The victim (name withheld) is known in most child support groups in the district due to her brilliant performance in schoolwork. Her case is now being monitored and investigated by child support organizations in that part of the country and a formal report has been lodged at regional Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs in Kailahun.
According to Sorie Koromba who is the former president of the CFN and is presently working with the Youth Advisory Panel (YAP), after they reported to the ministry, the ministry officials in turn reported the matter to the FSU department at the Kailahun Police Division.
He stated further that the girls’ parents were invited more than twice to the FSU, but that it was only when the police issued an arrest warrant that the father reported himself at the FSU on 31st January, 2019.
At the station, the victim’s father Alhaji Mamadu Jalloh was asked a series of questions about his daughter. He informed the FSU in the presence of CSO and media representatives that the man who married his daughter is 54 years and that he has 2 wives, but that the relationship between the husband and his daughter is what he described as ‘kinship.’
He reportedly informed the police that his daughter will stay with him as a kinship daughter. The FSU then requested him to bring all relevant documents of the girl including her birth certificate, but he told the FSU that he his daughter travelled with all her documents to neighboring Guinea.
According to one Ahmed Simeon Lavalie who is a student at Njala University and who lived with the victim in the same section, he said the victim personally contacted him on social media lamenting her current situation. “She told me she is clearly not happy about the early marriage and that she wants to go back to school,” Simeon told AYV in an interview.
According to Simeon, the fifteen years old girl pleaded with him to see how best he could help her reach the relevant authorities to intervene in her case and free her from her current predicament in faraway Guinea.
In an audio sent to AYV, the victim said: “If you people are just talking to my parents about this case. My parents will not take it seriously unless you go there telling them that you are working to protect the rights of girls in the country. I felt so bad when my father took me to this man and when I look at my BECE result I cry.
“So I want child welfare advocates on hearing this message to please help me get back my childhood. My name is (with-held). My father’s name is Alhaji Mamadu Jalloh and my mother’s name is Isatu Jalloh. We live in the Masanta section in Kailahun town.
“My parents did not want me to discuss this issue to anybody and as a result, they restricted my movement to visit my friends, and even go to school. Everyone in Kailahun knows when I sat to the BECE and I did very well and I was among the best performing girls in the district. Please, if the government hears my voice let them help me to come back to Sierra Leone to continue my school.”