As Chericoco exhibits leadership in Parliament KKY, Others Sell Out
Leader of the National Grand Coalition (NGC) party in Parliament, Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella has once again manifested his unworthiness as a trusted representative of his people, by outrightly voting to support the confirmation of two presidential nominees as judges to serve in the Courts of Appeal of Sierra Leone well against the dictates of the National Constitution. The NGC Party Leader in Parliament is one of those who called for greater reforms and turnaround in Sierra Leone’s judiciary. Although his message in the Well of Parliament last Thursday sounds like a mere campaign to promote his political anticipation, it turned to be a comedy show after his political party was tagged as the ‘Gbassay’ in the country’s political landscape. Hon. KKY as he is normally called blamed the APC and SLPP Political Parties, which he referred to ‘Alhassan and Alusine’ for the current challenges faced in the judiciary. “There is an institutional failure in the judiciary,” he said and added that there are problems that require a systematic solution in the judiciary. “Our judiciary lacks resources and personnel that have led to a good number of backlog cases,” he said and furthered that the judiciary requires serious reforms and it should be provided with enough finance and personnel. The NGC Leader called for the judiciary to be depoliticized to make it impartial.
This statement came at the approval of eight Presidential Nominees, including three Justices that were promoted to the Courts of Appeal but were rejected by the main Opposition APC Party in Parliament for not meeting the required qualifications to assume such an enviable position.
Two Appeals Court Judges, Justices Komba Kamanda and Alhaji Momoja Stevens had several issues, which perhaps the ruling SLPP Members of Parliament did not check well before recommend then for approval. Although APC Members of Parliament did not see the occasion as a fight-back opportunity and never made reference to the recent cases in court, they, however, brought to the attention of parliament and the public that the two Justices are not qualified to attain such a public office.
“We have gone through the records of the roll of court register and did not find the name of Justice Momoja Stevens,” says the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Chernor R.M. Bah and added that Justice Kamanda will be qualified on 2nd February 2021. “We should respect the laws we make in Parliament,” he noted and furthered that these are new facts discovered by the opposition party Members of Parliament despite the fact that they were made Judges by the previous regime.
The Leader of the Opposition praised Justice Fatmata Bintu Aladi who she described as excellent in doing her job, competent, capable, and impartial and fit enough to sit in the Courts of Appeal.
Hon. Bah was able to establish that Justice Aladi is 158 and Justice Komba Kamanda is 172 on the Roll of Court Register. The former signed the register on 12th January 2005. quoted Section 12 (1) and (2) of the Legal Practitioners Act of 2000 “(1) Subject to the Act, any person who wishes to be admitted to practice law in Sierra Leone shall make a written application to the Council in that behalf. (2) An application under subsection (1) shall be accompanied by- (a) two credentials of good character sufficient to satisfy the Council; (b) copies of certificates testifying that the applicant holds the qualification specified in Section 10, and (c) a certificate that he has served the period of pupilage applicable to him.” Section 10 (b) of the Act stated thus: “he has passed the appropriate professional examination conducted by the Council of Legal Education and served a period of pupilage of not less than twelve months with a legal practitioner of at least ten years standing in Sierra Leone.”
The APC Leader of Parliament also quoted Section 135 (4) of the 1991 Constitution, which stated thus: “For the purposes of subsection (3), a person shall be regarded as entitled to practice as Counsel if he has been called, enrolled or otherwise admitted as such and has not subsequently been disbarred or removed from the Roll of Counsel or Legal Practitioners.”
In spite of these facts presented, Hon. KKY’s NGC party, Members of the C4C Party, and Paramount Chief Members of Parliament joined the SLPP MPs by standing up to affirm their vote in favor of the approval of the two Justices.
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