Wednesday March 23, 2016 - 25
five years ago today on March 23, 1991, the first shots
were fired in Bomaru, eastern Sierra Leone as the first
armed rebellion in independent Sierra Leone was
25 years on the same conditions which germinated the war
are being nourished by the present set-up with reckless
The war was officially declared over in
2002 by the then Head of State, President Ahmad Tejan
Kabbah after many twists and turns, some definitely
unpalatable to the wishes of surviving victims and the
memory of the many killed, traumatised and having to
live a life without limbs while wallowing in poverty and
It was a war that brought out the
beasts in two-footed creatures parading as human beings.
Beasts of terror who sought to create a fiefdom of
terror and deprivation in a once peaceful and beautiful
land called Sierra Leone.
At the end of the day, the government,
on the advice of civil society, the international
community and all those interested in the welfare of the
country thought it would be in the best interest of the
country, then, now and forever to take a forensic look
at what led to the armed rebellion initiated by those
March 23, 1991 shots in Bomaru.
Thus was the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission, the TRC, established and this body patiently
heard evidence from victims, perpetrators, those who
lived through it all as well as key entities and
functionaries during the period that was reviewed. It
later came out with
a report that
should guide all Sierra Leoneans and friends of Sierra
Leone on what lessons are there to be gleaned that would
never see us go down the road of national perfidy and
Here's a part of what the TRC report
says that should be of interest to all peace and
progress-loving true Sierra Leoneans - strictly not for
recycled thieves and raiders of the public purse.
"After years of brutal conflict
in Sierra Leone, there existed a need to confront
the past. The nation wanted to know what precipitated
the wave of vengeance
and mayhem that swept across the country.
How was it
that the people of
Sierra Leone came to turn on each other with such
Why did so many
abandon traditions of community and peaceful
Why were long
held and cherished customs and taboos so wantonly
It is only
through generating such understanding that the horrors
of the past can
effectively be prevented from occurring again. Knowledge
are the most powerful deterrents against conflict and
We are reminded in that report on the
causes of the conflict which are many are varied, but
among the chief causes are, according to the TRC report
"While there were many factors, both internal and
external, that explain the
cause of the civil war, the Commission came to the
conclusion that it was years
of bad governance, endemic corruption and the denial of
basic human rights
that created the deplorable conditions that made
regimes became increasingly impervious to the wishes and
needs of the
majority. Instead of implementing positive and
progressive policies, each
regime perpetuated the ills and self-serving
machinations left behind by its
By the start of the conflict, the nation
had been stripped of its
dignity. Institutional collapse reduced the vast
majority of people into a state of
Government accountability was non-existent.
and dissent had been crushed.
Democracy and the rule of
law were dead.
1991, Sierra Leone was a deeply divided society and full
of the potential for
violence. It required only the slightest spark for this
violence to be ignited."
The TRC made a number of
recommendations which if taken in good faith and
implemented would see a peaceful and progressive Sierra
Leone where all would live in dignity within the borders
of Sierra Leone.
Had these recommendations being
carried out in the spirit and letter of what was in the
TRC report, the Ebola Virus Disease would not have taken
such a heavy toll on the lives and way of life of many
Sierra Leonean communities.
Initial reports published by some
journalists in Sierra Leone in which they warned that
the government needed to be on a state of alert after
the disease started ravaging neighbouring Guinea would
have greatly limited the rampage of the virus.
Those brave and patriotic journalists
were roundly attacked by the attack hyenas of a regime
whose only allegiance to the welfare and prosperity of
the people lay in describing them as unpatriotic and
tagged as SLPP members.
Here's a part of the recommendations
of the TRC report which could have spared the country of
all the quagmire that those in government and with
connections to the rat at State House may well heed.
makes recommendations to
strengthen the judiciary and the rule of law, as well as
Parliament and the
electoral system. The Commission proposes the
introduction of a new
transparent regime in which citizens will have
reasonable access to
government information, where senior public officials
disclose their financial
interests and where government informs people down to
the community level of
what amounts are being spent on services and
The above bit is anchored by this
excerpt which show quite clearly that 25 years on since
those first shots in Bomaru, lessons have not been
learnt fuelling speculations that those now in
governance know the dangers ahead but are hoping that by
the time it erupts they would have fled the crime scene
to well-feathered nests that would take them to their
version of what is clearly a paradise of delusion.
For all who wish Sierra Leone well,
there's the need to heed the warnings of institutional
collapse that led to the collapse of democracy and the
rule of law and as anyone who knows the ups and downs of
this beautiful country lest we go down the path that led
to a conflict that should have been prevented had due
diligence being paid to the rule of law and democracy.
The greatest threat to the rule of law
and our fledgling democracy is not only the rat himself,
but the institutions that have failed to perform their
duties as enshrined in their setup and the constitution.
The greatest threat to Sierra Leone's
peace, democracy and the rule of law is the Judiciary.
The Judiciary, a body that should be
one of the three arms of governance and one which should
be independent of all political considerations,
independent of the Executive headed by the rat and
independent of Parliament has become so compromised that
what obtains now in Sierra Leone is a one-party state of
affairs and state in all but name.
Here's a body that is supposed to give
Sierra Leoneans a hope for the rule of law allowing
itself to become clay in the hands of the Executive
culminating in the final betrayal of interpreting the
Constitution to suit the Executive as it follows the
whims and caprices of an intolerant, rogue and thieving
despot passing himself off as an elected President.
Sierra Leoneans now find themselves
saddled with a Supreme Court, the final arbiter of
justice shamelessly ruling that one half of an elected
duo can sack the other even though both were on the same
party ticket in blatant contravention of the
It is the Judiciary, using the courts
that is plunging this country into a distinct lack of
respect for the rule of law; it is the Judiciary using
the courts in diverse ways that is showing all and
sundry that lessons still have to be learnt from the
causes of March 23, 1991 some three hundred months ago.
The atmosphere of a lack of
accountability created by a compromised Judiciary has
seen rampant stealing from the coffers of state making
the work of
seem like a wasted effort at bringing sanity to use of
The Anti Corruption Commission could
have all the rules and regulations aimed at bringing
state looters to justice but no matter what that body
does, in the end it is the Judiciary that decides on who
goes free and who gets punished for not having the right
Many watchers of the system of justice
in Sierra Leone are still waiting for the appeal
reportedly launched by the former head of the Anti
Corruption Commission, one Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara
(JFK) after 57 charges were dropped against
one Allieu Sesay,
the head of the National Revenue Authority and one of
the rat's sacred cows.
There's the case of one Afsatu who got
the country into a dubious and odious electricity deal,
was hauled before the courts while at the Fisheries
ministry and is now the rat's envoy to Africa's power
JFK is now the rat's (not the
country's) Justice minister and given how willing he is
to have his hands tied by State House, his elevation to
this important post could mean one and only one thing -
the further erosion of the rights of the Sierra Leonean
as witnessed before the March 23, 1991 armed rebellion.
Kindly recall that in the
before the 2007 General Elections there was a promise
that the Office of the Attorney General would be
separated from that of the Cabinet minister of justice.
More than eight years and after two elections, the
situation remains the same.
When it comes to the tenets of
democracy, the Judiciary is the most culpable as an
agent of corruption.
The people of Constituency 005 and 015
can still not understand why a judge, an apology for all
that is decent, one Showers cannot only rule against the
opposition but took upon herself the role of the
National Electoral Commissioner,
one Christiana Thorpe,
to declare the APC candidates as duly elected.
The two ballot thieves now sit in
Parliament where they are supposed to represent the
majority of constituents but are in reality there
representing the ruling party that came a poor second to
all contesting candidates.
There are other cases in which the
Judiciary has become a weapon in the arsenal of the
despot at State House.
Cases hatched against opposition
supporters are mysteriously dropped should the accused
declare membership of the ruling APC party. The Falley
case is just one example.
One that takes the icing on the
corruption cake to a higher level is that involving the
Minority Leader of the House, one Bernadette Lahai.
This is an MP of the opposition SLPP
who had been removed from that post by her Parliamentary
colleagues. Yet she is still there because she now
serves the cause of the ruling party, agreeing to any
and all undemocratic moves by the ruling party.
It was the ruling party, we suspect
that advised her to take the SLPP MPs to court where the
Judiciary, true to its corrupt form slapped an
injunction against any move that would see her legally
removed from her position as Minority Leader.
Kindly recall what we wrote back then
2014 while reminding all and sundry about
January 6, 1999 -
"Treason, in our view, is not
only the taking up of arms to replace a government that
is voted into office in a free, fair and violence-free
election, but treason charges can be laid against a
President who having taken the oath of office to defend
the constitution, deliberately and in a calculating
manner goes against the key elements of that document
that defines the position he holds.
His accomplices should include,
among others the Chief Justice Umu Hawa Tejan-Jalloh,
the Head of the Electoral Commission Christiana Thorpe
and the Head of the Anti Corruption Commission Joseph
These named officials know and are
aware of their duty to the people of Sierra Leone as
defined in the Constitution and other documents relating
to the discharge of their duties, but have failed to do
so. Instead they have become a part of a concerted plot
against the people of Sierra Leone who are now forced to
suffer further agony.
Thanks to a system orchestrated
with the help of others still to be identified, where
the rule of law has become almost non-existent unless
you are a party activist or have direct connections to
State House from where the smoke and mirrors President
presides over the fate of the millions of poor and
disadvantaged and unconnected Sierra Leoneans in their
own God-given country."
Let us leave you with
this observation from the final report of the TRC -
"The judiciary has
not been independent for the past two decades. The executive arm
of government was directly involved in the judicial processes,
which invariably inhibited access to justice.
Backlog of cases
became the order of the day as the courts became overcrowded
"Justice delayed is justice denied...People were
held custody for long periods without trial. Most Magistrates
and judges were accused of being notorious for bribe taking and
were known to have adjudicated matters in favour of their
The instruments and structures used by the judiciary
were and are still obsolete. Most of the laws are not in
consonant with international standards and therefore only
protected the political aspiration of the ruling party."