In response to the ongoing misinformation and distortion of facts following the Bar Elections held in Kenema on the 18th May 2024, I am minded to set the records straight for the unsuspecting public, who might be swayed by the lies being peddled on social media by colleagues who were resolved to causing trouble in the election hall.

Firstly, it was communicated repeatedly on the first day of the meeting that the proceedings were scheduled to commence at 12 noon. At the designated time, the meeting was duly called to order. Ben Kaifala proposed an amendment to the agenda, which was put to a vote and received majority approval. The amendment aimed to address concerns about a female secret society that would be active on Sunday morning, potentially forcing non-members to be forcefully initiated. This necessitated an early conclusion to the elections, allowing attendees to leave for Freetown or Bo early.

Following the agenda amendment, a motion was made to nominate Ben Kaifala as the Returning Officer, which was seconded. Augustine Marrah then nominated Hon. Gevao, who declined. This is where objections from Team Wara and Team Marrah began, disputing Ben Kaifala’s role as Returning Officer. Their objections quickly escalated into disruptions aimed at preventing the elections from proceeding. Julius Koffie was also nominated for Returning Officer and declined.

And there were nominations for candidates which all 3 candidates were duly nominated and seconded by their respective supporters.

Contrary to the accusations circulating on social media, Francis Ben Kaifala did not hijack the elections. On the contrary, he stood firm against the disruptive actions that threatened the integrity of the process. Colleagues from Team Wara attempted to destroy the microphone and ballot papers were thrown on the floor by them. The videos circulating online capture moments of Ben Kaifala defending the electoral process from being derailed by those intent on causing chaos. Colleagues from Wara and Marrah were even throwing Water bottles, Chairs and Sachets of water at the Security Forces who came to restore sanctity at the hall as seen from the Videos online.

Marrah’s initial participation, including his nomination of Hon. Gevao, indicates that up until the point of disruption, the process was orderly and transparent. The disruptions and subsequent riotous behavior were instigated by Team Wara and Team Marrah, who forcibly blocked the stage area to prevent the elections from continuing.

Pa Momoh Fofanah’s absence from the hall renders his account of events hearsay, lacking direct observation and thus unreliable. His statements should be treated with skepticism and not given undue weight.

In conclusion, the portrayal of Ben Kaifala as having hijacked the elections is a false narrative. It is essential to acknowledge the efforts made to maintain order and conduct the elections fairly, despite the deliberate attempts to incite chaos by certain factions. Let us move forward with a clear understanding of the events and respect for the democratic process.