The Attorney General and Minister of Justice Hon. Franklyn Bai Kargbo has kept the press abreast with developments in his Ministry noting the tremendous effort the Ministry is making, under the current ruling All People’s Congress led government, in standardizing the justice system in the country with a view to improving access to justice.
Hon. Kargbo was speaking whilst address the weekly Press Conference of the Ministry of Information and Communications on Thursday 6th August, 2015 at the Conference Room of the Ministry.
He said his Ministry has identified key priorities intended to access justice easily in order to ensure fast improvement in the justice delivery system. He further said that the Legal Aid Board has also been established not only to expedite the delivery of justice but to also ensure that justice is accessible by providing legal support to those who could not afford the cost for a legal service.
|AG Frank Kargbo flanked by Deputy Justice Minister Aro Bockarie and Ajibu Jalloh
He said the Law Officers Department in his Ministry is equipped with 46 professionals who are determined to carry out their duties in supporting Government in its drive to enhance the justice system in the country by way of providing the legal framework.
He disclosed that they have cleared a huge number of indictment files noting that backlog files between January and July that were cleared for Freetown is 238, Kenema 214, Makeni 109, Kono 48, Port Loko 25 and Moyamba 36, whilst they are also preparing 135 indictment files to be cleared.
The minister also stated that they are working on drafting legal framework that will determine the terms and conditions for bail noting that they intend to standardize the bail policy so that bail will not only be left to the discretions of the bench.
Commenting on the extension of the State of Public Health of emergency, Hon. Franklyn B Kargbo said Government’s wish is to extend the Public Health of State of Emergency in order to give Government the free hand to effectively enforce the laws regarding the fight against the ebola virus. He noted that 500 people are currently quarantined in the Tonkolili District whilst over 90 of them are considered to be high risk persons because they may have directly contacted an ebola infected persons. He stated that the President is the only who has the right to declare a State of Emergency and will soon address the state on that.
Representing the Inspector General of Police, AIG Al Shek Kamara assured the press that the Police is doing its work effectively as effective measures have been put in place to ensure that the security of the state is maintained.
The Deputy Government Spokesman, Ajibu Jalloh who chaired the press meet, reiterated that Government will do what is right to ensure that the virus is eliminated so that Sierra Leoneans will be free from the looming ebola threat and return to their normal lifestyles.
Updating the press on Government activities of the week, the National Publicity and Outreach Coordinator in the Office of the Government Spokesman said Justice was dispensed with regards to the recent acquittal of the soldiers who were accused of mutiny.
Meanwhile, many citizens have told this press that the acquittal of the soldiers is a clear manifestation of the independence exhibited in dispensation of justice in Sierra Leone.
“This is progress. It enhances the country’s democracy that President Obama recently praised. The acquittals exude strong signals of clear independence of the Judiciary from the Executive arm of government,” said Dr. Browning Kamara, a college lecturer in Freetown.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.