By Saikujohn Barrie
Since the first incident that resulted in the death of the youth, more than ten houses have been burnt, more than fifty Cows have been shot and killed, and the cattle rearer living along the border between Falaba District and Sando Chiefdom have been constantly harassed yet the Sierra Leone Police has not arrested any of the suspects.
Many cattle rearers are wondering why is it that the police are reluctant to arrest those who are continuing to kill their cows and burn their houses.
Why it is that no one is arrested for the killing of the poor innocent woman who was fasting when she was shot?
The Sierra Leone Police need to be serving every Sierra Leonean regardless of their tribe or region, but what is happening here is a clear discrimination against the cattle rearer by the Sierra Leone police.
Did the woman who was murdered in cold blood while fasting during this holy month of Ramadan deserve to be killed?
Doesn’t the family of the deceased woman deserve to know who killed their mother, sister and wife?
No one is calling for a special favor or treatment from the justice system of the country, rather, this writer is calling for fair treatment from the Sierra Leone Police Force (SLP) and the Government of Sierra Leone.
This writer believes that the life of every Sierra Leonean is important, the property of every Sierra Leonean is important.
Therefore, the Sierra Leone Police should stop the selective justice and bring the perpetrators of the heinous crime committed in Falaba District to book.
We are calling for the arrested cattle rearer to face fair and speedy trial, while at the same time, those who killed the innocent woman, those who burnt houses, and those who continue to shoot the cows as if the cows have no owners, should be arrested and charged to court as well.
The Sierra Leone government must know that injustice within any community will lead to rampant discontent.
A thing rife within the various communities cattle ranch areas in Falaba District.
At the moment, cattle rearers in Falaba district are not happy with the manner in which the government of Sierra Leone and its law enforcement body, the Sierra Leone Police have treated them.
Everyone is disappointed and distraught especially when they heard that the suspect from their own side had been locked up in Freetown while the other suspects from Sando Chiefodom are still free and continuing to cause chaos and mayhem without being arrested.
The cattle rearers have cried out loud for justice but no one seems to listen but soon they will be left with no option but to defend themselves and their property.
At present, every authority, from ministers from Falaba district, police authority and stakeholders seem to be making very little effort, if at all, to ensure that the perpetrators of the crimes committed against cattle rearers are brought to justice.
On that note, we are asking, where is the Sierra Leone Police?
AU Chairmanship Is Reserved For Sitting African Presidents
Over the last few days, I have been buffeted by calls from members of the public, friends and well-wishers, seeking confirmation about news making the rounds in the print and social media that former President Ernest Bai Koroma has been appointed to serve as Chairman of the African Union (AU). This is both erroneous and absurd.
The AU Chairmanship is an elective position reserved for sitting Presidents, not for former Presidents. So it CANNOT be true that former President Koroma has been nominated or appointed as the new AU chairman
The current AU Chairman is H.E. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal
Bio Opens Investigation For Green Belt Encroachment
His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has visited the Guma Valley Dam at Mile 13, facing massive encroachment, and called for the re-establishment of the Western Area Forest Green Belt and an immediate investigation into the activities of the Ministry of Lands and Housing for the concerning environmental infractions.
Guma Valley Water Company relies principally on this single source, the Guma Dam and the Guma Water Treatment Plant at Mile 13, with over 90% of the total water supply to over 1.5 million people in the capital, Freetown.
The President said his visit was, therefore, to get first-hand experience of the enormity of the threat to the water source and to provide the required political leadership to lawfully prosecute and punish deforestation and those involved in land grabbing around the water catchment areas. He added that the on-going encroachment of the Western Area Forest Green Belt area of the Guma Valley Dam facility was an environmental concern that should be stopped immediately.
“The Western Area Forest Green Belt area is an implementation of Parliament. So, the land is protected by law. This is very annoying and concerning. All those who are responsible should face the law. This is an existential threat that will not be tolerated. We are going to re-establish the GreenBelt and protect it,” he emphasised.
President Julius Maada Bio also urged the police and military to work with the relevant stakeholders to return decorum and calmness around the facility, saying that they should engage the village headmen to restore and protect the environment and the water catchment areas.
“Inasmuch as we want everyone to build homes, we should do it within the confines of the law. Guma is a major source of water supply to Freetown. Encroachment into the land will limit the fetch and storage of water to the city. If you undermine the environment, it will not protect you,” he concluded.
Saudi Arabia approves 1,585 pilgrims from S/Leone
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has allocated Sierra Leone a total of 1585 pilgrims for this year’s pilgrimage to the Muslim Holy land of Makkah.
The highest number ever previously allocated to Sierra Leone is 1000. This is the first time the Kingdom is allowing pilgrims from outside the country after easing COVID-19 restrictions imposed in May 2020.
The Kingdom has allocated quotas for pilgrims from all other countries around the world for the 2022 Hajj, which is 1443 of the Islamic Calendar. Out of one million (1,000,000) pilgrims, Nigeria has the highest allocation in Africa with 43,008, while Angola is at the bottom of the list with 23 pilgrims.
Egypt has an allocation of 35,375, while Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country, has the highest number of Hajj pilgrims worldwide with a quota of 100,051. Pakistan has the second largest number with 81,132 pilgrims and India is third with 79,237 pilgrims. Bangladesh will send the fourth largest number of pilgrims with a quota of 57,585. The quota allotted for Iran stands at 38,481 while Turkey’s quota is 37,770.
The United States of America has 9504, while Russia and China have 11,318 and 9190 respectively.
The Ministry of Hajj announced earlier that foreign pilgrims constitute 85 percent (850,000) of the total one million pilgrims who will be allowed to perform Hajj this year, while domestic pilgrims’ number is restricted at 150,000.
The Ministry has set certain terms and conditions for the foreign pilgrims for this year’s Hajj. These include not allowing pilgrims above the age of 65 and that all pilgrims are required to take two doses of coronavirus vaccines approved by the Kingdom.
Business Man Jailed For Fraud
By Feima Sesay.
Ibrahim Jalloh a business man was yesterday sent to prison by Magistrate Sahr Keikura of Pademba Road court No 1 for allegedly obtaining the sum of over 400 million Leones from Mohamed Jalloh on the pretext that he will facilitate and provide Australian Citizenship for him.
The accused made his first appearance in court and was charged with one count of obtaining money by false pretences contrary to section 32(1) of the larceny Act of 1926.
According to the particulars of offences it was alleged that the accused Ibrahim Jalloh on diverse dates between September 1st 2021 and December 31st 2021 in Freetown with intent to defraud, obtained from Mohamed Jalloh the sum of Le442,000,000 by falsely pretending that he would facilitate and provide Australia stay/ Citizenship for him knowing same to be false . The police prosecutor ASP Davis Cole informed the court that, the complainant is absent and therefore could not proceed with the matter in the circumstances requested an adjournment.
However, lawyer M. Sesay applied for bail on his behalf. Magistrate Kekura however granted her application and adjourned the matter to the 5th May 2022 whiles the accused was remanded in prison.
In another development, Mohamed Okoya Oscar Koroma who happens to be an engineer and miner was also refused bail and remanded in prison for allegedly defrauding one Mohamed Sampha Fofanah the sum of 130 million leones for the purpose of mining. The accused was arraigned before magistrate Kekura again on one count charge of Fraudulent Conversion contrary to section 20 of the larceny Act 1916.
The police alleged that the accused Mohamed Okoya Oscar Koroma on a date unknown between March and September 2021, at Magboraka town in the khdifa Rowallah chiefdom in the Tonkolili district Fraudulently converted to his own use and benefit certain property, that is to say the total sum of 12 thousand united states dollars equivalent to Le 130,000,000.00 entrusted to him by Mohamed Sampha Fofanah Junior for the purpose of mining.
No plea was taken when the charge was read to him.
Defense counsel Lawyer Charlie I Williams applied for bail on his behalf pursuant to section 79 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Act No32 of 1965. Magistrate Kekura however refused bail and remanded the accused in prison and the matter was adjourned to the 4th May 2022 for further hearing.ASP Ibrahim Mansaray was prosecuting the
CLIMATE EMERGENCY IN SOUTH AFRICA:
EBK, FORMER AFRICAN LEADERS EXPRESS SOLIDARITY
On April 22, their Excellencies, Ernest Bai Koroma, former President of Sierra Leone, Hailemariam Desalegn, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, and Dr Ruhakana Rugunda former Prime Minister of Uganda, met with His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa.
The three visiting leaders are part of a Global Steering Committee that are partnering with world leaders to stop the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, which is currently happening at an unprecedented rate. They issued the following statement: When the meeting with His Excellency, President Ramaphosa, was scheduled, South Africa was not experiencing the tragic loss of life and infrastructure that has occurred as a result of recent flooding and fires. There are no words that can convey the sorrow and heartbreak we feel over this tragic disaster, and our deepest sympathies are with those who have lost their lives, homes, and their infrastructure. It is important to us that the people of South Africa know that we are united with them in grief and that it is felt in the hearts of all Africans and, indeed, all people of the world. We, therefore, feel honored that His Excellency, President Ramaphosa, could still meet with us, given the heartache and sorrow South Africa is currently feeling. The recent tragedies have made our discussion even more important and urgent. As His Excellency President Ramaphosa said, ‘These floods are a tragic reminder of the increasing frequency of the extreme weather conditions as a result of climate change.’ There is no doubt that what has happened here is yet another reminder that we must do something fast. We cannot solve our climate crisis and stop these natural disasters if we do not urgently move to protect and conserve more of the natural world. The destruction of ecosystems accelerates climate change and poses a grave threat to our ability to protect communities from severe weather and floods. In fact, one-third of solutions that will reduce global warming can be found in nature. This means that without nature, we cannot stop the disastrous trend that is causing natural disasters in Africa and across the globe. We, therefore, came to South Africa to discuss our shared passion with His Excellency, President Ramaphosa, because we acknowledge that as chair of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (Cahoscc), he is leading the effort to solve this crisis and South Africa is a leading country in terms of protected area management and biodiversity conservation. The science is very clear, if we do not increase our protected areas and fully commit to truly sustainable green development by 2030, we will lose over one million species. We must join together as global citizens to protect 30% of the planet by 2030. Everything we do from this day forward needs to be done in balance with nature. Without those one million species that are working to lessen the impact of climate change, we will not survive. Our continent, with its unique natural treasures, can lead the way to a sustainable future if we act now. We need to work together to save the planet and ourselves, and we need to do it now. Signed: His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma (former President of Sierra Leone) His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn (former Prime Minister of Ethiopia) His Excellency Dr Ruhakana Rugunda (former Prime Minister of Uganda) Envoys for the Campaign for Nature Global Steering Committee — ENDS — Notes for Editors: Official Images About Campaign for Nature The Campaign for Nature works with scientists, Indigenous Peoples, and a growing coalition of over 100 conservation organizations around the world who are calling on policymakers to commit to clear and ambitious targets to be agreed upon at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China in 2022 to protect at least 30% of the planet by 2030 and working with Indigenous leaders to ensure full respect for Indigenous rights.