Sierra Leone News & Information

State House | Press Union | Lumley Beach | AllAfrica | SL-Web

  Giving Knowledge to the People
welcome to sierra leone's premier news source
Last Updated: May 21st, 2009 - 18:37:42 
Front Page 
 Breaking News
 Local News
 Photo News
 Video News
 Moiie's Column
 Role Models
 Awareness Lady
 Common Man
 Special Messages
 Legal Matters

Published online by
Sylvia Blyden Dot Com

17 Garrison Street,
Sierra Leone.
Tel: +232-77-772001
Tel: +232-88-321000
Tel: +232-76-350077
Tel: +232-30-321001

NEWS : Local News  

Sylvia Blyden Declines Solidarity Demo in Sierra Leone
By Bintu A Sesay & Aruna Turay
May 21, 2009, 17:24
Email this article
 Printer friendly page

The Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of the leading and most widely circulated Newspaper in Sierra Leone, the Awareness Times Newspaper Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, yesterday Wednesday 20th May 2009, declined an offer by hundreds of her supporters including scores and scores of local journalists, who had all been ready to march with her from the Law Courts to her 17 Garrison Street offices (PZ Roundabout).

Supporters asking to Demo as Sylvia Blyden cautions them

Blyden explained in a soft tone of voice to her supporters, relatives, friends and local journalists that she did not want to be a pawn for any group of people who might be looking for an opportunity to create instability in the city by attacking such a public crowd of her well-wishers.

Sylvia Blyden cautions supporters

"There are violent people around who are looking for an opportunity to cause mayhem in the country. Let us not give them such an opportunity. Let us help His Excellency the President to keep the peace in Sierra Leone by shying away from anything that will provoke instability such as chanting in solidarity with me along Siaka Stevens Street," Blyden implored her supporters especially numerous youth groups who had been preparing to mobilize.

Prior to this, Blyden had been charged to Court to answer to a one count charge of publishing false statement contrary to Section 32(2) of the 1965 Public Order Act. According to the State Police, it was put to Dr. Sylvia Blyden that she was part of a Conspiracy aimed at getting the First Lady angry with the President and thus exposing the President to security threat.

"I am putting it to you that the article is an act of conspiracy to cause disaffection between the First Lady and His Excellency the President thereby disrupting the orderliness and well-being of their home and in the circumstances causing security threat to the well-being of His Excellency" were the words of the Police Investigators shortly before Sylvia Blyden was charged under Section 32(2).

Meanwhile, the application by Blydens lawyers for her to be granted bail was upheld and she was granted bail on her own recognition (self-bail) to which she walked out of the Law Courts to loud cheers but after which she declined to march along the streets in any solidarity march.

The matter comes up again tomorrow when the Director of Public Prosecution, O.V. Robbin Mason will do what he calls a token start. Blydens Editor, Abdul Karim Kabia, was not in court as he is currently ill and receiving treatment.

Prior to being charged to court, Sylvia Blyden had yesterday reported at the CID of the Sierra Leone Police to face questioning following which she was unexpectedly charged to court. As the news spread that she was in Court, throngs of citizens, youths and also scores of local journalists led by the SLAJ President, turned up in a show of solidarity.

For his part, the Lead Defense Counsel of a battery of some ten brilliant lawyers, Lawyer A.Y. Brewah applied for bail to be granted to the accused person on the account that she will not interfere with any prosecution witnesses, adding that his client is a resident of Freetown that owned a very large investment in and out of the city and assured the court that his client will not escape justice or court proceedings when ever she is needed to attend to it. He was supported by Lawyers like E.N.B. Ngakui, Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Bar Association as well as Lawyers H.M. Gevao, G.B Kanneh, A.K Musa, T Kelly, S.T.M Navo, and I.S Koroma

However Lead Prosecutor who was no less a person than the Director of Public Prosecution, O.V. Robbin Mason, Esq. backed by Lawyer Bintu Alhadi and Gerald Soyei vehemently objected to bail stating that there are certain aspect of this matter which are still been investigated and that if the accused person is granted bail, there are several chances that she might want to skip the country.

After listening to the two arguments, Presiding Magistrate Steven Conteh using his own discretion granted the accused person a self-bail and adjourned the matter to Thursday 21st May 2009. As soon as Sylvia Blyden stepped out of the Court Room, there was a huge roar of approval from the scores of journalists who had turned up in total solidarity with their colleague.

It was a cacophonic situation as numerous local and international journalists were present from the print and electronic media such as the British Broadcasting Service (BBC), United Nations Radio, Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service (SLBS) Television and Radio, ABC-TV, Reuters, Associated Press, Africa News, Cotton Tree News, Radio Democracy 98.1, Believers Broadcasting Network (BBN), Sky Radio, Kaleone Radio, Christian Radio I AM, Radio Islam, Concord Times Newspaper, Premier Media, Awoko, African Champion, Exclusive, For-Di-People, New Vision, Spectator, Life Herald, Observer, Democrat, We-Yone, Salone Times, The Atomic, to name but a few. It should be noted that a handful of bitter journalists especially those working for the Presidential Press Secretarys private newspaper as well as one or two from Standard Times, For-Di-People and Peep Magazine were easily noticed stepping out of the court in shame with their heads bowed low as if they were searching for a lost 1000 carat diamond (shame on you guys). However, it was clear that 99% of local Sierra Leonean journalists, including even some of the staff of Standard Times and For-Di-People (Editayo Temple for example) were in total solidarity with Sylvia Blyden as was even evidenced by the huge number of solidarity phone calls to the Courts by journalists in Makeni, Kenema, Bo and other provincial towns.

The matter comes up again

this morning.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Top of Page

Latest Headlines
In Sierra Leone, Sylvia Blyden Makes Second Appearance; Bail Changed to 100 Million for Publishing False Statement
In Sierra Leone, Rastas Form Council
Commission of Inquiry on Poor Educational Standard set up in Sierra Leone
Antecedent of My Piece on Kailahun Mess has nothing to do with Sia Koroma or John Benjamin
Fugitive Because of Arabella?
Applauding SLPPs John O. Benjamin
Commending the ONS for its Frank Talk to Security Personnel
A Frustrated Former APC Member Speaks Up Against Violence and Lawlessness in Sierra Leone.
Retraction & Apology
Front Page of Friday May 8th 2009 Edition of the State House Newspaper
Chief Justice Assures Red Cross
Quotable Quotes: Wise Men Control Their Tempers & Use their Brains
Solomon Ekuma Berewa Gets Surprise 70th Birthday Party
Sierra Leone's Kha-Benneh Bangura Wants Your Votes
Goapele, Daddy Saj and Mahala @ Zanzibar on Night of Saturday 26th
Bio Data Of The Former President Of The Republic Of Sierra Leone Alhaji Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah
A Chat With Sierra Leones First Doctorate Chartered Accountant: Dr. Dante Alie Bendu (B.Sc Hons, M.Sc, M.A., FeICM, ACCA, PhD)
Sierra Leonean Woman Excels In UK
Kailahun SLPP MP frowns at Finance Minister in Sierra Leone
Sept 23: Millicom Sierra Leone bounces back
Romanian buys more Sierra Leone Diamonds shares
Sierra Leone Peoples Party National Secretariat
Cement Price Reduction Press Release
Office of Diaspora Affairs for the 2009 Job Fair
Statement By The Chairman Of The UK & Ireland Branch At The Prayer And Intercession Service To Commemorate The 58th Anniversary Of SLPP
Sierra Leone Envoy Launches Sierra College Foundation (SCF) in the UK
Contracting Authority: The ECOWAS Commission Support to Regional Integration in West Africa
Zain Africa Challenge - 2009
Now In Stores
ProCredit Bank
An Afflicted Cow FookFook Brain Manufactures Ronshos, Diamba, Gnomes, Rubber-Fack & Leprechauns; Desires to Import Machiavelli into a Democracy
Mama Salone Laments 48 Years of Freedom and Independence
Tourist Attraction: Office Of The President & Ministry Of Tourism & Culture should take note
Sincere Congratulations to Reverend Wilfred Leeroy Kabbs-Kanu from Sierra Leone
Awareness Times to re-open its Anonymous Discussion Forum

Copyright © 2005 - 2007, Awareness Times Sierra Leone; All Rights Reserved.
Hosted & Designed by West Africa Dot Net