July 8, 2021
By Ibrahim Alhassan Sesay, Information Officer, OAGMOJ
The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Anthony Yeiwoh Brewah, has on the 6th July, 2021, clocked one year since he was sworn-in into office after he was appointed to the position by President Julius Maada Bio, to promote access to justice nationwide.
Highlighting his first year achievements as Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Anthony Y Brewah expressed his gratitude to God Almighty for His guidance, President Bio for entrusting him the position to serve in such capacity, the Deputy Minister and all Staff of the Ministry for their endless support.
He stated that he inherited a ministry that needed personnel to ease the brain of Legal Services, and that he has been working in collaboration with the Chief Justice in the area of Criminal Justice to extend both Judicial and Legal Services to areas that are hard to reach.
“The goal is to make justice available at the door-steps of everyone in Sierra Leone,” he said.
He revealed that the division of Public Prosecution of the Ministry has filed a total of one thousand six hundred and fifty-two (1,652) indictments in the High Court nationwide, with seven hundred and thirty-seven (737) in the Western Area, three hundred and eleven (311) in the Eastern Region, two hundred and ninety (290) in the Southern Region, and three hundred and fourteen (314) in the Northern Region.
He furthered that there have been a total of six hundred and fifty-nine (659) indictments for Sexual Offences filed to the High Court nationwide, with two hundred and forty-two (242) in the Western Area, one hundred and forty-three (143) in the Eastern Region, one hundred and fifty-three (153) in the Southern Region and one hundred and twelve (112) in the Northern Region.
He Disclosed that there have been two hundred and eighty-four (284) convictions so far, with the latest being The State versus Joseph Lamin, where the Accused Joseph Lamin has been sentenced to life imprisonment by Justice Momoh-Jah Stevens, because of the aggravating circumstances.
The Attorney-General continued that seven (7) matters relating to human Trafficking has been filed in the High Court, adding that a total of one thousand two hundred and eighty-nine (1,289) legal advices has been given to the police, and one thousand seven hundred and fourteen (1,714) Family Support Unit (FSU) were advised.
He further explained that the Parliamentary Division has seventeen Acts passed from July 2020 to date among which are the Independent Media Commission Act 2020, Public Order (Amendment) Act 2020 and the Finance Act 2020, and twenty-seven Statutory Instruments laid in Parliament that have matured.
“The Office of the Attorney-General and the Ministry of Justice is charged with the implementation of the Commission of Inquiry White Paper as well as defending the Government in the Appeals filed by Affected Persons in the Court of Appeal, which the Civil and Commercial division of the Ministry has been handling” he noted.
Legal representation in judicial proceedings in respect of one hundred and ten Notices of Appeal from various Appellants in respect of the Findings in the Reports of the Commission of Inquiry has also been provided.
He allured the division for representing the Government of Sierra Leone in the negotiation of the ongoing arbitration proceedings in 2019 regarding mining licence at the International Chamber of Commerce involving the sum one billion, eight hundred million United State dollars. “Myself and colleague Ministers are in the process of negotiating a settlement agreement of alleged damages in the sum of one billion, eight hundred million dollars, thereby saving the Government economic loss and liability.”
He pinpointed that the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice has developed it Service Charter awaiting deployment in key areas nationwide to inform stakeholders/clients about the services it rendering.
He concluded that there is work ongoing on a National Action Plan that will give a clear pathway on how to amend certain old laws, as a fruitful discussion has taken place with the Network of African National Human Rights Institution on the decriminalization of petty offences in Sierra Leone.