By Jane B. Mansaray………………………..
The Minister of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment, Madam Finda Diana Konomanyi yesterday appeared at the High Court of Sierra Leone before Justice Miatta Samba over an alleged bigamy matter involving the accused Dr. Alie Kabba of the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP).
Led in evidence by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Lawyer Sulaiman Bah, the witness who also doubles as complainant in the matter told the court that she recognized and knows the accused as her former legally wedded husband whom she said she married at the Administrator and Registrar General’s office in Freetown on August 2013.
The witness said she recalled in August 2013 when she entered an agreement with the accused person.
On the 12th August 2013, the witness said she together with the accused were both invited to the Administrator and Registrar General’s office on Walpole Street in Freetown where they were supplied details of the civil marriage protocols law.
The witness continued that after going through the details, on the same day they filled out forms and left the Registrar General’S office and went home together with the accused.
The Minister went on that, on the 13th August 2013 herself and her then husband (accused) together with witnesses and family members went to the Registrar General’s office to formally registrar the marriage between her and the accused person.
At the Registrar General’s office, the witness said they were admonished by the Administrator General, Madam Seray Kallay of the importance and values of civil marriage and the implication or penalty for any default.
After the admonishment, the witness said they took their marriage vows and exchanged rings, and the marriage certificate was brought out which they signed together with witnesses and the end of the official protocols, the original marriage certificate was handed over to them as husband and wife.
In December 2013, the witness said he had cause to confront the accused to find out if he had ever divorced his former wife in the United States of America.
Based on the enquiry, the witness said the accused snatched away their marriage certificate.
The Minister said she then took the matter to the God Parent Zizer Wilson who then called on the accused for further enquiry. At the residence of the God Parent at Action Aid Drive in Freetown, the accused allegedly admitted to have traveled with the certificate as he wanted to do something with it in the United States of America.
Divorce documents of previous marriage between the Minister Madam Diana Finda Konomanyi and her ex-husband Steven Bockarie Jusu in 1989 up to 1994 was produced and tendered in court as exhibits together with her marriage certificate with the accused and other documents were produced and tendered as exhibits.
In December 2015, the witness said she reported the matter and was invited at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Headquarters in Freetown to make a statement in relation to the current matter in court.
The Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter assited by two State Counsels while Lawyer Ben Keifala and Umaru Napoleon Koroma are defending the accused person.
The accused was early in 2016 arrested and charged to court for criminal offenses ranging from bigamy and perjury contrary to law.
Lead defense Counsel Lawyer Ben Keifala asked for an adjourned date to cross be able to cross-examine the witness on her testimony. The matter was adjourned to the 28th July 2016 and bail continues.