October 1, 2022

By Janet A Sesay

Sylvia’s Blyden’s application for the seventh count to be struck off has been rejected outright by magistrate Hannah Bonnie.

The accused, Blyden battles in court with a nine-count charge of sedition, defamatory libel, publication of false of news and other kindred offences through self-representation.

She made the application to strike off count-7 last week owing to what she described as expiration of the recommended period for prosecution and citing of wrong sections of law by the prosecution.

Dr Blyden’s application is supported by a cardinal provision in part five of the law on public order precisely section 34 of the public order Act of 1965, but the ruling still did not favour her.

Superintendent Mohamed Kuba Allieu was supposed to round up his testimony on the day the magistrate handed down the ruling.

His testimony was cut short about a week ago when Sylvia Blyden made the strike-off application.

In her ruling, Magistrate Hannah Bonnie said the court did not have jurisdiction to strike off the charge and that the matter must proceed.

Owing to the magistrate’s ruling, the matter continued, and Mr Allieu took the witness stand to be cross-examined by the accused, Sylvia Blyden.

Continuing her cross examination yesterday before the court, the witness Superintendent Mk Allieu said he was not in a hurry to charge the matter to court.

After the witness’s response, Dr Blyden made another application for an amendment of the tenth count.

The accused relied on section 105 and 112 of the Criminal Procedure Act, a law that regulates criminal procedure in all courts of law in Sierra Leone.

“The tenth count in the charge is defective and must be amended,” she urged the court.

However, counsel for the state, Yusuf Sesay, did not agree with the submission of the accused person.

State counsel’s argument is premised on the grounds that the witness, Mr Allieu bore no hand in the document.

“The witness, Mohamed Kuba Allieu is not the author of the document, so the count must remain,” he argued.

Having heard submissions from the two sides, Magistrate Bonnie also ruled against Dr Sylvia Blyden.

Since the day the accused, Dr Blyden was arrested, witness continued, she remained in police custody until she was charged to court.

At this juncture, Dr Blyden also posed a question that she was not in court for security threat, but for political purpose.

State prosecutor, Yusuf Sesay also objected stating that such question would repudiate the witness’s image.

The prosecution’s objection was also upheld by Magistrate Bonnie.

Answering to questions posed by Dr Blyden, Mr Allieu said he broke the accused’s door because she refused to accompany them to her house for a search.

Dr Blyden later posed a question to the witness to tell the court what constitutes national security, a question the witness could not competently respond to.

While responding to a number of questions during cross-examination, the witness told the court that he found a document at the accused’s premises which, he said, touched on the detention of Alfred Paolo Conteh, a former Minister of Defence that is answering to a charge of treason at the High Court of Sierra Leone.

“I treated the document I found at the residence of the accused as an exhibit,” Allieu told the court.

The witness further testified that he also found a letter addressed to the Minister of Internal Affairs relating to the detention of Paolo Conteh at the Central Correctional centre on Pa Demba Road in Freetown.

The cross-examination reached a point where the accused, Sylvia Blyden accused the witness Mr Allieu of ordering a female officer to examine her vagina.

The witness was yet to respond to the accusation when Magistrate Bonnie adjourned the cross-examination.