Jaffa cries for Justice
Times SL Newspaper has been reliably informed that a top personnel in the Executive Arm of government is the main man working behind the scenes in protecting Leon Oil against Jaffa Zeighr, and is believed to have allegedly influenced the continued delay in the delivery of Judgment by the Learned and upright Judge.
Jaffa has suffered corporate bully in the hands of Leon Oil, as a result of interference from the top brass in the Executive Arm of government and pressure put on the Chief Justice to delay the matter. It will interest readers to know that the matter which has been withdrawn for judgment is yet to be decided upon, whilst Jaffa continues to suffer injustice and corporate bully. The issue emanated from the purchase of petroleum product by Jaffa from Leon Oil, a simple sale of goods transaction, which could have been easily adjudicated on by the learned Judge, but the interference from the Executive arm of government into the work of the Judiciary has hampered progress and stalled the deliverance of Justice. This is most worrying for other business people who may in similar position and would be relying on section 120 of the 1991 Constitution for a Judge to deliver Judgment on their matter after the file has been withdrawn for same.
Jaffa is said to have paid over one billion Leones for petroleum products to Leon Oil and his money and product have not been delivered, not to talk of the interest the money might have made if it was in the possession of Jaffa. With the delay to deliver judgment on this matter, begs the question as to whether the Bio Government is serious to ensure there is justice for all. Leon Oil is in a comfortable situation today because the money Jaffa paid for the purchase of petroleum products amounting to over Le1.2 billion is still in their possession.
In all of these, the country’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mohamed Lamin Tarawally, under whose purview is the Judiciary, is enjoying the drama and has failed to let the judiciary know the consequences of the delay in delivering judgment, and how it could frustrate complainants, reduce confidence in the Judicial system and tarnish the country’s image internationally that the President has been taking so much time to rebuild. Many Sierra Leoneans and business people following this case are hoping that President Julius Maada Bio will step into the matter and ensure justice is delivered, especially as he had taken oath to protect the country’s Constitution at all times, and the said delay is a Constitutional breach (Section 120 refers). It also has the potential to discredit the government’s commitment to ensure that Justice is done without fear or favour to everyone, irrespective of status in society.
This brings to mind the European Union Press Release about the Sierra Leone Judiciary which came out in the negative, there were those within the current SLPP Government who considered the release as very unfair to the government of Sierra Leone. The findings of the EU did not only focus on the Judiciary, but also mentioned other state and democratic institutions, as not doing their work independently. This has also been echoed by other international organizations, who are of the view that Sierra Leone is behind today because of how independent institutions, charged with the responsibility to discharge their functions, have been undermining the very institutions they represent. Sierra Leone has lost quite a good number of investors due to the way and manner they have been treated by state institutions.
The case between Jaffa Zeighr versus Leon Oil is a case we must study carefully and try to understand how the conspiracy theory within the justice sector work. Why the delay to pass judgment after the elapsed three months?
Section 120(16) of the 1991 Constitution states: “Every court established under this Constitution shall deliver its decision in writing, not later than three months after the conclusion of the evidence and final addresses or arguments of appeal, and furnish all parties to the case or matter [determined], with duly authenticated copies of the decision on the date of the delivery thereof”.
By this section, it is very clear that it has been violated in the matter between Jaffa and Leon Oil. While Jaffa is finding it hard to do his business, Leon Oil is comfortably making a profit with the money paid by Jaffa.
It is understood that the delay to deliver judgment is as a result of interference from high quarters in the government, who have been influencing the matter behind the scenes in favor of Leon Oil. What has become so frustrating on the part of Jaffa is that Leon Oil is comfortably doing their business, whilst his own money paid for petroleum products is still in their possession. Jaffa has suffered the worse form of bullying from people close to the powers that be, and this has further frustrated his financiers, especially as justice is yet to be served. The Presiding Judge, Justice Samuel Taylor, is known to be one of the country’s best judges and has been doing extremely well in the discharge of his duty but the delay in delivering judgment on this issue is something to think about. Therefore, this medium is expecting to see a fair judgment on this matter.