An Ariogbo is a spiritual local Ďdevilí masquerade within which is believed to contain a living human being whose real identity is never publicly known except to the ones who brought out the Ariogbo masquerade to perform its supposedly mystical powers of unmasking wrong-doers in society.
The most recent and sensational Ariogbo story that hit Sierra Leone was last year when security personnel at State Lodge brought in an Ariogbo to expose supposed witches at the Presidentís Lodge. The Ariogbo did claim to have named & shamed these Ďwitchesí but since it was masked during the process, no-one really could tell identity of the Ďwitch-catcherí as he unmasked the Ďwitchesí. They just trusted its word.
Well, one of Sierra Leoneís top legal minds has yesterday May 24th 2010 simplified the ongoing complexities of legalistic issues at the Law Courts for scores of grassroots supporters of Haja Afsatu Kabba by explaining to them outside the courts that the witnesses which the Anti Corruption Commission wishes to bring to testify against the embattled but highly popular female politician would have their identities hidden away from the public just like an Ariogboís face is hidden.
The lawyer thus explained the reason for "arguments by lawyers" in front of the Hon. Judge was because Haja Afsatu Kabba was demanding not to be prosecuted by people with their faces hidden away like that of an Ariogbo Ďdevilí but by witnesses whose faces are seen in public as they testified against her.
Meanwhile, the latest set of legal papers filed by the Defence Lawyers for Haja Afsatu Kabba on this issue of protected witnesses are below. The case which is presided over by the learned Hon. Justice Samuel Ademusu comes up again today at 1pm.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.