PERSONAL GLIMPSES By Winstanley R. Bankole Johnson

by Sierraeye

In the preferment of criminal indictments it is logical – even if not legal – that the ranking of the indictees/accused persons should, from the perspectives of the investigators reflect the severity of their culpability. That from the layman’s point of view can be interpreted to mean that the greater the weight of evidence against them, the higher the ranking of the accused persons or indictees. That is to say, the first accused or indictee is always either deemed to know much or bears greater culpability about the matter under investigation.

So where for example there are up to five indictees/accused persons in any matter, as listed in the ongoing matter of the New York Chancery Building involving Mr Saidu Nallo and four others, the head or principal accused from the layman’s point of view is Mr Nallo, with the severity of involvement of the remaining four others (including APC flag bearer candidate and the widely presumed winner of the June 2023 Presidential elections Dr Samura Matthew Wilson Kamara) being ranked lower as the fifth accused person.

So ordinarily throughout the Court proceedings – and no matter how protracted – such listings or ranking of the accused persons cannot – and should not – be varied without the mutual consent or authorization of the Prosecutors/Law officers’ Department and the Trial Judge.

From the legal angle I presume there are several advantages for sustaining that ranking or listing of the accused persons, ease of case reference and management not being the least. Equally so from the perspectives of the layman and family members, I dare say the lower the listing of an acquaintance in any indictment, the more comfortable about their chances for reprieve/relief.

But please don’t get me wrong because that is not always how the law works and the reverse has occasionally obtained. However, it is just that feelings have been assuaged by such lower listings of accused acquaintances.

So in the absence of any mutually official citation by the Law Officers’ Department and Presiding Judge that the listings of the indictees/accused persons in any ongoing matter has been re-arranged/changed, it could only be with mischievous – and even arguably contemptuous intents of the Court of the Honourable Mr. Justice Adrian Fisher – for the Africa Young Voices (AYV) TV, the Standard Times Newspaper and other overtly pro-SLPP tabloids/Media Houses to have been portraying Dr. Samura Kamara as the first accused, full well knowing that that is a distortion of the facts, as evidenced from the indictments preferred by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) nearly two years ago.

After all out of a total of forty-eight counts of indictments preferred by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), it is just two (2) that are applicable to Dr. Samura Kamara. So I imagine that their only reason for that is to exaggerate the case against and portray or slur the personality and reputation of Dr. Samura Kamara in such bad light and with malicious intents, because of his conspicuous leadership role within the main opposition APC Party.

Such a blatant variation of the listing of accused persons in the matter of the NY Chancery Building without the prior mutual consent of the Prosecution and approval of the Presiding Judge in my view represents a clear distortion of the facts about the accused persons to which I would urge the Defense Attorneys of Dr Samura Kamara to please draw the attention of the Honourable Judge towards so that the AYV TV, Standard Times Newspaper and such other overtly pro-establishment media houses deemed culpable can be ordered to refrain from wrongly presenting Dr Samura Kamara as the first accused person in the matter to wit: “Dr. Samura Kamara and four others in future.”

It has to be noted that even in the Notice from the High Court Registrar informing the public about the resumption of the trial, the correct listing of the accused persons read: “Mr. Saidu Nallo and four others including Dr. Samura Matthew Wilson Kamara” and NOT as is being bandied about showing Dr. Samura Kamara as “First Accused”.
I beg to differ!!

My other area of deference relates to an assertion by Dr. Sylvia O. Blyden (OOR) that his refusal to have accepted the entire June 23rd elections results as announced by the Chef Electoral Commissioner (CEC) Mohammed Konneh, reflected a betrayal of trust embedded in a pre-elections agreement midwifed by the Commonwealth Secretary-General Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland (QC). That agreement was signed by both Brig. (Rtd.) Bio and Dr. Samura Kamara committed to accept and abide by the results outcomes when announced. I hold no brief for Dr. Samura Kamara and the APC Party but I beg to differ as I think the issues at hand are by far bigger than that.

That agreement was based on a conditionality of “Ceteris Paribus” (All things being equal) but which sadly the incumbent SLPP, using key state organs (the Political Parties Regulation Commission, Security Sector and ECSL) brazenly breached throughout the electioneering processes, thus implicitly also breaching it from the get-go. But I have chosen to be very circumspect in my presentation because it would appear supporters of this government are now deliberately igniting endless conversations on it at every opportunity as if to oxygenate and validate their stolen mandate.

The defectiveness of that stolen mandate can only be regularized by the ECSL publishing the correct results as reflected in the RRFs of all the Accredited Observers, and not with an effluxion of time.

The fact of the matter here is that the APC Party has taken a position on those election results and until time and circumstances restore the genuine, I stand by it.

In the eyes of the SLPP, the CEC Mohammed Konneh would seem to have performed creditably. It only remains for him to now comply with the simple demands of the APC Party and the International Community of Elections Observer Missions comprising the EU, USA, UK, Germany, Ireland, France, the NEW, ECOWAS and AU as we all anxiously await completion of the simplest of his constitutional mandate which is the production of the disaggregated results for the last elections –Polling Station by Poling Station – countrywide.

The world is interested to know how the SLPP managed to have clinched so many seats that gave them a majority of Members of Parliamentary – more particularly so how the scooped seats in Port Loko District (4 seats), Western Urban Area (7 MP seats) and Western Rural Area (5 MP seats), whilst the APC was not able to clinch even a single MP seat in Bo, Kenema, Kailahun and Pujehun.

That will be an interesting learning curve!!

As the “Peoples’ Honourable” Abdul Karim Kamara has asserted peace and stability of Sierra Leone going forward lay in the hands of one being: Mohammed Kennwui Konneh, Not the APC.

My final word of advice would go to the International Community of Elections Observer Missions comprising the EU, USA, UK, Germany, Ireland, France, ECOWAS and AU-: The “promptness” or “deadline” against which you all have demanded and are awaiting those disaggregated results have not been defined, nor have any indications of what sanctions a failure of compliance by the ECSL would result in. Suffice it to say that if all of you do not act towards a resolution of our volatile political impasse within a reasonable timeline, then you all might as well forget about moving anywhere else into Africa to observe or conduct any future elections.

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