Judiciary of Sierra Leone Communications, Njaluahun Chiefdom, Segbwema Town, Kailahun District, 20th November, 2022: Sierra Leone’s Deputy Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Hon. Sarjoh Aziz-Kamara has in his commendation told the people of Kailahun District that, “we should profoundly thank the Honourable Chief Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards for fast tracking the Government’s promise to the People, to ensure increased access to justice.”
He was speaking as the Guest Speaker at the Community Center in Taiama, Segbwema town.
See full speech below
Your Lordship Hon. Justice Monfred Sesay (Rep Hon CJ, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards)
Your Lordship Hon. Justice Francis Banks-Kamara- the Resident Judge
Your Worship Resident District Magistrate
Members of the Bar
Senior Adviser to the President & Ambassador-at-large – JOB
Hon. Members of Parliament
Kailahun District Council Chairman
Kenema District Council Chairman
Paramount Chief & Speaker of Njaluahun
LUC Sierra Leone Police
Respected stakeholders of Njaluahun
CSO & Members of the Fourth Estate
Distinguished Ladies & Gentlemen
GOOD afternoon, Today is a great day
- It is a great honour and privilege to be at this historic event today, a day we will never forget. This special High court criminal session held in Segbwema is a testimony to the fact that Government has not forgotten us. The Judiciary’s effort to bring justice right at our doorstep will ensure that our people have quick access to the court system, significantly the highest court of Sierra Leone. About 14 cases will be dealt with during the current session. What we are witnessing here today is also experienced in other parts of the country, as part of the Government’s commitment to fulfil a core Manifesto promise to advance Rule of Law, promote justice, human rights and strengthen the justice delivery system. Together, we should profoundly thank the Honourable Chief Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards for fast tracking the Government’s promise to the People, to ensure increased access to justice.
- Of course, our utmost gratitude is to the President Rtd. Brig. Dr. Julius Maada Bio for speedily accomplishing his Manifesto commitment to the people of Sierra Leone and making sure Segbwema , Njaluahun is not left out of the equation. Under the SLPP Government and the visionary leadership of our Tok N Do President Bio, it is worthy to note that more than ever before in this country, we are benefitting from a fair, impartial and effective justice system consistent with international standards and best practices. With the High Court in Segbwema, we can be assured of quick access, fairness and speedy trial of cases. The Government has made marked gains in promoting access to justice, to mention a few – All the 16 districts have Resident Judges, decentralization of the courts system (magistrate and High court is indeed at work); new courts have been established consistent with the law, such as the Anti-corruption court, Social Security Court and Sexual Offences Model Court, to name but a few. To this effect, we continue to see much progress in reduction of pre-trial detention (i.e. time taken in custody before trial/court appearance) and promotion of the Rule of Law. The net-effect of this is increased public trust and confidence and international acclamation.
- The establishment of courts across the country to promote access to justice requires staffing (including judges, magistrates, lawyers, administrative staff etc.). Government has ensured we have more judges, magistrates and lawyers including creating space for women. This Government has more women judges than ever before, including at the International Criminal Court of Justice. Njaluahun has not been left out in contributing to this process. I am proud to recognize our elder brother, your son (Justice Monfred Sesay, Magistrate Gogra, Augustine Sheku etc). We also have many lawyers from Njaluahun (SJ Brima, Braima Musa, I.K. Foday (Jnr), Abdulai Bangura- Legal B, Wallace Faley). Every year we produce lawyers ( Owen, Hawa, etc). There are some in training and many more aspiring to be lawyers). In our little way, we are contributing to promoting access to justice, human rights and freedom. Commend Elkass Sannoh, Judiciary’s Communications Director – (Elaborate).
- Mention Government’s commitment to Human Capital Development ( FQSE, success at WASSCE, new universities, Students Loan Scheme); International recognition – H.E. Co-Chair HLSC). Talk about TVET. STEAM Education – Need more doctors. Encourage students to take advantage of the opportunities. Thank the teachers. Implore parents to support their children to have utmost benefit, Caution the teachers – that FQSE is free to ease burden on parents. Stop applying unnecessary extra charges. We need more doctors, more teachers…….Best Teachers Award- Gbetuwa
- Caution youths on drugs and disorderly behavior. Note the consequences for correctional measures. Kush crisis is damaging future of our youths. Be law abiding….
- End by thanking the Chiefdom authorities and people of Njaluahun, police for support during the VR. Appeal for their massive support for 2023 no run-off. Appeal for unity and cooperation and maintain law and order. Note that because we have High Court is not time to start of with litigations, seek Alternate Dispute Resolution before resort to the courts.
- Assure the Judiciary of the support of the people.
End by wishing all the best.
STATEMENT AT OPENING OF HIGH COURT SESSION IN SEGBWEMA
MONDAY 7th NOVEMBER 2022
BY HON. SARJOH AZIZ-KAMARA- DEPUTY MINISTER OF TECHNICAL AND HIGHER EDUCATION