By Philip Neville
A couple of days back, Hon .Justice Allan Halloway delivered a Judgment that has been negatively perceived by a lone mind to be partial and not achieving the objective. What was the objective? The objective was to get the court to close down the operation of the Observer Newspaper because it published the love encounter between Sylvia Blyden and Kabs Kanu. That may sound insane and utterly ridiculous as that was not the reason for the litigation, but whether it was prudent for the Independent Media Commission to be excessive in imposing fines on Journalists or not.
Since the Judgment was delivered, Sylvia Blyden has been lashing out at the Presiding Judge; most Journalists including this writer had kept quiet. The reason is not out of fear but to watch and observe where she was heading for and why she had taken offence against the Judge, whose Judgment had been widely applauded as impartial and proper with many things to learn from not only by the parties but the public as a whole. It was not one sided or in support of the Applicant, Jonathan Leigh or the Respondent- Independent Media Commission. In fact it becomes clear from her venom that she did not take her time to read and properly digest the contents of the Judgment. Even if she does, it was evident that she did not understand it because she has made up her mind not to understand it, as what she was expecting to see was neither there nor indicative of her intention, therefore she went wild and vulgar. A sad chapter to learn in this contemporary time of the Judiciary for the parents of a Presiding Judge to be abused after he had delivered a Judgment on a matter that the abuser was not a witness, complainant or even accused person. The complaint against Jonathan Leigh was forwarded to the IMC by the Research and Monitoring Unit and not by Sylvia Blyden. Some of us have refused to address her with the salutation “Dr” because she is neither a Medical Doctor nor a Doctor of Education, but an impostor, which is very criminal and could be prosecuted in a court of law for committing such an offence, but in Sierra Leone everything is left for God to take action.
Coming back, she was neither a Respondent nor an Applicant in the matter before the Hon. Justice Allan Halloway and was never called upon to testify. It was through an Originating Notice of Motion the matter was filed in court and exparte service conducted, for which the Judge advised that papers and all pieces of evidence relating to the matter should be accessible by both parties, meaning the defence and prosecution. This was how transparent the matter was conducted and it went on peacefully in court with both parties happy with the outcome. The Hon. Justice Allan Halloway should be commended for that, for presiding over a matter that involved two sensitive institutions and came out of it with a pat on the back for a job well done, impartially conducted and properly concluded. Only Sylvia Blyden was and still unhappy with the Judgment, because her ambition was not achieved, but that was not what either party had prayed for and if the Presiding Judge should have gone beyond what was requested for, it could have resulted in what many would have referred to as the excesses of a Presiding Judge or unprofessionalism. Sylvia Blyden needs to stop and respect the decision of the Court, which was impartial and has provided a focus for the IMC to realize that it was not established to extort money from Journalists or to close the operations of media houses. The Applicant also had the opportunity of learning new things, which is inclusive of caution and the observance of the principle of accuracy. In fact out of the 14 violations, only 2 are punishable by fines not exceeding Le1, 000.000, but the IMC imposed fines that were not a penalty prescribed for, both in the IMC Act and the Media Code. This means it went out of the two documents in its effort to make money at the expense of Media Practitioners, thus turning Media Practitioners into money machines for the IMC.
Sometime back the IMC dragged Sylvia Blyden and her Newspaper to court for unprofessional behavior or what could be referred to generally, as not responding to the dictates of the IMC. It was Lawyer Sulaiman Kabbah Koroma, who went into her defence, and it was during the deliberation that an Application for an Injunction was filed against the IMC not to impose a suspension against the operation of the paper. Since then; Sylvia Blyden has not been paying her paper’s license’s fees nor has even honoured fines imposed on her by the IMC. No Journalist abused the parents of the Presiding Judge for the ruling, which was in her favour. My Grandmother used to tell me that if you see somebody abusing the parents of another person, means that he/she has no respect for her own parents. What Sylvia Blyden has done on face book and other medium has clearly shown that she has no respect for her parents who are now residing on the United Kingdom at the expense of the British Taxpayers .That she can abuse them at anytime she pleases. But the Judiciary should have intervened and take the necessary action against this rude girl, but disappointedly it has failed to do so, leaving this rude girl to have a field day. Some of us know her background too well even when she pretends to be a Lawyer who has never darkened the walls of a Law School or Department, but because she may have had the blood of a legal practitioner she thought that she is one of them. It’s unfortunate though.