2010, Hon. Justice Samuel Ademusu read out a lengthy judgment which was immediately hidden away in some cupboard or the other at the Judiciary and all attempts to lay hands on it, has proved futile until the close of business at the Judiciary today. Only in Sierra Leone will this happen! Anyway, we hope to reproduce the Judgment verbatim for our readers soonest we can lay hands on it.
For now, suffice it to say that the main person who is a true winner after today’s judgment is His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma who scored a true positive goal for himself in his urgently needed global perception as a man who has no sacred cows in the fight against corruption. In the wake of the Mining Agreements scandal, Hotel Purchases, Airplane purchases, Indian Rice, Wanza Gunboat, etc. etc., Ernest Koroma badly needed this conviction against Afsatu Kabba. The Judiciary, true to form, did not let him down. President scored big today! Judiciary did well for you Sir. Bravo!
As for the Anti Corruption Commission under Abdul Tejan-Cole, it was today exposed in Justice Ademusu's Judgment as a bungling Commission which does not even know the contents of their own 2008 Anti-Corruption Act or its limitations as aptly revealed in the judgment concerning Counts 6 & 7. Any jubilation at the ACC is a misplaced jubilation. The reported happiness of Abdul Tejan-Cole over the BBC was more of an embarrassment to Tejan-Cole given the contents of the Judgment itself. He should have kept himself quiet in New York and waited until he read the contents of that judgment before he started to jubilate that he had been "vindicated". The Findings of Ademusu insofar as Counts 6 & Count 7 are concerned is a disgrace to Abdul Tejan-Cole, erstwhile ACC Boss and to Glenna Thompson, erstwhile ACC Chief Investigator and Prosecutor. ACC scored zero points today and should be hanging its head in shame.
Haja Afsatu Kabba who allowed herself to be misled by person(s) unknown to the extent of ignoring her lawyers’ serious advise, also scored zero points. This is a bitter lesson to Haja Afsatu Kabba and to all indicted politicians in the future! Listen to your Lawyers and not to your Political Godfather(s)!
So, really, the main winner today in that trial is President Koroma.
President Ernest Koroma = 1
Anti-Corruption Commission =0
Afsatu Olayinka Kabba = 0
Anyway, in the absence of the missing judgment in the halls of the Judiciary, here is a summary of the judgment and sentencing:
According to the Learned Honourable Judge, he was forced to find the defendant Guilty on Counts 1 to 5 not really because of the strength of the Prosecution’s case in those Counts but because the Accused did not say anything in her own defence.
Ironically, in SHARP CONTRAST, in the same breath, when it came to Counts 6 & 7, Justice Ademusu agreed that it was the Prosecution who had to prove their case beyond all reasonable doubt and went on to accept that standard of proof when, even though the Accused did not say a single word in her defence on those Counts, Ademusu totally rubbished the Anti Corruption Commission’s so-called case against Haja Afsatu Kabba in their claims that she had ‘abused her office’ in Counts 6 & 7.
Bottomline, Haja Afsatu Kabba has been found innocent and set free on Counts 6 & 7 even though she did not say a single word in her defence but ironically, she has been found guilty on Counts 1 to Count 5 largely because she did not say a single word in her defence. She should pay a fine of Le30,000,000 per count totalling Le150,000,000 and a restitution sum of Le300,000,000; giving a grand total of Le450,000,000 she should pay within the next 4 weeks or she will be sent to jail for 3 years and locked up in a prison until October 2013.
Meanwhile, we will continue to try to get the verbatim text of the signed judgment as delivered whenever it comes out from whereever it is located inside the Judiciary.
A Commentary by Dr. Sylvia Blyden will also be published in tomorrow's Wednesday 13th October edition.
God bless Sierra Leone!