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HIGH COURT ORDERS REVEREND FATHER TO REFUND LE 1.4 BILLION WITH INTEREST

By Unissa Bangura

At the General Civil Division of the High Court of Sierra Leone, Justice Alusine Sesay last week ordered the plaintiff Make It Happen, an International Non Governmental Organization through their solicitor Mr. Ibrahim Kanu, to enter final judgment for the sum of Le 1.4 Billion with interest at a rate to be assessed.

The sitting Judge Justice Alusine Sesay was delivering his judgment for a Judges Summons dated 22nd June 2014 in which the plaintiff MAKE IT HAPPEN’s Solicitor is seeking an order for summary judgment to be entered in his favour against the Defendants/Respondents for a claim on the writ of summons dated 7th day of April 2014. In the alternative, that the action be set down for motion for judgment in respect of the reliefs prayed for on the said writ of summons and it is supported by several affidavits sworn to on the 2nd day of June 2014 and exhibits attached.

The plaintiff’s case in summary, according to court records, is set out in the writ of summons whose main aims and intention is to undertake various good causes in Sierra Leone such as the construction and renovation of schools, providing scholarships to the less privilege, supporting and partnering with local Non Governmental Organizations like friends of the dead and the 1st and 2nd defendants/Respondent.

According to records of the court, the 1st defendant Emma Kamara is a Reverend and Pastor evangelizing the Christian religion while the 2nd defendant is an indigenous Christian Organization which engages itself in promoting child development through the enhancement of quality basic education, peace building and food nutrition.

The Plaintiff’s case alleged that he entered into a contract with the 1st and 2nd defendants for the construction of several buildings in Gloucester Village in the far West and in respect of which several funds were remitted to the defendants by the Plaintiff which amounted to US$1,000,000 (One Million Dollars) or its equivalent in Leones, including running cost of their objects.

Based on this amount remitted by the plaintiff to the defendants, the 1st defendant Reverend Emma Kamara constructed two buildings while some of the monies according to the plaintiff were misapplied. In view of all the circumstance backed by investigative report prepared by King Walker and Associates, the plaintiff applied to the court for summary judgment to be entered in his favour.

In his judgment, Justice Alusine Sesay firstly considered the legal issues raised by the defendants’ solicitor Mr. A. Showers in which among other things contended that the funds remitted to his clients were donations and not loans which falls squarely within the policy of government for NGO.

The Judge in his judgment further maintained that it is indeed clear that funds were remitted to the 1st and 2nd defendant as contained in the plaintiff’s claim even though the contention of the defendants are that the funds were not misapplied.

Having carefully considered the evidence as deposed to in the affidavit in support and in the affidavit in opposition filed, the Judge said he is of the view that apart from the amount of Le 1.4 billion which the 1st defendant Pastor Emma Kamara undertook to refund there are triable issues as regards the issues raised in the proposed defense in relation to the building project.

On the whole, Justice Alusine Sesay holds that it is a fact that the plaintiff did send monies to the defendants for good cause in Freetown and in all circumstances grants the application and orders for judgment to be entered for the said amount of Le1.4 billion which the defendants undertook to refund, noting that the defendants have not pleaded undue influence or duress in respect of her undertaking to refund the said amount

Based on this judgment, Justice Alusine Sesay ordered the following: (1) that the Plaintiff shall enter final judgment for the sum of Le1.4 billion (2) Interest on the said Le1.4 billion at a rate to be assessed (3) that leave is granted to the defendants to defend the said action (4) that the defendants shall file a defense to the action within fourteen (14) days from the date of the order and (5) that the cost of this application shall be borne by the defendants assessed at Five Million Leones.

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