By Ibrahim Kabba Turay
The 2018 flagbearer of the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC), Dr. Samura Matthew Wilson Kamara’s Lawyer, Joseph F Kamara, has informed the Freetown High Court presided by Justice Adrian Fisher that, they would seek redress in the Supreme Court for constitutional interpretation of a ruling given by the High Court.
Earlier, the prosecution had submitted that the 6th person, Jules Sanders Davis, be tried in absentia, but the defense counsel argued that the said decision should be taken in the presence of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
During the proceeding, Lawyer Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, representing Dr. Samura Kamara, argued that there was no document before the court suggesting that the 6th accused, Jules Sanders Davis, who is out of the jurisdiction and not a Sierra Leonean, should be tried in absentia.
The defense counsel had also applied that the indictment against the 4th accused person,Dr.Samura Kamara, be squashed on the grounds that the indictment from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) was defective as per procedure of Section 124 of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.
In his ruling, Justice Fisher dismissed the defense’s application to squash the indictment against Dr.Samura Kamara and upheld the application of the prosecution to try the 6th accused person in absentia, on the grounds that the defense didn’t show any reason as to why the 6th accused should not be tried in absentia.
After the ruling, Joseph F. Kamara representing the 4th accused person informed the court that the ruling has a lot of constitutional interpretations which the court hadn’t the mandate to do.
He submitted that the judge in his very own words accepted that there was conflict, but still went ahead and interpreted Section 124 of the 1991 Constitution, arguing that the judge hadn’t the mandate to interpret any constitutional provision.
He further submitted that the defense believes that Sections 51 & 41 affected the indictment. .
He further submitted that the judge does not have any single power to interpret the constitution, and that according to Section 124 of the Sierra Leone constitution; only the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone has the mandate to do so.
He charged that the judge should have advised himself not interpret the constitution.
He submitted that the bench should lead them into the process that will take them to the Supreme Court, and that the Supreme Court would determine whether the judge has powers to interpret the constitution.
He noted that no harm will be done to the prosecution’s case, should they appear before the Supreme Court for clarity.
It will be recalled that Justice Adrian Fisher granted the sate counsel’s application for the accused persons to be tried by judge alone and the defense didn’t object to the application.