The Segbwema Magistrate’s Court in the Kailahun District in eastern Sierra Leone has ordered the arrest of a presidential candidate in this year’s election.
The court issued the arrest order after Mr. Mohamed Kamaraimba Mansaray, Chairman and Leader of the Alliance Democratic Party, failed to appear before him.
Mr. Mansaray is standing trial for alleged unlawful possession of small arm.
He was charged last year alongside one of his aides, Mohamed Bangura, who is accused of malicious damage and wounding.
The two have since denied the charges, which critics of the Koroma administration say was politically motivated.
The Magistrate said the two accused persons showed gross contempt for the court by failing to show up at the adjourned date and ordered the detention of the two until the next adjourned date.
The two persons were initially detained during a bye-election in Segbwema.
The prosecution alleged that Mansaray was found in possession of a stun gun without licence, following skirmishes involving supporters of the ruling All Peoples Congress party. Bangura was said to have allegedly attacked APC supporters with stones and other crude missiles.
Both Mansaray and his lawyer were quoted as saying that they never received a notice of hearing to appear in court.
The arrest order comes four days before the scheduled date of the official nomination of Mansaray in his bid for the presidency.