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Page added on September 20, 2012
The big question on the lips of party supporters and stakeholders of the main opposition SLPP in Constituency 110, in the western area is among the main two contenders for parliamentary seat, Mr. Imran Sillah and Mr. Joseph Maada Soyei, who will represent the people in parliament? Both of them are well educated for the task and popular in the constituency.
Investigations mounted by this press revealed that Maada Soyei allegedly rumoring within the constituency that he has already won the SLPP symbol contrary to the rules and regulations of the Election Management Committee.
This has not gone down well with the supporters of Imran Sillah.
The party will conduct a primary election this weekend to determine who will get the SLPP symbol for this year’s general election.
Most people in the constituency believe from what they heard and saw in the past that Imran Sillah will win if accorded the mandate and will definitely articulate their views in parliament.
Imran Sillah played a pivotal role in the August 18, 1997 student’s demonstration that helped to restore democracy and freedom and the SLPP democratically elected government under President Alhaji Dr. Ahmed Tejan Kabbah.
During those difficult days, he was one of those students who were willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice (his life) in defence for freedom, democracy, and the restoration of the SLPP government.
Mr. Sillah was picked on that fateful day at the National School of Nursing where Vafae Konneh was killed.
He was tortured and manhandled before taken to Pademba Road Prison where he was incarcerated in very inhumane conditions for a period along with other students like Sahr Khortequee and Mike Kamara. Mr. Sillah was very active politically in his students’ union presidency and was well known for his eloquence.
He worked for the Ministry of Youth and Sport in collaboration with the UNDP in the capacity building unit on youth issues where he attended conferences on youth related issues in Nigeria and London respectively. He then traveled to London after a brief spell at the ministry. In London, Sillah worked for local government authorities, the London Borough of Lambeth, and Richmond upon Thames on youth issues. Unlike Mr. Joseph Maada Soyei, Imran has also played his own part towards the consolidating the party.
A good number of SLPP supporters were worried if Maada Soyei eventually clinched the symbol and subsequently won the November polls, there is a possibility that he will be petitioned on the grounds he has a case to answer in respect of embezzlement and obtaining money by false pretense while he was working at the National Revenue Authority (NRA). The matter was charged to court but later thrown out of court by the then Magistrate J.O. Wellington of blessed memory for insufficient of evidence. The charges were indictable offences, in consequence whereof a preliminary investigation was conducted in the Freetown Magistrate Court No.1 presided by J.O. Wellington, now deceased. At the end of the investigation Maada Soyei, the accused person, was discharged for lack of sufficient evidence.
Undoubtedly the late magistrate implicitly relied on the first ambit of Section 118 of the Criminal Procedure Act No. 32 of 1965 for his decision. This section states ‘If the court considers that the evidence against the accused is not sufficient to put him on his trial, the court forthwith orders him to be discharged as to the particular charge under investigation; but such discharge shall not be bar in any subsequent charge in respect of the same facts’. The actual danger here, however, is that this is a legal issue in relation to politics.
The choice or selection of aspirant against whom fresh charges can be proffered is therefore a risk too serious to be over sighted.
By Sheikh Sahid
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