OCTOBER 16, 2014 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
Justice Patrick Hamilton yesterday issued a bench warrant for the acting General Manager of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority (SLPA), Alhaji Abdul Mohamed Sesay, and Finance Officer, Crispin Cole. The order from the High Court judge came after both men failed to appear in a matter between the SLPA and some aggrieved former employees.
Some 185 former employees of the SLPA in February 2012 dragged the ports administration to the High Court alleging the latter had refused to pay the remainder of their severance benefits.
While addressing the court, Elvis Kargbo Esq., counsel for the 185 complainants, said the matter had been in court for almost two years and that nine of the litigants have died without receiving their monies from the authority.
He bemoaned the slow pace of the trial despite making several appearances; a development he blamed on solicitors representing the SLPA, whom he said have not been present in court. He added that he had made several attempts to meet with officials of the Ports Authority to push for a speedy and amicable settlement, but to no avail.
He thus applied for a bench warrant for the General Manager and Finance Officer of the SLPA.
Justice Hamilton ruled in favour of counsel for the litigants and voiced his displeasure at the delay in bringing closure to the matter.
“Let me use the direct word that I am fed up with the way the management of the Ports Authority is treating the matter. I am now going to use my powers in settling the matter,” Justice Hamilton said.
The matter continues on 20th October.