By Hassan Bruz
Northern Bureau Chief
It is now a common topic for discussion that there is likely to be another Bye Election in the Northern District of Kambia pretty soon. This would be about the 4th. Bye Election to be conducted in the District after the 2017 General Elections that ushered in the Sierra Leone Peoples Party [SLPP] to governance. The rumour of another Bye Election in the District is so rife that lots of people are wondering on the necessitating reasons for it. The topic seems to have been exhausted in all social gatherings within the District either at Attaya Base, Drivers or Orkada Riders’ Union Offices. There is hardly any Ward or Chiefdom in Kambia that has not expressed concern over the unpredictable outcome of such an Election.
In fact the Topic is now spreading to the sister District of Port Loko which is also the Regional Headquarters for the North West. Perhaps it is as a result of that capacity the People in Port Loko seem much more knowledgeable with regards such Bye Elections and why. Almost all those who have come to know the crux of this matter have wasted no time in pointing fingers of blame at the current Chairman of the Kambia District Council Mr. Mohamed Yayah Bangura. He is not been put on the limelight simply because he would be losing his seat, but largely because of his apparent inability to address the issue. Many more people are speculating why he should be in the thick of such a mess.
Yes, the Kambia District Council Chairman – Mr. Mohamed Yayah Bangura is on the verge of forfeiting his enviable position out of what even his close friends and relatives would refer to as ‘cross stupidity’. Other objective thinkers are as well tempted to view him as a pompous and big-headed young man that is digging for his downfall. I am sure your take would not be quite different from the aforementioned groups when you shall have read through this dispatch. For instance how could an upright thinking person opt to maintain a logger head with the Judiciary if you are expecting to be arraigned in Court where ’Poor People’ hardly have their right? Perhaps it is pointless to mention here that Mr. Mohamed Yayah Bangura is trending on a dangerous ground and it would be in his very interest to think well and do the right thing.
It is a fact that Mr. Mohamed Yayah Bangura is currently under further investigations at the Regional Crime Department in Port Loko on allegations of Disorderly Behavior and other Public Order Offences. He is alleged to have aggressively stormed the Kambia Magistrate Courtroom in desperation to confront Magistrate Abdul Carew. He was however prevented from accessing the Magistrate who had just retired to his chambers. Although he was denied access to the Chambers, Chairman Mohamed Yayah Bangura could not be stopped from saying what he wanted to say. Thus he is said to have used all sort of abusive words against Magistrate Abdul Carew, stressing that he would make sure the Magistrate is issued with an immediate transfer from Kambia. The Sierra Leone News Agency is told that a direct confrontation between Chairman Mohamed Yayah Bangura and Magistrate Carew or Staff of the Magistrate Court in Kambia was only averted by Mr. Alim – the Kambia District Youth Leader and some Onlookers.
This incident came barely minutes after Magistrate Abdul Carew had passed judgment on a matter that involved one Abdul Yoko Kamara who is also a Councillor at the Kambia District Council in which Mohamed Yayah Bangura is Chairman. Abdul Kargbo and 4 other persons were arraigned before the Magistrate following a report of Wounding and Assault made against them by one Abass Mouray Kargbo. All of them were found guilty and Abdul Yoko Kamara was sentenced to 5 months imprisonment. Most of the other Accused Persons were Cautioned and Discharged.
As outlined by the Court Registrar in Kambia – Mr. Thomas B. L Sam, even though Magistrate Carew was magnanimous, he could not caution and acquit the convict due to his previous criminal records in spite the mitigation plea made. Abdul Yoko Kamara was therefore sentenced to a jail term of 5 months. The Sierra Leone News Agency is told that it was the sentence of Councillor Abdul Yoko Kamara that did not go down well with Chairman Mohamed Yayah Bangura who rushed to the Courtroom for a confrontation with Magistrate Carew upon hearing that a sentence has been delivered on one of his Councillors.
The behavior of Chairman Mohamed Yayah Bangura in the Courtroom with reference to the scathing statements he is said to have used on the person of Magistrate Abdul Carew, seriously angered the Staff of the Court. Assistant Superintendent Adama Jabbie of the Legal and Justice Support Department who is also the lead Prosecutor at the Kambia Magistrate Court, was particularly displeased. She became so perturbed that she went and made a formal report against Chairman Mohamed Yayah Bangua at the Kambia Police Division. Chairman Mohamed Yayah Bangura was subsequently invited to make a statement with regards the allegations made by Assistant Superintendent Adama Jabbie.
This was followed by Preliminary Investigations conducted by Personnel at the Kambia Police Division. But the Matter has since been transferred to the Regional Crime Office in Port Loko for further investigations. Detective Inspector Lamin S. Kamara is the Head of Criminal Investigations for the North West Region. He confirmed that the matter is with the Regional Crime Officer – Detective Superintendent Hassan Sewa Kamara. He said statements have already been obtained from a number of persons. The Head of Investigations said there is so far sufficient evidence and that it is highly probable that the matter will be charged to Court.
A lot of questions have surfaced with regards the alleged disorderly behaviour of Mr. Mohamed Yayah Bangura. The first question that runs to mind is whether the Kambia District Council Chairman is aware of the – ‘Powers of a Magistrate’. Does he need to be told that the best way to challenge the decision of a Law Court is to register an appeal to a Higher Court rather than taking the Law into his hands? Is he also short-sighted to the fact that it is obligatory for him especially as Chairman of the District Council to enhance the enforcement of the Law and other policies of Government? Why is he not trying to sort out the issue with the Persons concern in this matter? Does he need to be told that his chances to win this case are extremely slim? Is Mohamed Yayah Bangura making light of the possibility that this matter has the potential to have him relieved from his position as District Council Chairman?