IS COURT MARTIAL TAKING PLACE ? IF SO WHO ARE ON TRIAL?

On Monday , 9th February 2015, the case of the former Secretary
General and Minister for Presidential Affairs failed to proceed
because Justice Emmanuel  Amadi was reported to be attending a CourtMartial. This was news to the Foroyaa reporter who proceeded to
conduct investigation to establish the facts. He was informed that
proceedings were being held at the Fajara Barracks. He could not get
clear information from the vicinity of the Barracks. The Daily
Observer reported that it was taking place at the Yundum Baracks. The
Foroyaa reporter rushed to the location but was informed that no court
Martial was taking place in that particular location. The reporter
tried to get correct information from the army PRO but was informed he
has travelled.
The rumours are rife that some current members of the armed forces are
on trial despite earlier claims that the insurgency was perpetrated by
ex- servicemen alone.
Foroyaa would like the authorities to issue a Press Release and
clearly state what is going on. A person administering a case must
make pronouncement in an open court that a case is to be heard in
camera.
Section 24 subsection (1) of the Constitution states that
“Any court or other adjudicating authority established by law for the
determination of any criminal trial or matter, or protection for the
determination of the existence or extent of any civil right or
obligation, shall be independent and impartial; ……..”

Subsection (2) of the same section adds: “All proceedings of every
court and proceedings relating to the determination of the existence
or extent of civil rights or obligations before any other authority
including the announcement of the decision of the court or other
authority, shall be held in public.”
Section 109 of the Armed Forces Act states “(1) Subject to the
provisions of this section, a court-martial shall sit in open court
and in the presence of the accused.”
However a court may order a sitting to be held in camera “to such
extent as it may consider necessary or expedient in circumstances
where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice ….”
In the same vein nothing “shall affect the power of a court-martial to
sit in camera on the ground that it is necessary and expedient in the
interests of the administration of justice to do so;”
This however must be the decision of the adjudicating authority
pronounced and known to the public. A court-martial is not the final
authority. “An appeal shall lie as of right to the Court of Appeal
from final decisions of courts-martial.”
Since any convicted person would have a right to appeal it would be a
mark of transparency  to handle such cases in an open court. We will
follow the matter to its logical conclusion.