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Impudence! This is not about Semantics but Separation of Powers!
By Sylvia Olayinka Blyden
Sep 10, 2009, 17:20
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It will appear as if the Presidents Handlers are not interested in helping him keep his 2007 Promises to the Nation insofar as the Judiciary is concerned which is why they are busy trying to use English Grammar to pass off that infamous and unacceptable August 28th 2009 letter from the Presidency to journalists, as acceptable.

What is even more pathetic is the attempt by the Presidents handlers to lecture serious-minded journalists on semantics when the issue is not about English language but about a Head of States Office going out of its way to usurp the intrinsic and integral powers of the Judiciary with flaunted impudence and a laisse-faire attitude.

The Preamble of the APCs 2007 Manifesto is unambiguous on the issue of non-interference and separation of powers. APC supposedly believes that separation of powers is provided for in our Multi Party Constitution currently in use and so APC promised in 2007 that an APC Government of a President Ernest Bai Koroma will ensure that this separation of powers is upheld.

My first article on this issue was published with my important points emphasised. In case Mr. President or his handlers missed it, let me reiterate! Only the Supreme Courts Registry has the power to first publicly announce when a ruling is to be expected from the Supreme Court. It is completely embarrassing to this entire Nation that our Presidents Office does not seem to know this fact! Where is the Minister of Justice; principal legal adviser to Presidency? It is unfortunate that the Presidency seems to be ignorant of this fact as shown by the ill-advised lecture on Semantics yesterday.

Mr. President, if you do not order a recall of that ill-written letter from your office to local journalists; if your handlers continue to use semantics to defend the nonsense therein, Posterity will judge you! History will be unkind to you over this aberration.

The Executive has no business announcing to the world, the time of any ruling from the Courts. Even the Honourable Chief Justice cannot take it upon herself to unilaterally announce the time of even an ordinary junior Magistrates ruling before that Magistrates Clerk issues out a Notice on the matter; let alone the Presidency going on to announce for our Supreme Court!

It is wrong for our Presidents office to be taking it upon itself to announce approximate time periods for Supreme Court rulings as if our Presidency has the originating authority to do so. What impudence! What arrogance! How dare the Office of the President show such glaring disrespect to our constitutional separation of powers? Nonsense!

Semantics or no Semantics, that Letter from the Presidency is a disgrace; a shameful piece of inked impudence splashed on State Houses Presidential stationary and it will definitely blight the Koroma democratic credentials if allowed to stay as it is.

Mr. President, if you are lucky, in three years time, we will be swearing you in again as President for your last term in office. If you are not lucky, around this same time in 2012, you will be just another Mr. Koroma in Sierra Leone. What legacy does this Presidency wish to leave behind? One of a dictator who deliberately usurped the powers of the Judiciary in contravention of his own Manifesto promises?

And before I sign off, let me just say that it will be good to hear a real life person give that lecture on Semantics to all the excited journalists who truly believe that the President has told them that come latest mid-September, the expected Supreme Court Ruling will be out. Dont hide behind your fingers to lecture on English sentence construction like a yellow-bellied coward. Remove the mask and bravely accuse all the Sierra Leone journalists that they are semantically-challenged with a limited functional grasp of Presidential English from State House. Go on... Try it if you dare!

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

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