Charles Margai Cries 


By Ibrahim Sahid Kamara

The newly appointed Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Lawyer Charles Francis Margai on Tuesday, 9th May, 2018 explained the ordeal he went through in 1977 while paying tribute to three of their departed colleagues at the Freetown High Court namely: Justice Edmond K. Cowan, Justice Claudius Doe-Smith and Magistrate Aiah E. Fanday.

According to Charles Margai, in the 1977 general elections, when he stood for the parliamentary seat for the Sierra Leone People’s party (SLPP) in the Banta Chiefdom in the Moyamba District, he polled 11,620 votes as against his opponent who polled 200 votes. Following that victory, he said he was detained for one year for alleged election violence without being charged. He said, he was deprived of taking his bath, changing his clothes and scrubbing his teeth whilst in detention. According to him, the same clothes he wore when he was detained was the same he came out with when he was released.

Prior to that, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice went on to further disclose that on the 30th day of his detention, the then Vice President Sorie Ibrahim Koroma moved a motion in Parliament that he was nowhere to be seen and as a result,  he had lost his seat in Parliament. Charles Margai reiterated that, that was how he lost his parliamentary seat.

In his tribute to the late Justice Edmond K. Cowan, Charles Margai said the late man was tolerant and patient, adding that he was committed to his family; qualities he said, he learnt from the late man.

Charles Margai assured everyone that the CRC document left by the late man would not be swept under the carpet but that he would ensure that it is implemented to the letter.

Justice Nyamu Finda Matur-Jones also paid tribute to the late Justice Claudius Doe-Smith while Justice Glenna Thompson paid tribute to Justice Edmond K. Cowan and Justice Emmanuel Eku Robert to Magistrate Aiah E. Fanday.

It could be recalled that Lawyer Charles Margai was not the only SLPP candidate that faced such an ordeal in the 1977 general elections. The late Dauda Sandi of Kailahun South Constituency and Dominic A. Ngombu of Kailahun North Constituency were also detained and also eventually lost their parliamentary seats.