When An Attorney General Begins to Climb Downwards

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By Chernor Ojuku Sesay

Monday February 6, 2006


When I was in the sixth form at the St. Francis Secondary School in Makeni, there was this book I read entitled: Fear Is The Key.  In a  nutshell, the plot of the story involved a guy who thought he was so clever and could get away with loads  of criminal activities like kidnapping, stowing away, robbery and the like.  Unknown to this criminal, there was someone superior who monitored the criminal’s every move twenty-four-seven.

This superior or more intelligent being would ensure that loopholes are created for the criminal to only go so far as the commissioning of a crime.  So, the climax of the story was when the criminal thought he had everything working in his favour; hijacked a submarine loaded with nuclear secrets and was speeding away underwater when to his utter dismay, the sub’s motors stutter and die altogether and the sub sinks slowly to rest on the ocean floor



So here was this criminal,  thinking he was or had been so clever and had everything worked out to his finger tips. Thinking that no one could stop him- not now!

So the book got its title Fear Is The Key as a result of the superior character being in total control of the submarine. And so voices from the speakers promise the hijacker a sorrowful end in the submarine. Death by suffocation, as there was limited supply of oxygen in the craft to last less than twenty-four hours.  And even in the event the oxygen stock lasts a bit longer, death would inevitably greet the criminal hundreds of feet below the sea! The criminal in the story, slowly but irrevocably goes insane.  He starts to break things and hurl obscenities at the speakers, throw things at no one and behave as one totally deranged.  It only took fear to turn him into a lunatic.


The submarine was eventually hoisted and its hatch opened for a man to emerge grinning the grin of a lunatic. The moral behind the above story is simple and straight forward.  It goes to show that no one person can monopolize knowledge; whether good or bad.


It so often happens today that people who feel they are so clever, turn out to be really very stupid.  And people who may seem to be rather stupid, surprisingly turn out to be very smart.  That’s why the Creole have an adage which goes: ?Form fool for gain wisdom’.   Now lest we stay  from what I really want to say, allow me tell you another short but interesting fiction.


There was this King who thought he was so wise.  And he loved nothing better in his life than clothes-new clothes.  Not a day would pass in his life when this King would not be clad in a new set of clothes.  So, in actual fact, by the end of one year, he would have 365or 366 sets of clothes hanging in his wardrobe.  But of course, they would just hang there until someone steals them, or he feels a pang of passion and performs some humanitarian gesture and gives them to less fortunate people.


So as I was saying, this King thought himself the best.  And he fell prey to a couple of smart-alecs.   This couple had heard of the king’s lust for newer and newer clothes and so plotted against him.  They approached him and informed him that they had the rare skill of making the finest clothes ever to be worn by wise and rich Kings.  They added that in fact, the clothes they would make for the King could only be seen by wise people! How delighted the king was and was even more than willing to part with a hefty sum to the smart guys as advance fee to purchase the yarn to weave the cloth to sew the clothes.




It so happened that after a spell, they collected more money from the King and declared their job done and invited the King to do a try-out of his new clothes. “But where are the clothes, I cannot see it?,” the King queried.  “But can’t you see that only wise people have the eyes to see it?”, replied the two guys.  So with that, they made all the necessary fuss about removing the King’s clothes and putting on him clothes they claimed could only be seen by wise people.  The King himself, blind with stupidity, considered himself wise, although he himself could not see the clothes which these two men proclaimed could only be seen by wise people.  What an irony.  Finally, it turned out that the two men fooled the King, who only realized his stupidity when he walked the streets quite naked, only to be jeered and taunted by his subjects.


“Oh! Our King has gone mad.” ” Look! Our King is naked.” “King! Are you gone crazy, walking in your briefs?,” were the questions people asked.  If took the King a few moments to snap back into reality and notice that he was actually walking half-naked among his subjects, he was not only full of rage but shame as well.  So you see, it took only a couple of smart-alecs a few hours to make a whole King disgrace himself publicly.  The moral of this story is:  “Cakroach way wan alaki; nar pamine bottle ee day fen.”




Recently, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Frederick Carew, made history when he told the world through journalists that, the death of the acting Editor of For Di People newspaper, Harry H. Yansaneh was a natural one and not induced or caused by persons including an SLPP Hon.? Fatmata  Hassan, and her agents who faced an Inquiry for their role in the beating of Harry Yansaneh prior to his death.  Mr. Carew has spoken.  His judgement or however he describes it was based on “the absence of records of the proceeding.” And that because of this “his office is unable to charge the matter to court;” rather  “he would rely on the findings of the two medical doctors to set aside the inquest verdict.” No words have been more false in my ears since the 21st century began! Mr. Carew also blamed the Coroner of the Inquest, Magistrate A. Fischer as being partly responsible for the inconclusive end to the inquest.  But that is another story.


You see, when people in authority open their mouth to speak, they should have first thought of the impact their utterances would have. They should also have in their minds that it is not what a man eats that defiles him rather the words which come out of a man’s mouth  is what defiles a man.  The AG has shown himself to be someone who responds to situations as and when it affects him or persons close to him.  And after his rantings, I wondered what would have been his utterances had the victim been his son with the same Hon. Fatmata Hassan and cohorts as the culprits.  But all said and done, the battle for press freedom, equality before the law and justice for all has just began


The Attorney-General and his likes are like the proverbial baboon: The higher it climbs, the more it exposes its backside. There is something deadly wrong or sinister about our people (especially men) in authority. When they want to assume a certain position they grovel, gripe, beg and do almost everything humanly possible to catch the good eyes of everyone.  Then when they do attain the seat, they then scorn those who were actually responsible for elevating  them in the first place. They scorn, laugh and even plan the death of those who elevated them.



Looking at the record of Mr. Carew, he is said as not being  as bright as some of his colleagues nor as successful; and so he it is said that he makes do with tactics to make it seem as if he’s clever.  Tactics like the one he pulled when he made those premature statements over Yansaneh’s case.

But there is something called conscience which every sane human being has.  And one’s conscience is what tortures one when wrong actions or decisions are taken to satisfy one party.  If goes without saying that truth suppressed shall rise again. Truth is the only element which allows one to climb the ladder of integrity, success , fame and what-have-you. But falsehood, hooded truths, wrong judgments, selfish desires etc are what constitute the downward trend of a man or woman.


As for our Attorney General, he started to climb downward ever since he made that first blunder in a civil matter concerning ownership of a house at Savage Street in Freetown.  At the time it was said that because the woman involved was the AG’s girlfriend, he twisted the case in her favour.  The truth of  this matter is yet to come out. Our Attorney-General should commit to heart and indeed recite this Creole proverb everyday before he starts work: “Take tem kill anch, you go see im gut.”



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