If it was once simplest final Wednesday eighth December that Mr. Adrian Fischer was once “approved and confirmed” by means of Parliament as a High Court Judge, then I think extraordinarily ashamed for my nation as it logically follows that for so long as he were presiding as such inside the Judicature of Sierra Leone previous to that substantive Parliamentary “approval and confirmation”, he were doing so irregularly. To me it was once belated, like placing the proverbial “Cart before a Horse”.
And my boldness to so assert stems from my reliance on Sec. 135 (2) of our National Constitution which makes it obligatory for someone appointed to function a Judge of a awesome Court to first matter him/herself to prior Parliamentary scrutiny and approval. There is not any exception or exemption to that constitutional prerequisite. None in any respect!! Not even Sec. 136 (3) which obviously qualifies the latitude for appointment of Judges below Sec. 135 (3) or as Acting Judges that during Sec. 136 (2) are limited simplest to individuals certified for appointment as a Judge and/or that has retired from that place. Cumbersome? Not rather!!
Thus the Parliamentary “confirmation and approval” of Mr. Adrian Fischer on eighth December as a substantive High Court Judge spoke to a few issues that are meant to be worrisome for our nation and amongst which might be:
- That the main of separation of powers assured by means of our Constitution don’t seem to exist within the polity this nation anymore. Otherwise neither the Hon. Chief Justice (CJ) who equipped a Court for Mr. Fischer to have begun presiding inside of his judicature, nor the Speaker and Members of Parliament would ever have allowed him to have both commenced and/or proceed presiding as one for over two years unchallenged, and with out first guiding the Executive to that sacred constitutional prerequisite for his prior Parliamentary “confirmation and approval”.
- By now not so guiding the President on (1) above, the Hon. CJ and Speaker of Parliament and MPs and the Anti-Corruption Commissioner have been complicit to a primary Constitutional breach. And vicariously, the similar complicity applies to General Legal Council and the ACC Commissioner in addition to to these purporting to be representing the voices of the unvoiced (Civil Societies teams together with Inter-Religious outfits) and worst of the entire Sierra Leone Bar Association), for now not residing as much as their obligations of retaining the status quo to account.
Can one now not now safely conclude that each one issues presided upon by means of the stated Mr. Adrian Fischer as much as his “confirmation and approval” to take a seat as a substantive Judge of the High Court previous to Wednesday eighth December may well be challenged on grounds of “nullity”? Because insofar as our Constitution calls for, he were doing so irregularly. That is to mention “acting as a regular High Court Judge” when technically he wasn’t constitutionally one “confirmed and approved” by means of Parliament.
I’m given to know (and verily consider) Mr. Adrian Fischer might not be the one Judge to were presiding as a High Court Judge with out prior parliamentary “confirmation and approval”. I will be able to additionally really well recall a Minister or two starting up tasks directly from after their appointments and oath taking ahead of the President with out prior parliamentary scrutiny and approval. I’ve written copiously in this gaffe previously, however nobody appear to care a hoot about such a critical constitutional anomaly as aforesaid: neither the Rt. Hon. Speaker, nor the MPs that are meant to be protective our pursuits, nor the General Legal Council or the ACC Commissioner, nor the ones purporting to be representing the voices of the unvoiced (Civil Societies teams together with Inter-Religious outfits and worst of the entire Sierra Leone Bar Association).
One explanation why that to me made the belated eighth December parliamentary “confirmation and approval” of Mr. Fischer irksome is that the Parliamentary Communications Department Presser was once express in that it was once now not retroactive, however recent. Meaning someone is now unfastened to significantly query and perhaps search go away of the Hon. CJ for a revisit and pursue an annulment of all rulings delivered by means of Mr. Fischer previous to his parliamentary “approval and confirmations” on eighth December, whether they affect the APC or its memberships and or associates.
To seasoned politicians including up the co-ordinates of occasions within the days prior, Mr. Fischer’s “confirmation and approval” by means of a Parliament comprising vociferous/colourful opposition APC MPs with the swiftness of a scorching knife passing via melted butter got here as no wonder. First there was once his public remonstration and conviction (albeit suspended) of Peter Conteh. Then adopted his next public chastisement of the lead ACC Prosecutor Mantsebo within the NY Chancery Building saga to near his case involving the lead 2023 APC Presidential aspirant Dr. Samura Kamara – Pronto. Against the ones backdrops additionally emerged a consensual however moderately distractive clamour of threats by means of MPs to dam all debates (together with at the Financial Appropriation Bill that by the way contains approval and bills of “Severance Benefits” for all Presidential Appointees by means of thirty first March 2022, and naturally the pending debates on affirmation of appointments hearings) except and till their very own “welfare issues” have been satisfactorily addressed. Given the truth that nobody receives Parliamentary summons for affirmation hearings at the evening ahead of, Mr. Fischer’s pending affirmation look must have come as no wonder to someone. Are you seeing the co-ordinates now?
But whether or not or now not the ones apparently swift placating about-turns by means of Mr. Fischer have been supposed as flooring softeners for his pending affirmation listening to, or that the threats by means of MPs have been to elicit a Quid-Pro-Quo (one thing for one thing) from the federal government, they have a tendency to lend credence to convictions of the Africanist Press that for the larger a part of their incumbencies, our MPs would appear to prioritize their very own welfare over and above the ones of the folks they purport to be representing. A transparent testimony to that was once that nobody within the “Well” of Parliament dared to query the nominee on what foundation he were presiding as a High Court Judge (or even infrequently empanelled to take a seat at the Appellate Bench) for over two years, with out their prior parliamentary “confirmation and approval” whilst a substantive High Court Judge.
With our subsequent multi-tiered elections slightly six months away, I’m mindful that this might (as same old) all sound like pouring water on a duck’s again. This is as a result of maximum of our MPs will in no way be returning to the “Well”. Rather sadly and as previously, all earlier crop of MPs have
been branded a lot worse than their precursors. So as we wait for the epitaph of the current crop of MPs constituting the fifth Parliamentary Session of this Republic, it behooves us all to make a choice our subsequent crop of MPs correctly and discretely too, to make sure that the ones we decide don’t prioritize the benefits of rank and fortune above provider and integrity, however would moderately all the time have the fortitude now not essentially to be confrontational with, however the place essential to be punctiliously guiding the Executive into a strict observance of Constitutionality and the Rule of Law.