Honorable Chief Justice of the Republic of Sierra Leone, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards has on the 31st January, 2022 in a brief press conference told press men that the Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray matter will not be included for review during this special week of the reviewing of cases of inmates who may have challenges in accessing justice.

He was responding to questions posed to him at the Judges room, Siaka Steven Street, Freetown.

The Chief Justice made it very clear that the judicial week scheduled for 31st January, 2022 to 4th February, 2022 will specially focus on matters coming from lower courts (Magistrate Courts, Juvenile Courts etc.) that will be reviewed across the country.

He noted that Kamarainba`s case does not fall within that remit rather High Court, which cannot be included in the current judicial review.

“Another reason is that a judge of similar jurisdiction will be conducting cases from lower court to the Supreme Court, and such matter will not be included”, the Chief Justice stated.

The 2018 Alliance Democratic Party Leader, Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray is facing trial on allegations of sexual Penetration of a 15yrs old girl, and has been granted bail but he is unable to meet the bail conditions.

It should be noted that despite numerous appeals from medical doctors considering his deteriorating health condition and the large public outcry, Kamarainba is still held in detention.

However, the Chief Justice declared the ACCESS TO JUSTICE THROUGH JUDICAIL WEEK opened with the aim of increasing access to justice and decongesting Correctional Centres across the country.

He said the process is unique in Sierra Leone but not in the continent as it has been conducted in Ghana and other countries.

He added that this initiative is aimed to enhance access to justice and to further decongest correctional centers by ensuring that inmates/accused persons or some convicted persons have the opportunity to be heard and have their cases reviewed by specific Judges deployed across the Country.

“As a Judicial arm of government, we should be going out there and helping these people when they are faced with these difficult situations”, he said.

The Chief Justice said this initiative came about as a result of the statistics gathered from the judicial week conducted in 2019 and the result indicated that there are inmates who are not been indicted; “Some were unable to meeting their bail conditions, whiles other were incarcerated with no admission to bail for possible bailable offences”, he pointed out.

He added that some inmates are in prison without indictment; while some are held due to prolong indictment since 2018.

The Chief justice said some of the reasons inmates are suffering in prisons ranges from insufficient jurors at the time, and further added that lack of empaneled jurors for serious offences will stall cases and at the end the inmates suffer the most.

As a result of the unfortunate situation the Chief justice said, he summoned the following stakeholders to a meeting involving the Judiciary, Sierra Leone Correctional Centers, Legal Aid Board, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Sierra Leone Police, to discuss on issues affecting inmates bordering on access to Justice.

On the question of whether there is proper monitoring system under his administration to monitor Law officers’ departments on preparation of indictments, the CJ said indictments starts from the magistrate court and is commit to the High court.

He continued that within 48hrs indictment should have been prepared and at present they are working to improve on the monitoring systems.

Speaking to the press, the director of Communication, Elkass Sannoh said out  of a total number of one thousand and thirteen (1,013), 111 of these inmates had been incarcerated awaiting trial without indictments; 138 on prolonged adjournments due to lack of empaneled jurors, 181 on bail but unable to fulfill their bail conditions to secure their release, 47 were serving unjustifiable and disproportionate sentences from Magistrates with no Summary Review application in their favor and 532 were incarcerated with no admission to bail for possible bailable offences.

A-Z Newspaper reports that, as a means to addressing those issues, 26 Judges will be deployed across the country. During this Judicial Week, a total of 1,013 inmates would be given the opportunity to have their incarcerations reviewed in Prison Courts held outside the Correctional facilities with those without indictments been given opportunity for their cases to be dealt with expeditiously or as the justice of the case may require.