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FEATURES  

The participation of Deputy Minister Rosaline Oya Sankoh in the whole enterprise.
By LAWYER YADA HASHIM WILLIAMS
Aug 2, 2010, 13:22
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Another Extract of the Closing Arguments of Defence Lawyers of

Haja Mrs. Afsatu Olayinka Ebishola Kabba (Nee Savage) SUBMITTED BY LAWYER YADA HASHIM WILLIAMS

COUNSEL per pro for J. B. Jenkins-Johnston, Lead Counsel.

Counsel for the Accused submits that the case for the Prosecution in relation to Counts 1 - 5 is so riddled with inconsistencies, lies, fabrications that it could not be said that the Prosecution has discharged its standard of proving the guilt of the Accused beyond all reasonable doubt. The evidence adduced by the prosecution is tenuous, weak, vague and largely inconsistent. Counsel for the Accused will seek to bring out these inconsistencies and will show why it would be unsafe for this Court to find the Accused guilty in the circumstances.

It is obvious that there were material inconsistencies in the case of the Prosecution with respect to proof of significant facts in issue which should warrant this Court not to believe the Prosecutions theory. Counsel for the Accused will address some of these issues under the following heads:

a. The participation of Deputy Minister Rosaline Oya Sankoh in the whole enterprise.

b. The meeting that it was alleged the Accused gave instructions to withdraw the sum of Le. 300,000,000.00 from the MCS account.

c. The purported handing over of the sum of Le. 240,000,000.00 to the Accused in the premises of Parliament on the 27th October 2009.

d. The purported handing over of the sum of Le. 70,000,000.00 to the Accused on the 28th October 2009.

It could be easily discerned from a cursory examination of the evidence of PW 2, PW 3, PW 4, PW5 and PW 6 that there are significant divergences in the testimonies of these five witnesses on very crucial and pertinent issues in the case of the Prosecution. Counsel for the Accused concurs with the submission of the Prosecution on pages 2 and 3 of their address that ". the Defence can only succeed if they can show that the evidence led by the Prosecution is so inconsistent, self-contradictory and out of reason and all common sense that it is tenuous and suffers from inherent weakness". It is our submission that it would be unsafe for this Hon. Court to convict on the largely discredited evidence of the Prosecution witnesses.

DEPUTY MINISTER ROSALINE OYA SANKOH

The prosecution wants this Court to believe that the Accused connived with one of her worst enemies to deprive the Government of Sierra Leone of the sum of Le.310,000,000.00. The name of Oya Sankoh was mentioned throughout the investigations by the ACC and in these proceedings as being part and parcel of the plot to misappropriate the said amount. For some strange reasons she was not called as a witness nor charged together with the Accused. The Prosecution did not seek in any way to explain the absence of Oya Sankoh from the dock or from the witness stand. This in my humble opinion shows bad faith if not malice on the part of the Anti-Corruption Commission for the Accused. What is the reason for the discriminatory conduct of the ACC? According to PW16 the ACC did not even bother to invite Rosaline Oya Sankoh to visit their offices in relation to this matter.

PW 4 when he testified under cross-examination had this to say:

"I recall saying to the ACC that withdrawal was caused by both the Minister and her Deputy in the persons of Haja Afsatu Kabba and Rosaline Oyah Sankoh. Both of them summoned PW3 and PW4 in the office of the accused, that the amount was needed by State House. I said I could not recall the exact date". Page 35 lines 31 to page 36 line 3 of the Court records.

PW 3 in answer to Question 38 in his statement to the Anti-Corruption Commission said;

"I took the said money and handed it over to the then Minister Haja Afsatu Kabba at her office in the presence of the then Deputy Minister Oya Sankoh, the Permanent Secretary Mr. Paul Sandi and the Director Dr. M. B. Sesay. During the process of handing over the said money, the Minister even confirmed receipt of the Le.240,000,000 on the previous day to Honourable Oya Sankoh and to the hearing of the Director and Permanent Secretary".

Going by the Prosecutions theory, the Deputy Minister was knee deep in the conspiracy to deprive the Government of Le.310,000,000.00. What baffles the mind is the fact that the same Prosecution provided evidence of the animosity and rancor that existed between the Accused and her Deputy. The Prosecution wants this Court to believe that the Accused in her right mind could connive with possibly one of her worst enemies in Sierra Leone to perpetuate the offences in Counts 1 - 5. We submit that this is another bit of the Prosecutions case that cannot in anyway fall into the jigsaw puzzle.

PW 4 had this to say under cross-examination:

"It was not a smooth working relationship between the Minister and her Deputy. It was acrimonious to some extent. They used to have intermittent debates which did not augur well for the Ministry. They did not see eye to eye". Page 36 lines 4 to 9 of the Court records.

The question that should be asked at this juncture is who in her right mind would conspire with her enemy to commit crime, in this case to steal Le.310,000,000.00? To make the issue more ludicrous, the Prosecution is alleging that all the money went into the pockets of the Accused and none by Mrs. Rosaline Oya Sankoh. We would most respectfully urge this Court to therefore treat the entire case of the Prosecution with suspicion as it flies in the face of common sense and good reasoning.

AWARENESS TIMES WILL CONTINUE TO SERIALISE THE CLOSING ARGUMENTS...


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