Judiciary of Sierra Leone Communications, Nongowa Chiefdom, Kenema Male Correctional Centre, 18th November, 2022: Sierra Leone’s Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards on Monday, 14th November, 2022 deployed Supreme Court Judge, Hon. Justice Alusine Sesay in Kenema and Court of Appeal Judge, Hon. Justice Monfred Sesay in Magburuka to look into one hundred sixty cases (160) during the three days of Judicial Week supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
In the photo are some of the released inmates persons who granted permission for their picture to be on our website.
Judicial Week aims to increase access to justice and further decongest correctional centers across the country. During this exercise at the Kenema correctional center, Magburuka correctional center and Mafanta correctional center, inmates or accused persons or some convicted persons had the opportunity to be heard and have their cases to be reviewed through prolonged adjournments, bail variation, bail application and summary review.
In Kenema, Justice Alusine Sesay released Christiana Kallon, a suckling Mother who recently gave birth at the Kenema Female Correctional Centre whilst in detention.
Accused Christiana was detained at the Female Correctional Centre in Kenema while pregnant with her husband, who is currently being detained at the Male Correctional Center in Kenema. Both accused persons were detained on the 6th April, 2022.
After a thorough and careful examination of the case, Justice Alusine Sesay ordered that the 7-month-old suckling Mother who gave birth to a baby girl at the Female Correctional Centre be released immediately.
“I shall take into consideration the provision in the Statutory Instrument No. 5 of 2018 by granting bail to the 3rd accused,” Justice Sesay ordered, adding that “the 3rd accused (Christiana) is granted bail in the sum of ten thousand Leones and two sureties each in like sum. Sureties to be approved by the Court.”
The Supreme Court Judge also took into consideration the baby’s human rights and the negative implication it would have on her growing up at the Correctional Centre.
In a similar development, 17-year-old Umaru Bah, popularly known as Sparta from Manowa Peje Bongay, Kailahun District, informed the Court that, “I was detained for fifteen (15) months at the Kenema Male Correctional Center for stealing two thousand Leones (old notes) Bread.”
According to him, he was never convicted but was still on trial.
“The Magistrate didn’t give me an audience, but today the Judge gave me an audience to explain my side,” he said in tears, whilst thanking the Hon. Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards, for fighting what he called “injustice” to review their cases.
Lucy Bockarie, who was refused bail for over five months, was also granted bail by Supreme Court Judge, Hon. Justice Alusine Sesay.
Desmond Luke was sentenced to one year or pay a fine of one Million Leones old notes and was acquitted and discharged. Desmond is a tailor and was given One Hundred Thousand Leones old notes by one Ibrahim Kamara, who later instituted legal action against him for failing to sew his clothes or refund his money. He said during his first appearance before the Magistrate’s Court, he admitted to the offence and was sentenced to one year or pay a fine.
In his address, Supreme Court Judge, Hon. Justice Alusine Sesay said the administration of justice is fundamental to the operations of the Judiciary, stressing that the essence of the Judicial Week is to enhance access to justice.
Umar Bah, Desmond Luke, Mustapha Saidu, Lucy Bockarie and Kadiatu Bockarie were among those given transport fares to their respective places to reunite with their families and loved ones. They prayed for the Hon. Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards for his support.
Lucy Bockarie described Chief Justice Edwards as a true servant of God, whilst Desmond Luke called him a “Saviour of Humanity.”
At the Mafanata Correctional Centre, twelve cases were assigned of which ten accused were released immediately, seven convictions upheld, and one referral was made to the Mental Home. At the Magburaka Correctional Centre, twenty-two cases were reviewed. At the end of the exercise, twelve were released and discharged immediately, five convictions of the Lower Court’s decision were upheld, two sentences were reduced, and two sentences that had already been served but still serving at the correctional center were released on the order of the Court.
At the Kenema correctional center, a total of one hundred and seventeen cases were presided over by Justice Alusine Sesay. Five out of the one hundred and seventeen inmates were female, and one hundred and nine fell within the category of youths. In Kenema town, Daru and Segbwema, 90% of the accused persons are youths ranging from 18 to 35 years.
A total of thirty prolonged adjourned cases were reviewed. Eighteen inmates were without indictment, and sixty-nine were cases for review of sentencing.
Ten accused persons were granted bail, and ten accused persons were cautioned and discharged. Twenty-four sentences were reviewed. Two children were also found incarcerated, and the Judge ordered that they be referred to a detention facility for children. Justice Alusine Sesay gave twelve Orders for the Magistrate to commence speedy trials. Also, seventeen Orders were granted for the State Counsel to prepare and serve indictments to all accused persons before the opening of the 2022 November Criminal Session.
Click on the download button below to download the tabular analysis of cases during the Judicial Week.
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