Judiciary of Sierra Leone Communications, Main Law Courts Building, Freetown, 21st February 2022: High Court Judge, Hon. Justice Adrian Fisher has dismissed the Application by the defence team of Dr. Samura Kamara, the 2018 Presidential Candidate of the APC Party, seeking to quash the indictment upon which Dr. Samura and 5 others are standing trial at the High Court for corruption related offences.
“Under the common law, an indictment may only be quashed where the facts stated in the said indictment, did not amount to an offence punishable by law. An application for quashing the indictment made by the defence can only succeed where it is clear on the face of the indictment, that the said indictment was preferred without jurisdiction,” Justice Fisher stated.
He said that, “having considered the application made by the legal team of the 4th accused, Dr Samura Kamara, the application is dismissed in its entirety,” he ruled.
Justice Fisher’s decision follows an Application filed before the court by way of Notice of Motion by the defence team of Dr. Samura Kamara seeking to quash the indictment on the grounds that it was defective.
In his objection, Lawyer Joseph F. Kamara argued that there was no certificate from the Attorney General and Minister of Justice consenting to indict the 6th accused who is a foreign national as provided for by Law.
He stressed that the indictment charges offences against a person in respect of whom necessary notification of a decision to bring proceedings has not been given.
Lawyer Kamara further argued that the proofs of evidence and documents submitted in support of the preferment of the indictment against the 4th accused (Dr. Samura), for offences under counts 47-48 do not disclose a case to answer for those offences.
He added that there was no evidence that the prosecution notified the United States Embassy of the intent to investigate or charge its national in the person of Jules Sanders Davis, the 6th accused.
He concluded that in the absence of a consent, these proceedings are a nullity, and the court should stop the case from proceeding.
In their response to the Application, Counsel for the State, O.V Robin Mason Sr. also argued that the Notice of Motion is defective as it does not comply with the High Court Rules of 2007.
He reiterated that the persons who drafted the document have “no locus standi” to approach the court on behalf of the 6th accused or to act on his behalf.
Robin Mason Esq added that the provisions of section 53(2) of the CPA 1965, preclude objections in respect of form and content of any indictment that is framed in accordance with the provision of section 51 of the CPA 1965.
Justice Fisher went on to note that, “I will therefore hold that the indictment charged without the consent of the Attorney General is not bad in law and the application to quash the indictment in that regard is refused.”
He added that, “I have not seen any evidence that the public interest in prosecuting this case is outweighed by granting a stay of proceedings or in fact quashing the indictment. The defence team have not been able to show why it would be unfair to try the other accused persons, if it were accepted that the 6th accused was wrongly charged.”
Immediately after the ruling, Lawyer Kamara informed the court that they will appeal each and every ruling delivered in respect of today’s hearing and will readily file in the requisite document seeking the leave of the Judge.
According to him, the judge acted outside his powers by going ahead to interpret Section 124, 66 and 64 of the Constitution, a mandate which he said is only reserved for the Supreme Court.
The accused persons; Saidu Nallo (1st accused), Adikali Foday Suma (2nd accused) Foday Vahfomba Bawoh (3rd accused), Dr. Samura Matthew Wilson Kamara (4th accused) with the exception of Dr. Kandeh Foday Basil Kamara (5th accused) and Jules Sanders Davies (6th accused) who is currently out of the jurisdiction, are before the court on 48 count indictments ranging from misappropriation of public funds, conspiracy to commit a corruption offence, abuse of office and other corruption related offences.
The matter has been adjourned to Friday, 24th February 2021.
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