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JENKINS-JOHNSTON and CO. BARRISTERS, SOLICITORS, COMMISSIONER FOR OATHS AND NOTARY PUBLIC
May 11, 2010, 17:04
JENKINS-JOHNSTON and CO.
BARRISTERS, SOLICITORS, COMMISSIONER FOR OATHS AND NOTARY PUBLIC
AYOTUNDE CHAMBERS, 4 PERCIVAL STREET, P.O. BOX 1164, FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE.
Telephones: (Chambers): 223626 (Res): 233005 Mobile: 076-601-298 / 033-345-679 / 033-317-916
Fax: 224439 E-mail: email@example.com
J. B. JENKINS-JOHNSTON ESQ.
MRS. OCEANNA I. M. F. GEORGE
MISS RHODA M. F. SUFIAN-KARGBO
LEON JENKINS-JOHNSTON ESQ.
BABATUNDE D. R. PRATT ESQ. [Associate]
Date: 6thĀMay 2010.
The Master and Registrar,
Law Courts Building,
Re:ĀIN THE HIGH COURT OF SIERRA LEONETHE STATE
AFSATU OLAYINKA EBISHOLA KABBA
We act for and on behalf of Haja Afsatu Kabba, the Accused person in the above matter, which came up for hearing yesterday Wednesday 5thĀMay 2010, before Hon. Justice S. A. Ademosu, J.A.
As you are aware, Section 23 (3) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act No.6 of 1991 clearly provides that, "....All proceedings of every Court and proceedings relating to the determination of the existence or the extent of civil rights or obligations before any Court or other authority, including the announcement of the decision of the Court or other authority SHALL BE HELD IN PUBLIC...."
We are sure also that you are aware of Section 171(15) of the Constitution which states that the Constitution shall be the supreme law of Sierra Leone.
Bearing the above in mind, we were very surprised at the fact that the Law Courts Building in general, and the High Court No.1 in particular, were made almost totally inaccessible to the general public yesterday 5thĀMay 2010, considering that the trial of our Client was being held in the said High Court No.1. We observed an overwhelming presence of Riot Police both outside and within the building, who made it very difficult for even lawyers to enter the building, and members of the Public were prohibited from entering the building. We do not know what the reason was for this, but the result was that an atmosphere of tension and anxiety was created, and by the time the case was called only about 20 percent of the seats in the Public Gallery were occupied.
Before the trial was adjourned, the issue was raised by me before The Learned Trial Judge Hon. Justice S.A. Ademosu. J.A., but His Lordship advised that the matter be directed to the Court Administration and the Police, to ensure that the Court be made accessible to the Public in future.
It is therefore hoped that in future proper arrangement will be made so that the constitutional requirement for the trial to be held in public will be fully satisfied. We also hope that the intimidating atmosphere around and within the Law Courts Building prevailing yesterday, will not be there when the matter comes up in future.
C.C. (1) The Hon. Chief Justice,
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Law Courts Building, Freetown.
C.C. (2)Ā The Inspector-General of Police,
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Police Headquarters, George Street, Freetown.
C.C. (3)ĀThe A.I.G..¬†
¬†¬†¬† In-charge of OSD Headquarters, Brookfields,¬†¬† Freetown.
C.C. (4)ĀThe Commissioner,
¬†¬†¬†¬† Anti-Corruption Commission, Gloucester Street, Freetown.
C.C. (5) The Minister of Internal Affairs,
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Youyi Building, Brookfields, Freetown.
C.C.(6) Haja Afsatu Kabba.
¬© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.