From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Magistrate Blames Local Gov’t Ministry for Chiefs’ Misbehaviour
By Dauda Koroma
Nov 25, 2010, 17:52

Magistrate Bankole Shyllon of Court No. 3 on Tuesday 23rd November, 2010 came down heavily on tribal chiefs in the western area for extortionist tendencies.  He registered his disgust for those chiefs who are in the habit of suffering poor people. “Most of chiefs in the western area are just eating free money without the Local Government Ministry monitoring their operations,” he advanced, adding that the ministry is only concerned with crowing the chiefs and go away without explaining to them their roles as chiefs in their respective communities.

Magistrate Shyllon made this public chastisement in court with regards a matter currently before him against the Mabayla Wharf Chief for levying the unprecedented fine of Le 730,000 on one Aminata Conteh for quarrelling with her neighbour.  He said the chief was not doing his work as a chief where he should be seen settling disputes amongst the community people but was instead busy collecting heavy fines in the name of sermon and keeping the proceeds to himself. “But I blame the Local Government Ministry for not doing their job properly in educating the chiefs,” he furthered, saying it is but disgusting that some chiefs are actually suffering the poor instead of protecting their rights. “Most of the chiefs in Western Area do not know their limitations to the community they are representing. It is no wonder that most of the chiefs are growing fatter with protruded stomachs from people’s monies.” The report was made against the chief by one Aminata Conteh who seemed dissatisfied with the extortion of Le 730,000 (Seven hundred and thirty thousand leones) from her in the form of a fine for quarrelling with a neighbour. However, Chief Pa Alimamy was unfortunately not represented by any defence lawyer.

The matter was adjourned to Thursday 9th December, 2010, while the chief was released on bail.

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