By Foday Moriba Conteh
On the 22nd May, 2020 former Minister of Social Welfare in the erstwhile Koroma-led APC Government, Dr Blyden who was arrested by Police and detained for weeks, appeared at the Magistrate Court where many were expecting that she will be granted bail but those hopes were dashed when the Presiding Magistrate, Hannah Bonnie, refused her bail, due to what was considered as “serious crimes”.
She is charged with ten count offences, ranging from seditious libel, publication of false news, defamatory libel, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, and doing an act tending to pervert the course of justice. The case was adjourned and she is to appear in court tomorrow, Thursday, 28th of May 2020.
Also appearing in court on 22nd May, 2020, was a young child-rights activist – Muckson Sesay, who was arrested immediately following the detention of Dr Blyden.
And, after spending weeks behind bars without charge, he was charged for publishing a picture of Dr Blyden on social media taken when she was being interviewed at CID, a charge which he has denied.
All eyes are now on the Sierra Leone judiciary to see if due process will apply. The burden is on the judiciary to uphold the rule of law and protect human rights.