Salone Judiciary ‘shines like rotten wood’
The above extract is drawn from an English poet called Sir Walter Raleigh in his poem ‘The Soul’s Errand.’ The poet lashes on the ills surrounding not only the church and potentates (leaders) but also the court which is supposed to dispense judicial matters in any given society.
Raleigh instructed the soul as the body’s guest to convey his message to the court; about its delay and effectiveness of carrying its right functions. The poet who wrote this poem on the eve of his death never hesitated to say; ‘The court glows and shines like a rotten wood’ ironically, the shines that the poet refers to provokingly means imperfectness of the court to deliver its functions. These words are not only limited to the ancient English court but can also be linked in today‘s judicial proceedings especially in one of Africa’s most corrupt countries – Sierra Leone.
We are all sensitive of the establishment of the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) which by all indications is believed to be an independent body that should be separated completely from government.
That apart, the police in Sierra Leone apparently act as ‘anti’ to the people they serve.
In essence, they are doing a disservice to the tax payers whose monies are used to enhance their salaries and well being.
Characterized by wretched corruption, the judiciary in Sierra Leone has had sequential and unremitting corruption finger pointing by especially persons seeking justice in the wells of the high, appeals, supreme and magistrate courts.
Of course, there have been instances where corruption police and judiciary officers are dragged into the wells of the high and appeal courts to answer to corruption and corruption related offences.
To this, rest reasons that the ACC have made tremendous efforts in curbing the menace of corruption in our society, but have failed owing to conducts of those who call themselves judiciary officials.
It is but compelling though that a state that is corrupt continues to accelerate in reverse gear – no room for development at all.
This brings to reflection how court officials are reportedly demanding from courts complainants and accused huge amounts of money to help them right their wrongs.
I am not even sure any of the court’s presiding officers – be they judges or magistrates, have reasons justifying their uncalled for and incessant adjournment of cases before them for judicial findings.
As a Sierra Leonean, and one who has knowledgeably feel, eat, sleep and bathe the hits of judicial corruption, it is but compelling that government uncompromisingly patch up wreckages of unwholesome conducts of old and corrupt judiciary officers thus bringing in fresh and forward looking legal practitioners as well as administrators to manage the affairs of the Sierra Leone judicial system.
By Sahid Rafiq Bangura
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