The state versus Ernest Bai Koroma at the Magistrate Court No 2 in Freetown

Abdul Bero Kamara ( Chief): Sierra Leone Telegraph: 7 March 2024:

The case between the state versus Ernest Koroma, the former President, was highly anticipated as it unfolded yesterday, 6th March 2024, at the Magistrate Court Number 2, Pademba Road in Freetown.

The courtroom was filled by 9 am, with no seating available for latecomers except for the lawyers. Security was tight, adding to the tense atmosphere surrounding the proceedings.

Notable figures, including the Chairman Hon Minkailu Mansaray and his able deputy – Ambassador O. F Yansaneh of the APC party, along with other supporters, were present, further intensifying the already crowded courtroom. As everyone eagerly awaited the start of the proceedings, the magistrate finally entered the courtroom.

After a brief exchange between the prosecuting and defence sides, the matter was adjourned until 1 pm. When the court reconvened in the afternoon, the prosecuting team raised concerns about the absence of the defendant, questioning why he was not present in court.

Lead defence lawyer Joseph F Kamara explained that his client was ill and unable to attend, citing difficulties in obtaining a medical report due to time constraints and bureaucratic hurdles. However, he told the bench that an affidavit was prepared and provided to the prosecuting team.

In response, the prosecuting team argued that the absence of a medical report and the late submission of the affidavit were unacceptable. Despite the defence’s explanations, the prosecution pressed for proper documentation to justify the defendant’s absence.

Lead defence attorney Joseph F Kamara reiterated the challenges faced in obtaining the necessary documentation promptly, particularly in the context of time constraints and bureaucratic obstacles in Nigeria.

Consequently, the court adjourned the matter to March 27, allowing both parties additional time to address the issues raised and ensure a fair and just legal process.


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