February 9, 2016
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice over the weekend (Saturday 6 February) had an interactive meeting with Paramount Chiefs from the North to discuss issues of justice development at chiefdom level and map out strategies to ensure that quality justice prevail in their localities.
The meeting, which also served as a social interaction between the Paramount Chiefs and the Justice Minister, was held in the conference room of Where Else Guest House in Makeni.
Addressing the 21 traditional rulers, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara recalled when he was invited by his boss, His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma, to come from the international scene at the Special Court for Sierra Leone to serve as the country’s head of the Anti-Corruption Commission. “I am happy to receive another call from my boss to help in the justice system,” he said and commended President Koroma for his good leadership in the country and for maintaining a good working relationship with Paramount Chiefs.
“President Koroma wants us to understand your needs and help to address them,” he told the PCs, noting further that he will soon conduct a nationwide justice assessment tour so as to address the many challenges faced in the sector.
“We don’t want the injustice that led to the rebel war to come again,” said Mr. Kamara, adding that he is planning to put in place a simple system like municipal courts that would address petty matters and also have a alternative sentence system. “I will continue to reduce backlog cases and ensure that more judges are appointed to reside in the regions.”
Statistician General of Statistics Sierra Leone, Mohamed King Koroma, said the justice sector has gone through lots of challenges over the years and revealed that his institution has been enjoying a good working relationship with the judiciary.
Very soon, he said, statisticians will be attached to the judiciary to capture the number of cases in each of the courts. He commended the Paramount Chiefs and their subjects for making the census a successful one, noting that provisional figures will be out by the end of March, whilst the final census result is expected in December this year.
Host Paramount Chief, PC Bai Sebora Kasanga II of Bombali Sebora Chiefdom, thanked the Attorney General for the initiative. “You have made lots of sacrifices that has made us proud of you,” he said, and concluded by assuring of support from the chiefs.
The meeting was facilitated by a community based organisation called Common Goal Advocate, which comprises of young people from different professions.
Stanley Bangura Jnr., a member of the organisation, said they came together with the aim of fostering development in Makeni and the nation at large. He told his audience that the group is an independent development centered organisation that deals with issues like governance and poverty reduction, among others.