Chief Justice of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Justice Babatunde Edwards in his statement at the official launching of the Commissions of Inquiry backed the legality of the commission of inquiry.
According to Justice Edwards, there is justification and need for the setting up of the Commissions of Inquiry and there are also rules governing its establishment as stated in the 1991 constitution of Sierra Leone.
The statement of the chief justice with regards the legality or otherwise of the commission of inquiry is seen by members of the opposition (APC) party and other concerned Sierra Leoneans as having the tendency of influencing the decisions of other judges in the Supreme Court with regards the matter brought before them by the Sierra Leone Bar Association calling for the rules of evidence binding the commissions of inquiry.
The above statement is view by members of the All People Congress (APC) as one that will influence the outcome of the Commission of Inquiry.
The Sierra Leone Bar Association, a body representing barristers in Sierra Leone filed a 20 page Supreme Court action demanding an interpretation of the country’s constitution concerning the rules governing the establishment of the commission of inquiry.
As the head of the judiciary, the statements of the chief justice are considered to be highly informed from a constitutional point of view and for the chief justice to make such statements with regards a matter before him, there is every tendency that he is prejudicing the outcome of the matter in the Supreme Court, the APC believed.
“The APC Party is even appalled that in his statement at the launch of the Commissions of Inquiry, the Chief Justice of the Republic of Sierra Leone who is expected to be the custodian of the rule of law in the country has seemingly taken a partisan position that is firmly consistent with that already taken by the President and his government,” APC maintains.