The High Court has commenced sittings for the first time in the Country’s history in Kissy Teng Chiefdom, Koindu Town in Kailahun District, Eastern Province of Sierra Leone.

The move is part of the Honourable Chief Justice’s resolve to make justice, expeditious, accessible, transparent and accountable to every citizen regardless of regional background, colour or social status.

The Koindu township is still historic because of its commercial value before the rebel war. It shares borders with neighboring Guinea and Liberia including five sections.

In a jubilant atmosphere on Tuesday, 12th October 2021, marking the opening ceremony, the entire township gathered at the Local Court Barry to welcome the delegation from the Judiciary.

Amidst fanfare, the Sierra Leone Police mounted a guard of honour to receive the Resident High Court Judge Honourable Justice Francis Banks-Kamara and the Resident Magistrate, His Worship Alhaji Sulaiman Koroma.

In his welcome address, the Paramount Chief of Kissy Teng Chiefdom, Nyuma Ganawa III, said the idea of justice is becoming a reality now than ever before.

He expressed gratitude to the Honourable Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards on behalf of the people of Kissy Teng Chiefdom and its environs for his kind consideration in bringing justice to their doorsteps.

He said, “Today is a dream come true. Our hearts are filled with extreme joy and gratitude as we welcome the first High Court Judge in our township. For quite a long time now, we’ve felt neglected and forgotten but today, we’ve been assured that we have a Chief Justice who has made us a priority.”

Declaring the purpose of the gathering, His Worship Magistrate Alhaji Sulaiman Koroma explained with patience the procedure cases must follow before they reach the High Court.

He added that the court will deal with cases which have been committed to the High Court for trial after the close of Preliminary Investigations.

Chairman of the occasion who doubles as the Chiefdom Speaker for Kissy Teng, Michael Hallie Kendor, used the occasion to encourage the people of the township to embrace the privilege accorded to them. He also cautioned them not to compromise any act that will threaten the peace and security of the town.

Delivering his keynote address, Hon. Justice Francis Banks-Kamara made fraternal greetings to the people of Koindu Town on behalf of the Hon. Chief Justice, the administration and entire staff of the Judiciary.

He said when the Hon. Chief Justice was appointed by His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio in 2018, he made a promise to Sierra Leoneans to make justice more accessible to all.

“Our being here today is in fulfilment of that promise made by the Hon. Chief Justice some two years ago which is an indication that we have a forward-moving Chief Justice at the helm of the Judiciary,” Justice Banks-Kamara said.

According to him, when he was appointed a Judge in December 2020 and presented to the people of Kailahun District as their first Resident High Court Judge on 15th January 2021, he promised to make justice accessible to not only Kailahun Town but the entire District.

In his solemn commitment, he said, “I promise to deliver justice to all regardless of status, color or class.”

He went further to reassure that, “I’ll make sure that Kailahun becomes the first District to record zero crime rate in the entire country.”

The opening ceremony ended with the pouring of libation by the elders of the township in upholding their customs and traditional values.

The Circuit Court commenced with eight cases of Sexual Penetration brought before the court.