Justice Alhaji Momoh Jah Steven has ordered Ikubolaje Nicol to be returned to his hospital bed at Connaught Hospital. This comes after officials from the Sierra Leone Correctional Services informed the court they received “orders from above” to remove Nicol from the hospital and return him to prison, despite his need for medical supervision.

Awoko reports that the decision stemmed from a medical report submitted by the Director General of Correctional Services, Colonel Gorgra, which detailed Nicol’s heart condition and the lack of proper medical facilities at the prison to treat him. However, Justice Stevens pointed out that the report solely focused on Nicol’s health and neglected to address his custody and well-being.

Consequently, Justice Stevens issued an order for Nicol’s hospitalization under strict supervision by the correctional services. Nicol will continue receiving treatment and must provide updated medical reports to the court every two weeks to monitor his condition.

The court subsequently addressed the state’s request to introduce an additional witness, the Registrar of the High Court. Defense Counsel Roland Wright objected, arguing that the registrar had been present throughout the proceedings and was thus disqualified from testifying. He further contested the registrar’s authority to submit documents, stating they were not in his custody.

State Counsel A. Jalloh countered that the witness was a competent member of the prosecution and his role fell within his judicial function. He emphasized that the registrar could serve as a witness for both the prosecution and the defense, and held legal custody of the relevant court documents.

Justice Steven ultimately overruled the defense’s objection, allowing the registrar, Mohamed Coleson Kamara, to take the stand. Kamara confirmed his role as the registrar assigned to Justice Steven and explained his duties, which included receiving case files, processing court orders, and serving legal notices.

Kamara presented a case file containing a deposition from Dr. Mohamed A. Bangura, who previously testified for the prosecution at the magistrate court level. However, a key discrepancy arose – the deposition lacked the required signatures from both the magistrate and Dr. Bangura.

Defense Counsel seized on this irregularity, arguing that the unsigned document constituted a breach of the Criminal Procedure Act by both the magistrate and Dr. Bangura.

State Counsel A. Jalloh countered by citing sections 111 and 65 of the Criminal Procedure Act, asserting that the magistrate’s signature served as prima facie evidence and referencing the previous testimony of a nurse regarding Dr. Bangura’s unavailability. Jalloh argued that waiting for Dr. Bangura would cause unnecessary delays and urged the court to overrule the defense’s objection.

Justice Steven acknowledged the proper procedure for signed depositions but ultimately overruled the defense’s objection once more. The court then adjourned the case until Tuesday, May 21st.