the location where it was that she was arrested.

Then he further entertained the Court some more as shown in the transcribed responses below:



Lawyer Brewah: Now, you just said it was a fact that the article exposed the President to Security Threat in his marital home. How did you come about your fact?
Policeman Kanu: I came across it.

Lawyer Brewah: Yes, we have heard that answer but tell us how you came about it.
Policeman Kanu: It is a fact

Lawyer Brewah: Are you trying to evade the question? Tell the Courts how you came to ascertain your fact that the article poses a security threat to the President. Are you a member of their household?
Policeman Kanu:
No my Lord

Lawyer Brewah: Did you speak to the President to confirm if it was true?
Policeman Kanu: em em em

Lawyer Brewah: Answer the question. Did you speak to the President?
Policeman Kanu: No my Lord.

Lawyer Brewah: Did you speak to the wife of the President? Did you speak to the First Lady?
Policeman Kanu: No my Lord.

Lawyer Brewah: Well who did you speak to? Who told you of these problems in the presidents marital home?
Policeman Kanu: I know it because I know the President is angry.

Lawyer Brewah: You are a psychic then. You did not speak to the President but you know what is on his mind. Now, tell us who else did you speak to? Did you speak to Arabella Foray?
Policeman Kanu: I spoke to Arabella Foray.

Lawyer Brewah: Aha! So you spoke to Arabella Foray! Tell us some more about this? How did you get access to Arabella Foray? Did she go to the Police Station or did you go to her house?
Policeman Kanu: I went to her house.


Lawyer Brewah: Did you go to Kailahun during the course of your investigations?
Policeman Kanu: No my Lord.

Lawyer Brewah: Why not? Kailahun is the centrepiece of the article.
Policeman Kanu: em em em

Lawyer Brewah: So you are telling this court that during the entire investigations, you never went to Kailahun; you never spoke to the President; you never spoke to the First Lady; you only spoke to Arabella Foray but you are sure that the Awareness Times article poses a Security Threat to the President inside his marital home?
Policeman Kanu: em em em

Lawyer Brewah: OK, let us accept that you did not go to Kailahun and forget about why you did not go there. Tell us, what made you know that anything in that article was a false statement if no-one complained to you. You said neither the President nor the First Lady complained to you about the article. So, who is the complainant?
Policeman Kanu: The complainant is the Inspector General of Police.

Lawyer Brewah: No, I am not asking at whose instance the matter was brought. All criminal matters brought here by the Police are in the name of the Inspector General of Police but there must be a complainant. So, who is the complainant in this matter?
Policeman Kanu: My Lord, the complainant is the Inspector General. He complained to us at the Major Incident Department of Sierra Leone Police.

Lawyer Brewah: You want it to be recorded that the person who complained about the article being false was no-one else but the Inspector General of Police? My Lord, please take note that the witness has said the only complainant in this matter is Inspector General of Police Brima Acha Kamara.
Another Defence Lawyer Ngakui: And so we will be issuing a subpoena for the Inspector General of Police to come talk to the court since his policeman has revealed that he is the one who is the complainant in this matter.
Policeman Kanu: [Mumbling uncomfortably] The IG is my boss. He tells us what to do. He complained. That is the fact. He is the complainant.

Lawyer Brewah: Aha! So the IG knows all about the inside affairs of the Presidents marriage so deeply that he can take it upon himself to complain to his police officers about an article in a newspaper that is likely to pose a security threat to the President inside his marital home? This is interesting.


It was quite a long session that lasted for an hour. By the end of the Court session in the matter, spectators in Court were doubling over themselves as they laughed their sides out. It was such a chaotic scene of hilarity that the Court Clerks had to order several times for SILENCE IN COURT.

The matter is meanwhile adjourned to Monday June 8th 2009 when the State will produce their Second Prosecution Witness in this matter of an alleged "act of conspiracy to cause disaffection between the First Lady and His Excellency the President thereby disrupting the orderliness and well-being of their home and in the circumstances causing security threat to the well-being of His Excellency by the publication of false statement".


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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