Emanuel Saffa Abdulai, Lead Counsel in the on ongoing matter between Dr. David Tam Bayoh and the Independent Media Commission has told the Chairman of the Independent Media Commission that the Chairman’s years of experience has nothing to do with him trying to defend his client in court.

Saffa Abdulai-Alie Kanu

Emanuel Saffa Abdulai was interrupted in court on Thursday 22nd October 2015 by the chairman of the Independent Media Commission Ambassador Alieu Kanu while he was making his first submission in High Court before Justice Mamusu D Kamara.

Earlier Lawyer Saffa Abdulai had asked the High Court of Sierra Leone to declare the decision of the commission in suspending the “Monologue Programme” illegal and that it has no basis in law.

In his originating notice, Lawyer Abdulai informed the court that the procedure followed by the commission to suspend the Programme of his client indefinitely is incorrect and maintained that the act of the commission violates natural justice and that the suspension is arbitrary and lacks legitimacy.

He asked Justice Mamusu D Kamara to slam an interim and interlocutory injunction on the respondent (IMC) for suspending or continuing to suspend the programme of his client without following the stipulated laws.

During his Submission before he was interrupted by the IMC Boss, Lawyer Saffa told the court that exhibit DTB1 is a front copy of a letter dated 17th August 2015 from the Independent Media Commission (IMC) informing his client of a complaint from one Leonard Balogun Koroma Minister of Transport and Aviation.

He added that Exhibit DTB2 is a letter dated 19th August 2015 from the solicitors of the applicant to the respondent (IMC) and exhibit DTB3 is a letter dated 19th August 2015 from the respondent to the applicant informing the applicant of Complaint made by the Inspector General of Police (IG) accusing the applicant of airing a hate speech on radio against the Sierra Leone Police.

He stated that Exhibit DTB4 is a letter of invitation from the respondent to the applicant dated 21st August 2015 and also a response letter from the solicitors of the applicant to the respondent.

Exhibit DTB5 is a letter of invitation from the respondent dated 19th August 2015 inviting the applicant to appear before the respondent on the 25th August 2015, to bring along recordings of the programme complaint of. Exhibit DTB6 is a letter dated 31st August 2015 from the solicitors of the applicant and in response is Exhibit DTB 7 a letter from the respondent to the applicant dated 20th September 2015.

Lawyer Abdulai said paragraph 5 of exhibit DBT1 explains that an opportunity was given to a government functionary to report the other side of the story as professionalism demands for a journalist.

He said paragraph 8 in exhibit DTB 4 addresses the second complaint from the Inspector General of the Sierra Leone police that said the presenter is deterring hanger or hate between the Sierra Leone police.

He added that paragraph 9 gives the police spokes person ASP Samura to give their own version of the story and In an interview ASP Samura confirmed that there are some bad eggs in the police and the force intend to weed them out of the force.

Lawyer Saffa Abdulai explained that paragraph 11 addresses that the plaintiff appears before the committee of the respondent on the 25th August 2015 and presented his case and while awaiting the outcome of the hearing he received a letter of suspension from the executive secretary of the Independent media commission on behalf of the commission.

Lawyer B. Koroma representing the respondent (IMC) objected that Lawyer Saffa Abdulai is giving something which is not in their affidavit by mentioning the dates of the events.

Justice Mamusu D Kamara told Lawyer Koroma that she asked for the information and she need the information to compile her document.

The matter was adjourned to the 9th November 2015.