LAB staff slammed with three count charge
The Legal Aid Board’s Paralegal responsible for Juvenile matters, Ibrahim Kallon made his first appearance before Magistrate Binneh Kamara of Court No. 1 on Tuesday, January 31 to answer to three count of Threatening Language, Insulting Conduct and Defamatory Libel. Ibrahim was granted bail and the matter was adjourned to Friday, 3 February 2017.
Ibrahim Kallon had gone to the New England Police Station on Friday evening, January 27 to monitor a matter involving two children of the Children’s Forum Network (CFN). The matter had been referred to the police by the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden.
As a Paralegal with the Legal Aid Board, Ibrahim went to the police station to ensure the rights of the children were respected. This includes drawing attention to the lack of a cell for children in the police station like other stations in the Western Area should the children be refused bail.
The Executive Director of the Legal Board, Ms. Claire Carlton-Hanciles assigned the Juvenile Lawyer, Joel Deen-Tarawally to the matter on Saturday, January 28 to assist Ibrahim. Lawyer Deen-Tarawally and Ibrahim Kallon were able to secure bail for one of the juvenile suspects. Prior to the arrival of Lawyer Deen-Tarawally, Ibrahim had successfully secured the release of one of the suspects.
The securing of bail for the last remaining suspect resulted in wide celebration from tens of CFN members including its national President Paulina Bangura who were present in the vicinity. They sang the praise of Ibrahim.
Developments took a turn for the ugly when Ibrahim posted a message on social media that he has been arrested. He was consequently transferred to the Central Police station where he was detained for three days. All efforts to secure bail proved futile. No reasons were given for this despite questions to the effect.
It is important to note that Ibrahim is a former member of CFN. He had also served as an executive member of the organization. He is seen as a mentor. This explains his close relationship with the organization.
The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board has in a press statement called on the members of the public to respect the rights of both parties in this matter. ‘As a legal aid organization, our interest in this matter is to ensure both parties are treated equally before the law and also access justice in fair and transparent manner.’ Ms. Carlton-Hanciles stressed.
Ibrahim Kallon is represented by a private lawyer, Joseph Ben Kaifala who will be joined by Lawyer Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai a leading human rights lawyer. Lawyer Abdulai who is presently out of the country will be in court at the next adjournment date.
This matter has aroused a lot of interest from children’s organizations and human rights activists including Abdul Fatorma of the Center for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI).
By Joseph Dumbuya
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