High court sittings yet to start in Port Loko
Port Loko, Jan. 20 (SLENA) – The desire of the Government of Sierra Leone in ensuring that Justice is dispensed without undue delay is a farfetched dream part of the country if the pattern of the proceedings in the High Court at of Port Loko Session is anything to go by.
According to SLENA’s Chief of Bureau, North, this is a two week session slated to be held on quarterly basis for the Judicial Districts of Kambia and Port Loko. But as is often the case, high court sessions commence in a clumsy manner wherein most accused persons on bail and their sureties together with witnesses are hardly mindful of the dates and times for the commencement of the court, largely because of the lack of timely notifications.
In Port Loko, it is common practice in which the Presiding Judge will travel to Port Loko and will continue to wait in vain for other court officials to arrive. Under the given circumstance most cases cannot be heard and accused persons will continue to languish in remand prisons.
The January 2014 session is no exception, said our correspondent. It will amount to the same waste of time and resources with no effective work done.
Sources say the frustrations of a young, determined and dedicated man are quite visible on the face of the Presiding Judge, Justice John Bosco Allieu. Even though he has been in Port Loko for the past several days, much has not been done apart from overseeing the conduct of roll call for Jurors, mentioning matters and subsequently having such matters adjourned for obvious reasons, including the conspicuous absence of a State Counsel.
Yusif S Koroma is the State Counsel in charge of the Northern Province and from a lay man’s point of view, he is charged with the responsibility of coordinating for a successful High Court Sessions in this part of the country. Even though sources had it that he was in the township the day before the official opening of the High Court in Port Loko last week Monday, he could only avail his presence in Court on the following Wednesday.
While in court, he sounded an equally frustrated man in his apology to the judge for absenting himself in the past days. The State Counsel said he would still not have been in attendance if it were not for his dedication to service. He attributed it to what he referred to as the lack of ‘support’, adding that he is working under very difficult conditions with not even a Secretary from the Attorney General’s office.
According to the Court Registrar, Aluseni Rogers, there are 27 cases for this session including Conspiracy, Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, Motor Manslaughter, Wounding with Intent and Murder. But as it would appear, there will be no effective court sitting this session.
Who blame for all of these? Is it the Judiciary or the Office of the Attorney General?
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