Sierra Leone: Mentally retarded man charged to court for insulting President Bio

“When sane men quarrel with the insane, one must question who’s more insane?”  Konomanyi.

By Alpha Kamara- TV Salone USA

Mohamed Mansaray, a mentally retarded man popularly called Blacka, was arrested and charged to court for insulting the President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio. Blacka and businesswoman Ya Kanday were arrested in the capital city Freetown on Independence Day, April 27th for provocation and insulting the president contrary to the public order act.

The two were arraigned in front of Magistrate Alpha Rashid Jalloh at the Pa Demba road magistrate court in central Freetown on Thursday, April 28. According to the particulars of offense submitted by the Sierra Leone Police, the madman and his accomplice between January to April 2022, made insulting remarks against President Julius Maada Bio.

Blacka, according to the Freetown Post told the court that he was at the Connaught hospital awaiting for his hernia operation when he was approached by police officers asking him questions. “The police apprehended me and asked me about the second accused Ya Kanday whom they accused of collecting money from Adebayo (a government critic residing abroad) for me to insult the president,” he said.

Blacka added, he told them, he did not know the second accused. But the police later informed him they are arresting him for insulting and provoking the president on several occasions in public. He was charged to court few hours later with the second accused and refused bail, and was locked at the Pa Demba road prison.

In and response and frustration over the incident, fifteen attorneys showed up in court to defend the madman and expressed concern over the way he has been treated by state actors. Lead defense counsel of the madman Blacka, C. Pujeh asked for bail to be granted to the accused (Madman Blacka) over humanitarian and other considerations.  He said sureties might be afraid to sign for bail for the accused because he is a mentally retarded man with no fixed abode.  He also urged the court to use humanitarian grounds to grant him bail because he is sick with not only mental issues, but also has other medical conditions that needed urgent attention.

Blacka, the mentally retarded accused was later released to his legal counsel with a bail bond. The matter was adjourned to May 8th, 2022. Meanwhile, social media has been angry over the decision for the police to arrest and charge a mentally retarded man to court for allegedly insulting the president. “How can anyone arrest a madman for uttering words and exercising his freedom” Algassimu Bah posted on Facebook. Tony Konomanyi wrote “This is Blacka, a mentally ill man just been released from prison for allegedly insulting the president. When sane men quarrel, with the insane, one must question who’s more insane he wrote.

Dozens of others have also shared similar sentiments on the issue and called on the police to be responsible.

Sierra Leone: Mentally retarded man charged to court for insulting President Bio
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