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The Palm Fronds are not yet dry – I hope

The Palm Fronds are not yet dry – I hope

I must confess that my experience in agriculture is limited to the grocery store and the dinning table.  So, when I wanted to learn more about reviving a long time neglected palm tree plantation, I had to consult the experts. The experts in this case were not from N’jala University. They were the very experts who had either participated in the planting of the palm trees or their experience in farming cannot be taught in the even renowned agricultural institution I have mentioned. To revive the farm so that the palm tree can produce “juicy fruits”, they advised that set the whole farm ablaze.

Just a few days ago the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone turned the fire that Bu-Buakei Jabbie has set on the Palm Tree party into an inferno. Press reports state that Bu –Buakei Jabbie left the Supreme Court under “heavy security” escort.  I am sure the security was provided to save Bu-Buakei from the angry SLPP supporters whom the reports say uttered unprintable words against him.

Like the Torkpoi party organization, Americans woke up this morning in frenzy over our Supreme Court ruling in a freedom of speech case. Mr. Snyder, father of a dead US marine had earlier sued a small vocal church in Kansas for the emotional pain they caused him and his family by showing up at his dead marine son’s funeral with placards reading  “Thank God for dead soldiers, Thank God for 911” God hates Fags. ” The dead marine was not a homosexual.

The Supreme Court in an 8-1 majority ruled that the mocking protests at the funeral must yield to the First Amendment protection of Free speech.

“Speech”, chief Justice Roberts wrote in the majority opinion, “is powerful.  It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow …“   The lone dissenting voice on the bench, Justice Alito however believed that “our profound national commitment to free speech and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case.”

You may be tempted to ask what this ruling has to do with the Jabbie vs, the SLPP ruling by the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone.  Like Mr. Snyder, Dr. Jabbie felt his free speech was muzzled by the very people he had sacrificed so much for. The other party felt, he does not even have the right to question about his free speech. In other words his party believed he should not be accorded free speech, hence their argument of “No Locus Standi” Second, the ruling in both cases was in favor of the minority. But in the case of Mr. Snyder his lawyers never went berserk pronouncing before the Supreme Court like the SLPP lawyers did, that they will no longer participate in the case, because the Supreme Court had ruled in a case before in which the privacy of an individual was upheld. Instead both the plaintiff and his lawyers swore to continue to fight against this ruling to be overturned. And yes, the court can overrule itself.

This is a case that in the long run will not only be for  the Torkpoi party.  It hinges on the soul of our fledging democracy. What an injustice will the SLPP be doing to the nation they want to rule if they just get angry because the battle is lost and run away from the real war. I am appalled at the party’s stand on this ruling.

I understand the lawyers’ frustration. There is no joy in losing.  But to go on accusing the Supreme Court of rendering a political and not a judicial opinion in this case is “unlawyerly” especially in the environment we find ourselves today. The SLPP and her lawyers must listen to the advice of the Kinie Puawuii and the Awareness Times.  I have not the read the ruling in detail, but if the Torkpoi is set afire by this ruling, the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone might have done them a favor by letting them have a juicy fruit from the palm tree when the smoke should have settled. If the SLPP leadership and their lawyers’ knowledge of the Palm Tree is as limited as mine, they must consult the Torkpoi experts in my beloved Wonde-Gboyama.

Cillaty Daboh

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