From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Judiciary has been Unfair to Donors & Public
By
Aug 17, 2010, 17:16

The Judiciary has confessed that its age-old policy of being conservative and shying away from directly engaging the media and members of the public with regards developments within the corridors of Justice, has been detrimental to the image of the institution. This was stated by the Consultant Master & Registrar of the High Court Julia Sarkodie-Mensah during a two-hour long interactive session held with journalists in Freetown yesterday August 16th 2010.

 

According to Sarkodie-Mensah, the Judiciary, by age-old custom, “has been operated in a very conservative environment” which had made it “hesitant to publicise its developmental activities”.


“We have to always be careful in how we engage the media so we do not get to be misquoted; as a result we have kept silent in the face of a lot of adverse publicity but in the process, we have now realised that we have not been fair to the Public nor to our Donor Partners and even to ourselves as an institution because no-one knows all the positive developments that have been happening,” Sarkodie-Mensah said adding, “This is now going to change. We are going to be more open with members of the press”. She was however quick to inform that whilst other members of the administrative staff will henceforth be open and hold regular dialogue with the Fourth Estate, the Honourable Chief Justice Tejan-Jalloh will never grant a direct interview to any member of the Press.


Speaking also at the session which was held in the Judiciary’s Conference Room was the Master of the High Court, Elwyn Bailor who decried recent adverse media reports against the Judiciary. Bailor took his time to assert that there was no problem between himself and Sarkodie-Mensah contrary to recent news reports. Infact, it was Master Bailor who strenuously denounced a certain tabloid that has been repeatedly publishing malicious articles against Sarkodie-Mensah including a false allegation that a Mercedes Benz car belonging to the Judiciary had been taken by Sarkodie-Mensah and illegally shipped to her native country of Ghana.


High Court Master Elwyn Bailor poses next to the Judiciary’s Mercedes Benz with number ACN022 that was repeatedly reported upon in a local tabloid, as having been stolen & shipped to Ghana by Consultant Master & Registrar Julia Sarkodie-Mensah. It was a big black lie but the Judiciary had never bothered to debunk it.

“Poor Mrs. Sarkodie-Mensah has been vilified all this time by that tabloid for no just cause. She does not deserve this calumny. The vehicle is parked downstairs right in the open next to the garage near the prisoners’ holding cells,” Elwyn Bailor stated.

 

For her part, Julia Sarkodie-Mensah had said, “I do not even know how to ship an item out of Sierra Leone. I have never shipped out of this country”.


At the end of the interactive session, Bailor took journalists down to the open garage where the vehicle was displayed.


Awareness Times will cover the Judiciary this entire week in a special series starting with the first article on the Judiciary’s various Bank Accounts; how they were opened, when they were opened and how they are being operated. Please stay tuned.



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