SLPP presidential aspirant Alie Kabba appearing in court in Freetown

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 31 December 2015

Alie Kabba 1The outspoken opposition politician Alie Kabba, who was arrested a week ago by the Sierra Leone police, is appearing in court this morning to answer charges of alleged bigamy brought by his divorced wife – local government minister Diana Konomanyi.

The couple got married in Freetown in 2013 and after two years, Diana filed for divorce which was granted by the courts.

But now she is suing the opposition presidential aspirant Kabba for bigamy.

Diana is claiming that Alie had willfully falsified their marriage certificate when they got married in 2013, whilst knowing that he was still married to his first wife.

Alie has on various occasions denied this allegation, and said his arrest was politically motivated and the result of his constant criticism of the government’s failed policies and corruption in high places.

Supporters of Alie Kabba say that he is a prisoner of conscience, held captive by the Koroma government, just as the former dictator Siaka Stevens did to Kabba in the 1980s – arrested for student protest.

Diana-F-KonomanyiBoth Alie Kabba and Diana will have the opportunity this morning to put their evidence forward to a Judge at the High Court, who will decide where the truth about the allegation of bigamy lies.

But no matter the outcome of this case, it will be very difficult for the government and minister Konomanyi (Photo) in particular, to convince the majority of Sierra Leoneans who live in a culturally acceptable polygamous society, that this trial is not politically motivated.

A few years ago, popular journalist Sylvia Blyden of the Awareness Times published a story about president Koroma’s polygamous lifestyle, and she was arrested and charged to court under the Public Order Act.

But after weeks of drama in court, the then attorney general Serry Kamal decided to nolle prosequi – all charges were dropped and Blyden was acquitted.

As several of the male politicians in the country, especially in the Koroma government, watch this morning’s case against Alie Kabba unfolds in court, they may be wondering about the numerous children they have produced outside of their marriage, and their concubines.

In most cases, many of these children born outside of the marriage are not financially supported. Is there a law in Sierra Leone against this immoral practice? No. Polygamy is accepted in Sierra Leone.

Bigamy, according to the laws of Sierra Leone carries a sentence of ten years in jail. Friends and supporters of Alie Kabba believe he is innocent.

Is this case about justice, or is it about politics?

The court will soon decide in what should be a straight forward open and shut case, assuming that politics does not get in the way of good adjudication by the Judge.

The Sierra Leone Telegraph will bring you more on this developing story as it happens.

8 Comments

  1. The president has sent I.B. Kargbo to parliament to be the point man for the his third-term or for his ‘putinism, (after hin na hin stooge den nahin back) agenda.

    He has also appointed Charm as Chief Justice in place of more qualified and experienced legal luminaries (Ee miss dem. Enti na dem gee judgement in hin favour against Sumana, den see snake den call am kondo).

    Outspoken opponents of the day-light robbery and misrule that pervades this country are being arrested, detained and charged to court on trumped up charges.

    The head of the CRC is on record to have said that in their country-wide consultations with the people, the people are ok with the two-terms limit and in fact are asking for a reduction in the presidential powers. ( Ar nor go suprise if then sack, replaced, suspend, or charge am for marrying wan wef jisnor, o salone).

    The president and and those enriching themselves with the ill-gotten gains are given deaf ears. Wetin swit Goat nar hin go run hin belleh, —- long tay e go cut, tranga yase fly na hin go fala dae dae bodi go na grave.

  2. So Alie Kabba is first detained for 36 hours and very senior members of the police are involved in his arrest and detention. Instead of focusing on how to protect the lives of Sierra Leoneans in a country that is susceptible to disasters and with very high levels of violent crime, the polices priority is to be entangled in the matrimonial affairs of one individual.

    Other cases which have been waiting for considerable time to be heard are set aside, but the allegation of bigamy is fast tracked through our court process. This in itself is evidence of the complicity of the judiciary in Sierra Leone to undermine our democratic freedoms and our rights.

    We also need to understand why if there are bigamy laws in Sierra Leone, why they would apply to a section of the community of a particular faith and not to the rest of society.

    If polygamy is accepted, bigamy laws cannot then be applied to one section of society. This would be to make the law into ass. Our society has to either accept polygamy or make it unlawful for all Sierra Leoneans.

    This case is motivated by nothing other than politics. Any potential flagbearer of the SLPP that the APC are scared off have found themselves facing the full force of the power of the state.

    Foday Yumkella was arrested on trumped up charges and Kandeh Yumkella was prevented from campaigning. Furthermore, the police required Yumkella to attend CID “for clarification”.

    Now we see Alie Kabba being charged to court. Only Maada Bio – who has endorsed Ernest Koroma as an effective leader in exchange for Ebola funds is allowed to campaign without threats of prosecution and criminal charges.

    Maybe, this is part of the APC’s strategy to eliminate Bio’s opponents in the SLPP flagbearer contest. No wonder Bio has remained silent.

    All of this is possible because of the complicity of our judges, who do not have the guts to stand up to the dictatorship of Ernest Koroma. All of these actions are bound to fail.

  3. Yes, a Muslim can marry as many as four wives. But based on the relevant laws of Sierra Leone, if you marry at the registry, whether Muslim or not, you cannot be bigamous. What you guys are alluding to only holds for a marriage under the traditional (customary) system.

    Having said this, it is left with Mr Kabba to prove himself innocent as per his argument that he had divorced his first wife.

    And the intention of the police in this particular case is another issue altogether.

  4. Alie is carrying both a Sierra Leonean passport and an American passport. Whether he is Muslim or christian, he must follow the laws of America and America is against Bigamy.

    The only way he can get away with this is if he renders his passport to the US government. He can still be held in the US if his divorced wife press charges against him, and he can be behind bars for a long period of time.

    Your thoughts please.

  5. As far as I am aware the laws of Sierra Leone recognise the right of Muslim men to have more than one wife and this is common practice in salone.

    Except Alie kabba has changed his religion from Islam to christianity, I am at pains to see how he can be found guilty of bigamy.

    Can readers with legal background please clarify?

  6. I don’t really understand what Diana’s problem is. Alie Kabba is a Muslim and can legally marry up to four wives. Diana cannot say that she did not know that Ale Kabba is a Muslim.

    I am not a fan of kabba, but its obvious that this is nothing but sour grapes (hell hath no fury than a woman scorned), and politics blended together to destroy Kabba’s chances of contesting the 2017 presidential election.

    Sierra Leone has gone to the dogs. We need salvation in this country.

  7. A guilty verdict would have to be based on any “stare decisis” that the judge in the courts of Sierra Leone can cite – none in my opinion.

    Except if Mr. Kabba is an non-muslim. This by the way is an unprecedented phenomenon that is evolving in Sierra Leone. Please don’t toil with my #liberty !!!

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