Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 January 2016
“Justice delayed is justice denied”, says supporters calling for the immediate and unconditional release of opposition presidential hopeful – Alie Kabba, who has been charged by the Koroma government with bigamy, despite protesting his innocence. (Photo: Alie Kabba meeting youths in Lumley, west of Freetown, yesterday).
Alie has made several appearances in court, where efforts of his lawyers are being frustrated by a politically compromised magistrate. It is becoming glaringly obvious that the government is not interested in the evidence put forward by Alie, to refute the allegation.
Since declaring his interest in contesting the country’s presidential election taking place in 2017/2018, Alie Kabba has not relented in his criticism of the Koroma government’s failed policies that are seriously hurting the people of Sierra Leone.
Critics of the government say that the charge of bigamy against Kabba is nothing other than a politically motivated and concerted campaign to silence Kabba.
Legal experts are surprised at the length of time the court in Sierra Leone is taking to bring the case to an end, despite documentary evidence suggesting that Kabba was a divorcee, when he married the local government minister – Ms. Diana Konomanyi.
Kabba has so far made three appearances at the magistrate court in Freetown, presided by magistrate Mohamed Seray Wurie, who many are accusing of pandering to the wishes of his political masters in the Koroma government.
Petitioners calling for Alie’s release have issued this statement:
“Since his politically-motivated arrest and detention on December 23, 2015, by President Ernest Bai Koroma and his APC government, the case involving Dr. Alie Kabba continues to drag on, with day after day of political scheming.
“The APC government has no case against Dr. Kabba. But to stop him from returning to the United States, they continue to postpone the case even as evidence of a political witch hunt mounts.
“The APC-controlled magistrate has now postponed the case three times, last Friday being the latest. Dr. Kabba returns to court again on Wednesday, January 20, 2016.
“We must continue to demand Dr. Kabba’s release and hold President Koroma accountable for the perversion of justice in Sierra Leone, and are calling on the government of Sierra Leone to ensure the unconditional release of Alie Kabba today.”
Also, a group calling itself ‘The 99%’ are also calling for justice. They are demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Alie Kabba, who they say is a political prisoner of conscience in Freetown.
The group told the Sierra Leone Telegraph that they are planning to stage street protests in the USA and London in the coming days.
This is their statement released to the Sierra Leone Telegraph this afternoon, in advance of Alie Kabba reappearing in court on Wednesday:
“The people of Sierra Leone, on whose behalf and interest Alie Kabba has always spoken passionately, have come to the realisation that this so called ‘bigamy’ law suit is a political gimmick, aimed at subduing and intimidating Alie Kabba, with the sole intention of cowering him.
“We are once again witnessing a justice system that is being manipulated by the executive arm of government, just as was the case in the unconstitutional sacking of the country’s vice president by president Koroma with the blessings of the judiciary. This was a blatant violation of the people’s constitution, but yet upheld by Sierra Leone’s highest court of law.
“The ongoing bogus proceedings in the so called Alie Kabba bigamy case, being held within the precincts of Magistrate Court No.6, as presided over by Magistrate Seray-Wurie, clearly demonstrate widespread arm twisting by government ministers in the dispensation of the law in Sierra Leone.
“We can point out to a series of flaws in the proceedings that shows intent to bend the rules in favour of the APC executive wing – the architects of this so called bigamy law suit, hiding in the shadows of Minister Diana Konomanyi (Photo: Diana and president Koroma).
“The poor and unprofessional manner, with which Magistrate Wurie is presiding over this “cooked up” case, has resulted in the erosion of public trust and credibility in the court proceedings in particular, and the criminal justice system of Sierra Leone in general.
“The continuous adjournments within short time frames, clearly points to the fact that the court is deliberately doing so, as an impediment to Alie Kabba’s political campaign.
“The unnecessary and persistent over ruling of Alie Kabba’s defence lawyers whenever they raise objections to issues that are questionable, confirms the court’s lack of independence. It also confirms the sinister ploy by the APC government to get Alie Kabba out of the way.
“There is clear evidence right in front of the court and Magistrate Wurie, as adduced in evidence, that clearly points to the fact that Alie Kabba has no case to answer.
“We The 99 percent of Sierra Leoneans, whose voices Alie Kabba represents, are now calling upon the APC led government, Magistrate Seray Wurie, and Minister Diana Konomanyi, to speedily and unconditionally drop all charges against Alie Kabba, and ensure his safe return to the United States of America to continue his service to humanity.”
The Alie Kabba Campaign Team in Freetown is also strongly expressing its profound concern at the use of administrative hurdles by the court, to impede, delay and effectively deny Alie Kabba justice.
This is a statement that came from their office in Freetown:
“Contrary to the usual APC fabricated rumours making the rounds, please be informed that Alie Kabba was not sent to any of the APC prisons today, having woefully failed, again today to support their “Political-gamy” with any credible evidence, in spite of over 200 pages of unrelated dismissive JUNK documents backed up by 16 lawyers and at least two government ministers, and some senior State House operatives in tow.
“When their traps seem to be snapping, the magistrate tried to introduce another angle in the growing circus, by threatening to send Alie back to prison, because one of his bailers was deemed to be “less than 50 years old”, which was protested, with evidence, but “overruled” with ease.
“Thankfully, that “problem” was settled when a more than 60 years old champion of Justice and fair play immediately offered himself as the surety.
“When Alie left the court, he attended a meeting with his supporters at his Waterloo street office before leaving for another meeting at the SLPP party headquarters.
“Alie is to appear again in the same APC owned and operated court this Wednesday. His determined group of growing supporters will be there again with him. The rest of the world will be with him in spirit. God is on our side.”
Alie Kabba will appear in court again on Wednesday, 20th January 2016, but will the new Attorney General continue to witness justice being trampled upon by State operatives in his name and out of malice?
Shouldn’t attorney general Joseph Kamara seriously consider imposing the principle of nolle prosequi in this case, so as to end the travesty of justice being committed by the State?