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COMMENTS & OPINIONS  

Sierra Leone's Attorney-General still Stuck in Past Dictatorial Eras
By Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden
Feb 24, 2011, 17:29
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Frank Kargbo still in Shaki APC & NPRC Modes

By Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden


It will be recalled that current Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Frank Kargbo was the younger brother of the late APC Cabinet Minister of Transport of Siaka Stevens, Hon. Edward Kargbo (May his soul R.I.P.). Upon Frank Kargbos return from studying Law abroad, he was set up in legal practice from the largesse of his generous late brother. Frank Kargbo thus started lawyer life as the younger brother of a Cabinet Minister in a One-Party dictatorship. That was the mode in which he started his working life; under a dictatorship!


In those days, there was no freedom of expression and people would get arrested from inside public transports by feared paramilitary police officers who would drag them from vehicles into police stations following which, they would be charged to court for what became popularly known as CARELESS TALK. In other words, that APC regime was so intolerant to dissent that even openly speaking out against the regime or against the excesses of President Siaka Stevens whilst in public transports could become a crime; let alone publishing anything against the dictatorial regime.


Despite all of these human rights abuses and lack of freedom, no-one dared to do anything contrary for fear of the regime falling on them like a ton of bricks. Trained lawyers watched as evil contriving of legal gymnastics displayed itself and they all kept pretty much silent.


This is the kind of atmosphere that Lawyer Frank Kargbo started his formal legal profession life as the younger brother of an APC Cabinet Minister. This is the mode that he was to be deeply imbibed into for many years. A mode where the regime silenced critics using variety of tactics is what Frank Kargbo is used to.


To make matters worse, Frank Kargbos first inning into public life was as a Minister in a Military Soja NPRC Dictatorship. In the footsteps of his late Transport Minister brother, he was appointed Transport Minister in a Dictatorship following which he was made Attorney-General and Minister of Justice in the military junta dictatorship.


Yes, Frank Kargbo served as Attorney-General and Minister of Justice in the NPRC Junta regime that caused a certain prominent woman to be forcibly collected from her house along Pademba Road in the night, thrown over her top-floor veranda, bundled into a military truck and driven to the home of one of the NPRC Junta ministers where she was publicly gang-raped by common soldiers, given the beating of her life and then dumped at Congo Cross police station; bloodied and mangled. What was  her crime for such abhorrent actions? The poor woman, a civil servant, insisted on procedurally handing over Brookfields Hotel keys.


Nothing at all (ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!) came out of such brutality against a woman despite agitation for justice by the likes of Paul Kamara of For-Di-People newspaper. This is the regime that Frank Kargbo served as NPRC Minister of Justice & Attorney-General; a regime that displayed such lack of respect for a woman. This is another of the kind of modes that Frank Kargbo is probably still fitted into. One of lack of respect for women and their privacy.

 

The least said about the December 1992 extra-judicial killings of that regime, the better. Whilst Frank Kargbo was probably not complicit in the extra-judicial killings, it is a fact that he was to take over the mantle of Attorney-General and Justice Minister immediately after those killings.


When a man like Frank Kargbo who has worked locally for freedom/human rights (at the Truth & Reconciliation Commission) and internationally as a promoter of human rights at a United Nations Mission, reduces himself to appending his signature to the kind of Letter he dispatched to Bernadette Cole, one can only assume that whilst the rest of us are now in modern-day, democratic Sierra Leone, Frank Kargbo Esq. is still stuck in the NPRC and Shaki APC dictatorial modes.

 

This NPRC mode and the Siaka Stevens APC mode are what Frank Kargbo seems to be deeply imbibed into. This is the kind of mode he probably finds it easy to operate within. He is intolerant to democratic modes of governance where the citizens can freely operate according to Sections 11, 24, 25 and 27 of the Sierra Leone Constitution. He also seems to be oblivious of the numerous caveats attached to Part V of the Public Order Act of 1965 including when and how action can be instituted under the Public Order Act. This is why he has written that unfortunate letter to Madam Bernadette Cole!

 

However, with the likes of Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden in the media, he can be assured that we will slowly but surely pull him out of that dictatorial mode so he can come and join us in modern-day Sierra Leone.

 

If he is brave enough, I trust that Frank Kargbo will be man enough to face me at the Independent Media Commission to justify his silly assertions against me! I look forward to then lecturing Frank Kargbo on both the National Constitution and aspects of the Public Order Act of 1965 (that he quotes in his scandalous letter) which he seems to be ignorant of. It will be my pleasure to lecture Frank Kargbo on the Public Order Act of 1965!


At that time, I hope he will be respectful enough to address me with my correct title of Dr. It is rude and inexcusable for an Attorney-General to stoop so low as to be malicious enough to even try to remove from me, my hard-earned due title of DR. Sylvia Blyden.


Whilst the whole world from Tunisia to Egypt to Libya is fighting for freedom for the residents of Planet Earth, it is clear that Frank Kargbo of Sierra Leone is fighting to take Sierra Leoneans backwards and backwards. He might have misled himself into thinking Umaru Fofana speaks for vast majority of Sierra Leoneans when Umaru opened his mouth to tell SLBC that writing about underwear of male politicians will bring about instability in Sierra Leone. However, let me tell Frank Kargbo that he might have bitten off far, far more than he can chew all because of the unfortunate mode in which he finds himself stuck in; the mode of NPRC Soja Junta and Pa Shaki APC. We only hope he leaves that mode as quickly as possible; both for his own personal good and for the greater good of the man he is currently serving as Primary Legal Adviser.


Let Frank Kargbo be informed that his letter does not scare me. It actually amuses me. Let him also be informed that when President Koroma has been severally suffering serious embarrassments that I have refused to publicise, it has not been because I am afraid to do so but because of patriotic reasons.

 

Let him be informed that when I recently defended President Koroma against the U.S. Embassy Cables, it was not out of fear of the Public Order Act but out of patriotism. When President Koroma came back from America recently and I decided not to report on what happened, it was not because I am afraid of Public Order Act but out of a desire to help to uphold the dignity of President Koroma in the eyes of the public. These are all examples of my voluntary decisions which abound in significant numbers over the last three years contrary to the nonsense which Frank Kargbo has written against me! Nonsense!


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

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