Parliament yesterday approved the presidential nominees for the positions of Appeal and Supreme Court judges, Board chairman for NRA, Electoral Commissioner South and a member of the Anti Corruption Advisory Committee. Presenting the nominees, the majority leader and chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Appointments and Public Service, Hon Edward Turay of the APC, said the five nominees were interviewed on Monday 25 for which they maintained strict consistencies to established procedures, looking for their successful and nationally productive tenure of offices.
Hon. Mrs. Justice Shanineh Bash-Taqi was approved as justice of the Supreme Court and Justice Naomi Tunis as Justice of the Court of Appeal, Mrs Edna Caulker Electoral Commissioner South whilst Charles Campbell as Board Chairman National Revenue Authority and Sheikh Abubakarr Conteh to serve as member in the Anti Corruption Advisory Committee. Justice Shanineh Bash Taqi is a legal luminary of no mean standing who served as judge of the Court of Appeal before her elevation. Responding to questions when she faced the appointments committee during interviews, Hon Edward Turay said the nominee mentioned about the conditions of service for judges as the most important.
He also said she spoke about the difficulties in dispensing justice as disposing of cases was difficult because of the uncooperative attitude of members of the Bar. “Sometimes you come to court, you meet the litigants, but the lawyers are not there to do their work, even though we have been told that if the lawyers do not appear we should strike off their matters, it is very difficult to do that when you have the litigants, who have spent their monies to be defended. I have tried in my own little way to surmount the problem during my tenure in the court of Appeal”, she said. Justice Naomi Tunis has served as state counsel, magistrate, senior and principal and judge of the High Court before her appointment as Appeal Court Judge. The nominee, Hon. Edward Turay went on, explained that despite the constraints her position over the years was to make Sierra Leone what it should be but said she was constrained by traveling on bad roads in her judicial areas all over the country to dispense justice. Mrs. Edna Caulker lectures Arts and Language at the Njala University College but was not present for her approval. The other nominee, Charles Campbell is a barrister and a veteran civil servant who retired in 1995 as deputy commissioner of Income Tax after 26 years of service. Sheikh Abubakarr is an eminent teacher of the Islamic faith and is currently a senior lecturer and head of department for Arabic Studies at the Freetown Teachers’ College. He has served in the Inter-religious Council and previously as member of the Anti Corruption Advisory Committee.
By Ishmael Bayoh