The dispute came about because of alleged critical comments made against the Society by the Imams which the members of the society did not take kindly to. The ensuing dispute lead the Government to suspend initiation into the traditional society following displacement of Imams, while others were either attacked or forcefully conscripted into the Traditional Poro Society.
The Board had to intervene in the dispute in January 2019 following a request from the Council. Reverend Bob Kandeh one of the Board’s Adjudicator with the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Department who also happens to be a senior member of the Poro Society was sent to the affected Chiefdoms – Kandu Lekpeyama and Giema Dama - in Kenema District where he held series of meetings between the two parties in Gaama village until a peaceful resolution was reached.
Based on the findings from the mediation, the Board called on the Council to take steps to address the frosty relationship between their members who are also happen to belong to the Poro Society.
The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles, said alleged critical comments from these people may have inflamed tensions between the two groups. ‘There is also the thorny issue of Imams who have denounced their membership of the society which is also a source of tension between the two,’ she said.
Based on a request from the President of the Council, Dr. Mohamed Habib Sheriff the Board has agreed to train members of the Council as Paralegals. This will be done in all the regions in the country.