From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Afsatu Kabba
In Sierra Leone, Court to rule today on Afsatu's matter
By Mohamed Kabba & Bampia J Bundu
May 25, 2010, 19:40

Ruling on the ongoing matter of allegation of financial impropriety brought against former Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Haja Afsatu Ebishola Olayinka Kabba by the ACC will be given today by Justice Samuel Ademusu. The matter came up yesterday, Monday 24th instant at the High Court with renewed momentum.

Head counsel for the accused, Lawyer Jenkins-Johnson Snr. Esq asked the prosecution to respond to a writ which was served before court sitting. Prosecuting lawyer, Calvin Mantsebo said he intended to make an immediate preliminary objection to the application which was made in the said writ as it was the same with that made on the 19th May, 2010.The judge however, ruled that he would allow the moving of the motion and that the matter should continue.

The writ under review was in line with the ex-parte application which was made by the ACC lawyer on 19th April 2010 which motion was passed by Justice Browne Marke on 19 May 2010 that gives protection to witnesses testifying on the matter.The ACC lawyer made reference to relevant Sections of the ACC Act of 2008 which give right and power to the court to revoke decisions of an objection.In his response the lead defend counsel submitted that it was unfortunate that the ACC lawyer did not give himself more time to read and understand the motion properly.

Counsel further said that the submission made on 19th May, 2010 was to seek to set aside the order of 19th April 2010 on the grounds of irregularities in that ACC who upon appearance did not file a proper summon supported by affidavits.He furthered that the present application was made squarely with the ACC Act No. 12 of 2008.He submitted that Section 83. (2) of ACC Act No. 12 of 2008 under which the protection order was made by justice Brown Marke on 19th May 2010 has a provision, i.e security of witnesses unlike Section (6).

The counsel for the accused also submit that section 83 (2) open the door to the accuse person to come in if he/she so desires to challenge those protective measures as according to him those protective measures were inconsistent to the right of the accused person.

In his response prosecution lawyer said the application was made under Section 83 (1), not subsection (2) as stated by the counsel for the accused.He stated that subsection (1) of the ACC Act allows for party protection and not subsection (2).He therefore submitted that subsequent proceeding is referred to proceedings order than the one under review in court.

Justice Samuel Ademusu adjoined the matter for ruling today Tuesday 25th May 2010.

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