October 4, 2016
The Sierra Leone Legal Aid Board will today, 4 October, open their Port Loko office, the second such upcountry office after Makeni.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Hon. Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, will reportedly do the official opening and also deliver the keynote address. He is expected to explain government’s policy on, and efforts at promoting access to justice. This would entail the recruitment of Magistrates and State Counsel to reduce the cost of accessing justice.
He would also underline the government’s commitment to protecting the rights of women, including issues of discrimination in accessing property.
Legal Aid Board lawyer covering Port Loko and Kambia Districts, Mohamed Korie, said the launch would come as a big relief to the poor and vulnerable in the two districts. “It will create the assurance that the Legal Aid Board is here to stay, to speak for the poor,” he said. “A lot has been achieved since we started operations in the two districts in September 2016. The launch will spur us to do more.”
Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Mrs. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles, said the Board would continue to impact on the lives of poor people. “In spite of the limited resources at our disposal, we are proud of the difference we are making in the lives of poor people and this is what keeps us going,” Ms. Carlton-Hanciles said. “Everyday people come up to me to say thank you for giving us a chance to rebuild their lives.”
The launch would also be graced by civil society groups, including the Sierra Leone Motor Drivers Union. President of the Union, Alpha Amadu Bah, said ahead of the event that, “The establishment of the Legal Aid Board has been a huge relief to members of my Union. We have benefited a lot from the Legal Aid Board. This is why we give topmost priority to it by participating in all its activities.”