The Local Court Number 3 located in Makama village in the Bombali Sheborah Chiefdom, about half a mile from Makeni City was transformed into a sacred bush when traditional healers from Koinadugu stormed the court all in the name of swearing witnesses in a defamatory matter.
A total of six people including three men and three women were put into the traditional dock outside the court building in a circle representing a box for taking an oath before commencement of the matter itself which was brought before the said court by one Seray Kargbo against Aminata Bangura.
The traditional swearing and oath taking ceremony drew the attention of locals including youths, the aged, children and passers-by because of rituals involved and types elements used in the process. The so-called idol on which the witnesses swore was a dark-brown object dressed with cowries with blood-like liquid sprinkled on it.
According to the herbalist from Koinadugu hired to perform the ceremony, one Sheku, when once the matter in court commenced all the witnesses in the matter are expected to say the truth, failure to do so the idol will strike the individual to death. He insisted that he is not hired to hurt person but to ensure that they say the truth in the matter. The swearing ceremony started with one Unisa Bangura and ended with Aminata Bangura, ordered to stand with their bare feet pointing their left index finger to the idol.
Mr. Turay, the Court Clerk, told Awoko Newspaper that they are obliged to listen to whatever the complainant requested them to do especially what is lawful, which was why according to him they allowed the swearing ceremony to go on. He said prior to that they had cross checked and confirmed that the herbalists had authentic license to operate and that their idol has no ‘witch gun’ in it.
The Court Clerk said the matter will commence once the swearing ceremony has completed and certified by the complainant as was indicated by signing of a commitment and acceptance paper in the court.