Trouble Biriwa Chiefdom…
An elected Paramount Chief of Biriwa Chiefdom, Dr. Issa Madseray Sheriff last week passed night at Sierra Leone’s Maximum Prison subsequent to Magistrate Wellington’s refusal of bail.
P.C. Dr. Issa Madseray was before Magistrate Wellington on two count charges of refusing without reasonable cause to hand over the staff of office of the paramount chief, contrary to section 30 (2) (a) of the chieftaincy Act No.10 of 2009 and obstructing the provincial secretary contrary to section 30 (2) (b) of the chieftaincy Act No. 10 of 2009.
At his first appearance, 24th March, he was refused bail notwithstanding application by Defence Lawyer Bu-Buakei Jabi.
In his own words, Paramount Chief Issa Madseray said: “I have been ganged-up on by the hierarchy of the ruling APC. It was a surprise to bystanders when junior police subjected me to humiliation and bragged they’ve had instructions by above.”
“The police arrested me at the ‘pan lap’ check point in Makeni Town and frog marched me into the cells of Makeni police station.
I was withdrawn and later moved to Freetown for further investigation,” he said.
Facts have it that the erstwhile Biriwa Paramount Chief was, at mid-night of the day of his arrest, was escorted to Freetown by team of police officers and was eventually handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) pending investigation.
Material confirmation indicates that the deposed Biriwa Chief was legally nominated by the national electoral commission and was confirmed as true candidate.
It could be recalled that on 19th May 2009, President Koroma, in accordance with the advice of cabinet and in exercise of the powers conferred him by sub section (1) of section 25 of the provinces Act, appointed Honourable Justice Abdulai Sheik Fofanah as commissioner and Honourable Chief Masa Yelli N’tham II and paramount chief Alimamy B.Y Koroma to be assessors to inquire into the conduct of the erstwhile chief and to determine whether his conduct has been subversive of the interest of good government.
Investigation conducted revealed that the commissioners appointed to look into the deposed Paramount Chief’s conducts had longed come out with a white paper in which findings and recommendations were made.
It must be noted also that it was recommended that the Ministry of Local Government and National Electoral Commission put modalities in place for the election of new paramount chief for the Biriwa Chiefdom in accordance with the Chieftaincy Act 2009 as soon as possible.
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Cultural doctrines in relation to Paramount Chieftaincy, according some native elders, seemed abandoned completely.
“From ancient of days up until now, Paramount Chieftaincy is life-long. Information relating to the dethroning of the Chief of Biriwa is seen as a distress to the cultural values of our society.” Indigenes say.
Rumours have glaring that the arrest of the deposed Chief came owing to his refusal to hand over the staff of the office of Paramount Chief to the provincial.
Disgruntled supporters of the ousted Chief, we are told, have vouched being in camaraderie with their man until his returned to office.
“It is a discomfort and unhappiness to hear that the staff of office of the Paramount Chief of Biriwa has withdrawn from the democratically elected Chief, Dr. Issa Moaseray,” a group of Biriwa residents said.
Even though Dr. Issa Madseray was granted bail during his second court appearance, it has been confirmed that he has submitted the staff of Paramount Chief to the consultant Master and Registrar Julia Sarkodie-Mensah.
Sources say that people of Biriwa Chiefdom have been divided along political lines – some in support of the APC and others the opposition SLPP. Accusing fingers are pointed at the Sierra Leone Attorney General, Frank Kargbo, the Local Government Minister, Dauda Kamara and the Provincial Secretary, A.R Dumbuya, as having hands to the removal of the staff of Paramount Chief in custody and lawful possession of Dr. Issa Madseray.
By Foday Marrah
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