The All Peoples Congress (APC) Chairlady for Bo Mrs. Zainab Mansaray who was alleged to have been attacked with machetes at the APC Offices in Bo during the fracas that followed the alleged stoning of Julius Maada Bio, yesterday 9th January 2012 commenced testimony before Hon.Justice Abdulai Cham of the High Court of Sierra Leone.
Explaining her ordeal to the court, Mrs. Mansaray said on 9th September 2011, she left her family house in Bo to take feeding items to the APC youthful caretakers taking care of the party office in Bo.
She said upon her arrival at the office that day, she met a staff of the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) known as Jenneh Smith who informed her that she (Smith) had been holding a meeting with some APC youth in the conference hall of the office.
Zainab Mansaray said Jenneh told her that the meeting was called in order to advise the APC youths not to go out of their office compound in order to avert any confrontation with the visiting Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) supporters.
She furthered that she was standing with the PPRC staff at the junction leading to APC office entrance on Mayei Boima Road in Bo observing the situation. While there she went on, they saw the SLPP Member of Parliament for that region Honorable Rado Yokie on board a jeep loaded with dozens of SLPP youths driving with him and they had an altercation with some police officers.
Zainab said during this process, stones started pelting from all angles starting from the back of the offices of the Peoples Movement for Democratic change (PMDC) which was located on the Mahei Boima Highway. At this point she said because the place did not seem to be safe, she returned to the APC office which was located away from the highway and advised APC supporters to go indoors and keep the doors locked.
Whilst they were safely inside, they observed a huge crowd of SLPP youths putting on T-shirts bearing the face of the SLPP aspirant Julius Maada Bio in the front, running towards the APC office and seemed to be in a very angry mood. She said the whole place was full of commotion and it was fearful by the time the SLPP youths surrounded the entire APC office building.
At this point, she informed they broke into some of the rooms and started to loot the properties in there. At this point, she said they saw other group of SLPP youths storming the APC office with fuel in their hands. She said they threw the fuel on the roofs and through the windows and the next thing they saw was thick smoke from everywhere and choking them.
Mrs. Mansaray furthered that she was left with no option but to open the office doors to let the APC supporters locked in with her, be able to escape. She said as she was about to escape, she was recognized by some of the attackers whom she identified in court as the 3rd and 6th accused persons.
She told the court that upon identifying her, the 3rd accused person knocked her down and all other alleged SLPP youths descended on her, giving her a merciless beating of her life that left her almost unconscious. She spoke of how they stripped her stark naked and then used sharp objects to butcher at her naked body.
She spoke of how she was rescued with blood oozing from all parts of her body and taken to her family house from where she was taken first to the Bo Government Hospital from where her brothers Alusine Conteh and Alusine Sesay conveyed her to Freetown and admitted her at the Connaught Hospital. She said she was admitted for two weeks and later taken to Ghana for advanced medical attention. She further complained that at present, she is still experiencing pains all over her body and was faced with difficulties if she tried to walk a long distance.
At this point, the lead defense lawyer, Anthony Y. Brewah Esq. asked for an adjournment.
The matter was then adjourned to Friday 13th January 2012 at 9:30am prompt.