From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Dr. Sylvia Blyden Makes Another Call For President Koroma to be asked to Uphold Doctrine of Separation of Powers
May 31, 2010, 12:36

Dr. Sylvia Blyden Makes Another Call For President Koroma to be asked to Uphold Doctrine of Separation of Powers

Friday May 28th 2010


Your Press Release on the Free Health Care System was very well written, thoughtful and very timely... An excellent Press Release on an important contemporary issue.

BUT!, as lawyers, you probably ‘forgot’(SMILE) to also include therein a call or advise for the Executive arm of Government not to make arbitrary announcements saying it had been ‘decreed’ that any suspect caught selling free health care drugs would not be granted bail by the Judiciary. The last time I checked, only murder and treason were non-bailable and the Judiciary was supposed to be independent of the Executive with each case brought in front of it being individually handled according to the discretion of the Magistrate/Judge. For President Koroma to assertively state last week in Makeni that the Judiciary will not grant bail to such suspects caught selling free drugs, is a mockery of our constitution and of all of us citizens. It is also a little frightening to hear our President make such Policy Statements about the operational policies of our Judiciary.

When we overlook some of these seemingly small trespasses on our ‘separation of powers’, we strengthen those who prefer that we should live in a non-democratic and dictatorial setting. If we are in the good books of the Government of the Day, we might believe we are insulated from ever having our rights trespassed upon but like Haja Afsatu Kabba is painfully finding out today, it is fine to stay silent in the face of such abuses but only for as long as we are not affected. Who knows when the tables might turn and we need our constitutional rights to be respected... At that time, if we had not inculcated a strong culture of speaking out when necessary even at ‘trivial’ abuses, who will speak out for us when no such culture of condemning abuses has been established...?

All the same, the thrust of your message is good. Very good and we will ensure it is published in Awareness Times for wide dissemination nationwide.

All the best and as always, I am proud of my female L.A.W.Y.E.R.S.

Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden.

(Publisher of Awareness Times Newspaper)

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