‘As usual the office will be launched by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice (AG), Hon. Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara,’ the Executive Director of the Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles said. ‘The AG announced at the launch of the office in Waterloo on May 6 that another Magistrate Court will be opened in the town after listening to concerns about the high crime rate and the statement from me regarding the high number of accused persons from Waterloo provided legal assistance by the Board in the Cline Town courts. We hope there will be a pleasant surprise for the people of Kono because the district shares similar challenges as Waterloo.’
According to Ms. Carlton-Hanciles the launch of the offices is not about politics noting that the Board is an independent nonprofit scheme and will remain as such come rain come sunshine. ‘Our interest in inviting politicians to our launch is to ensure there is goodwill because at the end of the day the Board is a subverted institution.
The Legal Aid Lawyer for the District, Ibrahim Mansaray has described the launch as an opportunity to showcase the achievements since the establishment of the office in the District. More importantly, to highlight the challenges we are facing in catering for the justice needs of the people.
‘I will use my statement at the launch to call on the Attorney General, donors and stakeholders in the justice sector to empower the office so as to increase our services especially in the informal sector where harsh terrain is making monitoring very difficult,’ Lawyer Mansaray said.
According to Ms. Carlton-Hanciles, the Board started operations in Kono in September 2016 which follows the securing of an office space, deployment of Lawyer Ibrahim Mansaray and recruitment of two Paralegals. ‘For now, we are the only organization with a resident lawyer in the district,’ Ms. Carlton-Hanciles said.