A call for justice – Sierra Leone’s Attorney General must act now as innocent farmer is detained without trial

Abdul Karim - Wrongfully detained without trial

The Publisher and Managing Editor  of the Sierra Leone Daily Mail online Newspaper, Mr Foday Morris Ceesay, has launched a campaign to fight for justice for all concerned in Rokel Village, Tainkatopa Makama, Safroko (TMS), Constituency 51, in the Port Loko District of the Northern Province of Sierra Leone where there has taken place a serious travesty of justice. In response to a letter written by a certain Mr Abdul Modie Kargbo to all APC  party stalwarts in the diaspora, entitled: A Comrade’s Desperate Plea to ALL APC Stalwarts and Supporters, Mr Ceesay is demanding that the Attorney General take immediate action to ensure the injustice that has been done is corrected and justice is allowed to prevail, and also asking for a re-trial and a new Judge appointed to preside in a case that has seen innocent people incarcerated for crimes they never committed. The letter by Abdul Modie Kargbo states:  

I sincerely believe that there is someone somewhere out there who will read this writing and relate to its contents with empathy and help “FREE MY PEOPLE” from the constant pain and suffering they have endured all these years by those who believe they are GOD ALMIGHTY. We have tried everything within our reach to see that justice is awarded to those who deserve it by the Judicial System in Sierra Leone, but not at all. I now believe the saying that,“There is no justice for the poor, and justice delayed is justice denied”. These events are currently revolving around us in Makeni High Court, Sierra Leone. There is no ray of hope or end in site for the sufferings of the people of Rokel. This is why I am turning to you with closed hands and tears rolling down my cheeks asking for your help. You may very well be the one who holds the key to fix this problem.

The people of Rokel Village, Tainkatoper (Constituency 51)  –TMS Chiefdom – Port Loko District, were busy with farm work to earn their families meager meals to sustain their daily livelihoods, when their village was attacked by a band of over one hundred well-armed ex-military, RUF fighters and men of konikay village who decided to wipe out Rokel Village and claim their land. With a pre-meditated plan and malice aforethought, the people of Konikay village led by Captain Alhaji Bakarr Kargbo and his ex-combatants and RUF fighters attacked Rokel Village in December 2007 and burnt down 43 houses, sparing the Mosque and the elementary school only. They looted cattles, goats, sheeps, chickens, and everything they can lay their hands on. The entire village was deserted, families separated in the process of running for their lives.

They attacked and injured the Police Officers who came from Port Loko Town to investigate the matter in response to the “Trespassing, arson and looting Complaint” made by the people of Rokel. Two people lost their lives in the process. The victims of Rokel who were attacked were arrested by different police unit out of their jurisdiction and imprisoned in Makeni Town, even though the incident occurred in Port Loko. The arrest and choice of venue was done under the directives of the following powerful men:

1.      Late Alhaji Abu Bakarr Kamara – Former Principal of Ahmadiyya Sec. Sch.

2.      Dr. Saidu Kamara – Kingtom Police Hospital

3.      Dr. Sheku Sesay – Former Presidential Affairs Minister

4.      Alhaji Ibrahim Kamara – Former Chief Police Officer (CPO) 

5.      Captain Alhaji Bakarr Kargbo – Military Police

These men openly boasted and promised to wipe out Rokel Village, because of the illiterate folks residing in the village who refused to surrender their land to Alhaji Ibrahim Kamara (CPO). The latter want to undertake a massive garden project on his return from the USA and retire comfortably at the plantation. My brother and uncle were the last two to be granted bail in 2009 after two years in prison in Makeni Town. The case was ongoing with frequent adjournments for about 5 years now. They were re-arrested last week and detained in a maximum prison in Makeni Town under the directives of the new judge (Mr. Fofanah) assigned to the case who is also related and raised by late Alhaji A B Kamara. This is clearly a serious conflict of interest. He is from the other side, hence the reversal of his predecessor’s judgment.

Because of this latest development and the power of those involve, we have no option but to pray for justice to take its course, and a savior who will stand up for justice. We wish for the following:

1.      The case to be tried in Port Loko – Where all parties reside and the incident occurred.

2.      Judge Fofanah to excuse himself from this case since he is related to the other party.

3.      We want a new judge to handle the case.

I therefore turn to my APC families in Washington Metro Chapter, APC North America and APC Global for help. I can be reached on: 703-580-4970 (H)  703-994-6471 (C) OR absatu@aol.com

Below is an article first published by the Standard Times Newspaper in Sierra Leone which raises serious questions about the judicial system and the injustice experienced by innocent people:
Seven Months in Detention Without Trial….Money, Politics Land Innocent Farmer in Jail
Posted by Alhaji Saidu Kamara on Jun 25, 2008, 02:31
42- year- old Abdul Karim Kargbo a farmer and businessman of Rokel village in the TMS chiefdom Port Loko district, is currently languishing at the Makeni Prison as he was wrongfully accused of committing the offence of murder. Despite there are no substantial and circumstantial evidences to prove the guilt of Karim, he has spent over six months in detention without trial. The allegation levied against Abdul Karim Kargbo is that he murdered Edward Kargbo alias Edie-Boy and Alimamy Kargbo all of Konikay village in the same chiefdom sometime in December 2007. Police investigation has clearly exonerated Abdul Karim Kargbo, but those who hate his guts and want to see him perish are busy using their political connections and money to constantly keep him in detention at the Makeni Prison.  His appearance at the Makeni Magistrate court recently presided over by Magistrate Emmanuella Harding is to present a fake picture to the public about the commencement of his trial.  The matter is not only crawling like a chameleonic in a hot afternoon, but is sending the wrong signal  to the public that justice for the poor and under privileged in Sierra Leone is far fetched.
It was a long standing dispute between two villages, according to investigation carried out by Standard Times investigator, Alhaji Saidu Kamara that the innocent farmer has been scapegotized. Two villages have been engaged in a land dispute at Rokelbunkeh between Alhaji Dauda Kargbo of Konikay and Karim of Rokel. Reports say sometime in December 2007, some inhabitants of Konikay attacked two individuals of the Rokel village. They are Gbessay Kargbo the elder brother of Karim and Alimamy Bangura, both of them sustained serious injuries as a result of the attack.  After the attack, it was reported that Abdul Karim conveyed the victims to the Port Loko Police station, where statement was obtained from them and later referred to the Port Loko Government Hospital for medical treatment, while the LUC of the Port Loko Police Station, Supt. Tarawally alias Pastor ordered a team of armed OSD personnel led by OC Ibrahim to accompany Karim to the village for the sole purpose of inviting the attackers. On their arrival, police say at the Rokel village, it was alleged that some individuals of Konikay having the support of Dr. Sheku Sesay former Minister of Presidential Affairs Minister and Dr. Saidu Kamara of the Kingtom Police Hospital allegedly hired the services of thugs comprising ex- military and RUF fighters and deployed them in an unidentified locations within the Rokel village.
So when Karim and the SSD personnel about nine in number arrived in Rokel they were attacked and disarmed and their AK 47 rifles withdrawn from them. During the scuffle three of the police officers sustained wounds on their heads. The angry mob vow to kill Karim, but luck was on his side when he was rescued by a reinforcement team of police personnel who returned with him to the Port Loko Police Station. The LUC advised Karim to stay at the station for security reason, this reporter was told by police officers at the Port Loko Police Station’. While Karim was in police custody a private soldier whose name was giving as Mohamed Kamara arrived at the police station with two rifles, which he claimed were given to him by the Paramount Chief of TMS PC Bai Kama Ahtinkie 11.
LUC Tarawally later ordered one of his officers, by the name of Sanpha a native of Konikay village to collect the remaining three guns. On his arrival at the Rokel village, he discovered that the entire village has been burnt down, sparing the Mosque and a Primary School. About 34 houses were razed to the ground. “Most of the youth were armed with guns including Edie-Boy who later handed over the three guns belonging to the police” Sanpha explained to his boss on his return.

 


 

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1 comment

  1. Alusaine Kamara

    This is a pathetic occurence, and it is a misuse of power. This is what our people have endured from time immemorial. I believe it is about time the government intervened and end this calamity. It is not fair to try and wipe out a whole village by few people who should be protecting our citizens. Sierra leone has been free from slavery and colonialism, therefore, citizens must be fairly and equally treated. My suggestion is to forward the case to our kind and able P.C. Kassagna in makeni. I am sure he will be able to forward the case to the President since he is also a parliamentarian. I wish you all the luck, and I hope this case will be solved so that poor and rich sierra Leoneans will have faith in our legal system.

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