Former Chief Justice in court


February 9, 2016 By Hawa Amara

IN COURT … former Chief Justice, Valesius V. Thomas
IN COURT … former Chief Justice, Valesius V. Thomas

Former Acting Chief Justice of Sierra Leone, Valesius V. Thomas, yesterday testified against one Ibrahim Issa Kamara, who allegedly used threatening language against him, at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.1.

According to Justice Thomas, the accused called his mobile phone and referred to him as “a land grabbing lawyer and thief justice”.

Testifying before Magistrate Abu Bakarr Binneh-Kamara, retired Justice Thomas said he knew the accused and had visited him in 2007 and 2008 at his Adelaide Street shop for them to reconcile over a land dispute. He said they exchanged emails in respect of the disputed land when the accused was in the United States of America.

He added that he even spoke with lawyer for the accused, Ajibola Manley-Spaine, in an attempt to resolve the dispute amicably.

“When the attempt failed, I instructed Yada Williams and Associates to issue a writ of summon and the action was instituted in the High Court, where it was concluded in my favour on the 29th May, 2015. I received unpleasant phone calls from the accused, who challenged and abused me profusely on the phone,” alleged Justice Thomas.

He continued that on 3 June, 2015 the accused sent him an email and that in response he wrote a letter of complaint to his solicitor, Mr. Manley-Spaine, with an attachment.

He said the accused went to his office to see him but he refused to grant him audience since the court had pronounced judgment on the matter, stating that in less than ten minutes the accused sent a very abusive text message from mobile phone No. 076-640-596.

“I then wrote down the message on a piece of paper and kept a note of the message and I called a senior police officer, AIG Morie Lengor and told him what had happened,” he said.

He explained that on 2 October, 2015 three police officers came to his office and obtained a statement from him.

On 4 October, 2015, he said he received another email from the accused, which reads: ‘You said you are religious but you trample on the rights of the poor people.’

Justice Thomas could not complete his testimony after police prosecutor Sergeant 922 John Dumbuya applied for an adjournment in order to do an amendment.

The matter was adjourned until 17 February when the former Chief Justice will be expected to complete his testimony.

The accused, who is represented by Charles Francis Margai, was arraigned on seven count charges, ranging from the use of insulting language, threatening language, sending insulting writing, to calling a person by another name with intent to insult him, contrary to section 3(iv) of the Public Order Act of 1965.

According to the particulars of offence, the accused on 2 October, 2015 in Freetown used insulting language against the former Acting Chief Justice, Valesius V. Thomas to wit, ‘what a shame to you and the office of our judicial system. The story will be sad to tell.’

The prosecution also alleges that the accused on the same date used threatening language against Mr. Thomas thus, ‘your cup will surely run over. Keep watching your surroundings and shoulders.’