16th December 2018
After 5 Days in Detention, SLPP Govt Finally Releases the 2 Top Ladies on Bail!
By a press release (01/12/18)
The SLPP government has finally bowed to pressure by releasing on bail two of three top ladies who were arrested and detained this week.
Latest reports last night say Dr. Hassiatou Jalloh-Agbaje, the legitimate Managing Director of the FIBank has been released and is now safely at home in Freetown.
Hassiatou, (photo) the first Sierra Leone woman to head a Bank in Sierra Leone, was arbitrarily dismissed as head of the FIBank by the SLPP government's Bank Governor immediately after she was arrested on Monday this week.
She joined Madam Madina Rahman, the former Deputy Health Minister under the APC government, who was also released on bail last evening after days of refusing them their inalienable rights to get bail.
The two women were set free after five days in detention from Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week. It is however not clear whether the third lady Catherine Kamara, the head of the IT System at FIBank has been granted bail. (Photo: Madam Madina Rahman).
"This chicanery is a complete shame to our country," that's how a leading feminist politician Dr. Sylvia Blyden described the detention of the ladies. Below is further information on the hostage-taking scenario of the three ladies:
As Various Interpretations given to her Court Orders... Honourable Justice Miatta M. Samba Sparks Hot Debate on Hostage Situation around Dr. Hassiatou, Legitimate Managing Director of the FIBANK Sierra Leone
By Editorial Team of Awareness Times Newspaper (Friday November 30th 2018)
The legitimate Managing Director of the First International Bank (FIBANK) Dr. Hassiatou Jalloh-Agbaje is now held as a hostage of an unfortunate situation which has engulfed the justice sector, creating massive embarrassment for Sierra Leone to potential investors. To make matters worse, two sets of Court Orders by Hon. Justice Miatta Samba dated Monday 26 November 2018, have sparked hot debates; with various legal minds giving interpretations as to what the Honourable Lady actually means.
It will be recalled that on that same Monday, the Sierra Leone Police, Hon Justice Minister & Attorney General Dr. Priscilla Schwartz and Central Bank Governor Dr. Kelfala Kallon all apparently came together in an unprecedented situation never before seen in the entire History of Sierra Leone since colonial days. (Photo: Justice Miatta Samba).
In the night of Sunday 25th November 2018, heavily armed police men were deployed to surround all the entrances of all branches of the First International Bank around the entire country without the knowledge of the legitimate Managing Director of the Bank. By early morning when staff went to work, they met a strange so-called PUBLIC NOTICE from one Lilium entity claiming that they were the new owners of the Bank. The Police had apparently been deployed on the orders of this Lilium entity.
The armed police men ordered the staff to open the doors for the new “owners” to enter and take control. Naturally, in a bid to protect monies belonging to depositors and other assets of the Bank, the highly intelligent female Managing Director advised her staff to not open the doors whilst the bank’s legal team engaged with Sierra Leone Police over the strange act of aggression on a legitimate bank in good standing.
Prior to this, on September 14th and again on September 17th, Justice Amy Wright of the High Court of Sierra Leone, had ordered a series of strong legal Injunctions against the Bank of Sierra Leone. The Courts blocked any attempt by the said Lilium to take over control of FIBank.
Bank of Sierra Leone appealed against the High Court injunction of Justice Amy Wright. On Friday 23rd November 2018, the Appeals Court judges (Justice D.B. Edwards, Justice Alusine Sesay and Justice Musu Kamara) agreed to look into the appeal and ordered High Court Judge Amy Wright to pass the matter over to them. The judges also asked for a copy of the Injunction orders.
It is very important to note that there was no lifting of any of the Injunctions of Justice Wright. The Appeals Court judges clearly said they had not even seen the Injunction and wanted to see it first before they made any decision on 6th December 2018 which was the next adjourned date.
So basically, Court Orders which placed an injunction on the Bank Governor from attempting to do anything that may cause a transfer of ownership of rightful owners of FiBANK to a foreign entity, LILIUM, are in force. Only a Court Order can overturn a Court Order.
In what has now created a complete embarrassment for the Judiciary of the Republic of Sierra Leone, the Bank Governor Dr. Kelfala Kallon inexplicably released a social media video clip in which he says he is aware of Court Orders stopping him but that he ignored those Court Orders because Attorney General, by way of a mere letter, told him to do otherwise. He therefore endorsed the forceful armed seizure of the FiBank by Lilium with the help of the Sierra Leone Police in complete contravention of the Orders of High Court Judge, Justice Mrs. Amy Wright. He then openly blackmailed the staff of FiBank causing a ripple of shock to many who watched the video.
What has now increased the controversy are two sets of Court Orders by Hon. Justice Miatta Samba dated on Monday 26th November 2018 after the bank premises had been over-run by Sierra Leone Police. Please turn to Pages 6 and 7 for those Orders of Hon. Samba.
In one of the Orders, after reciting what she has been informed has transpired, she ordered that “the status must be maintained pending the hearing and determination of the appeal”.
Now, it is the interpretation of what the “status” that must be maintained is, which has caused hot debates in legal circles. Some legal minds who spoke to this newspaper say she has ordered for status of Dr. Mrs. Hassiatou Jalloh-Agbaje to remain as Managing Director and for Lilium to stay off Fibank whilst others say she is actually ordering for a continuation of the status after the Police had forcibly over-run the Bank branches and handed over to Lilium with the blessings of the Bank Governor in alleged collaboration with the Attorney General and Justice Minister.
The debate as to what the Honourable Judge means by “status” is now raging hotly. What is absolutely not in contention is that the armed seizure of FiBank by Lilium in the morning hours of Monday 26th November 2018 continues to be without any legal authority.
The Sierra Leone Police which aided and abetted the flouting of the Orders of High Court together with the Bank Governor and alleged collaboration of the Attorney General, are caught in a legal vacuum caused by what some have described to be chicanery of the highest form. Dr. Jalloh-Agbaje, the legitimate Managing Director, has also been locked up in jail by the Police who have denied her bail now for five days. She has spent several nights in detention without being able to speak out.
Many believe the Police are being used to ensure the lady is silenced and cannot explain the truth to the public. Citizens now say the woman, who is the first Sierra Leonean woman to head a Bank in Sierra Leone, is a hostage of an unprecedented and shameful saga.
Making it all very sad is the fact that this horrible and very nasty treatment of Dr. Mrs. Hassiatou Jalloh-Agbaje by the Government of Sierra Leone, is happening during the period known globally as the 16 Days of Activism on Gender Issues and Violence against Women.
Courtesy: Awareness Times Newspaper - Friday 30th November 2018