Following the death of Mrs. Kadija Fillie, who was allegedly deliberately hit and run over by the vehicle driven by her husband Dr. Sahr Fillie, former Principal of the Freetown Teachers College, women’s groups, Human Rights activists and family members on Friday 9th November 2018, staged a peaceful protest in the vicinity of the Voice of Islam Mosque at Circular Road where the remains of the late woman were laid for prayers and later buried at the Circular Road Cemetery.
In an exclusive interview with the landlady of the shop where the deceased used to do her business, Haja Kadijatu Jalloh said the late Kadija was her tenant at No.1 Hastings Junction and that they were very close and discussed a whole range of issues.
She explained that the deceased had on several occasions told her that there had been threats from her husband over her life, especially during times of altercations between them, but that this time, he told her to leave the house or face the consequences.
She maintained that the deceased told her that the husband requested that on leaving the house, she should leave her kids behind.
With her advice and that of other family members, the late Kadija took the matter to the police and on that fateful day, the Family Support Unit at the station, on discovering that both kids were under 7 years, told Dr. Fillie, who was also invited to the station that he could not have custody of the children as they were under the age limit of the law to be put in his custody. Dr. Fillie is said to have left the station in anger.
On her way back home from the police station and dropping off from a commercial vehicle at Furniture Junction along the main highway from Freetown to Waterloo, the deceased according to Haja Kadijatu Jalloh, noticed the vehicle of her husband parked at the junction and whilst informing those with whom she had returned from the Police station, Dr. Fillie deliberately drove his vehicle at top speed right onto her, hitting and riding over her. He then drove off from the scene to avoid being caught, but was chased by some okada riders who observed the whole drama. He was caught and then brought to the police, where he is helping them in their investigations.
Haja Kadija Jalloh went on further to explain that whilst at the Emergency Hospital where the deceased was rushed to, she was told by one of the foreign doctors that examined her that the deceased (then struggling for her life on life support system) had broken ribs, fractured skull and broken leg, which she claimed was as a result of the accident, as they went to and from the police station together in good health.
In the course of this investigation, the Police Media boss, Supt. Brima Kamara was contacted on the matter and he confirmed that the suspect is in police custody at the CID headquarters and is helping them in their investigations and that the police will inform the public on the conclusion of their investigations.
However, Human Rights activists have said that the government should come down strong on perpetrators of domestic violence, as it is this absence of strong actions that has led to such ugly situation. Samuel Barnes of Inspiration Life Line, a civil society organization dealing with female issues, said that he is aggrieved by the level of violence against women and is calling for the treatment of women with respect.
He also stated that they were in a meeting dealing with women’s issues when news about the killing of kadija was broken and his presence at the protest is to show solidarity with the women in demanding justice for Kadija and to encourage the government to take strict actions to deal with perpetrators of all sorts of violence against women.
Mamadu Wurie Balde, brother of the deceased, staying at Allen Town was full of grief and could not speak with the media, but referred this writer to their lawyer, Alpha Bah Esq. who was in the process of filing papers on domestic violence against his sister when the incident took place.
Madam Konima Borbor kamara, a Women’s Right activist, said that she has been following the news on radio and television and is concerned over the issue of violence against women perpetrated by men and as part of the women’s forum, they are agitating against such violations of the rights of women.
The case of Kadija, she maintained, is one of such cases and she is not happy with the manner of her death and this prompted her to join the family and other Human Rights and Women’s Organisations to call for justice. Government, she added, should put an end to violence against women by vigorously enforcing the laws.