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Sacked Sierra Leone VP takes case to ECOWAS Court

  • Samuel Sam-Sumana

By Umaru Fofana

Lawyers representing the sacked Vice President of Sierra Leone, Samuel Sam-Sumana are filing papers today, Tuesday 18 October 2016 at the ECOWAS Court in Abuja, challenging his dismissal, one of the lawyers has confirmed to Politico without saying much. 

They are suing the Government of Sierra Leone “for violations of the human rights of His Excellency Alhaji Samuel Sam-Sumana on account of his unlawful removal from the office of Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone,” according to  a statement Politico has seen.

They argue that Sam-Sumana’s sacking was unlawful and injurious and “deprived him of his right to the protection of the law; his right to due process,…his right to participate in government and governance”.

They want the ECOWAS Court to declare his removal from office as illegal and to “order Sierra Leone to take the necessary steps in remediation of the several rights violations”. 

Samuel Sam-Sumana was expelled from the ruling All People’s Congress party in March 2015 in what was a prelude to his sacking as Vice President. He was accused of lying about his faith and education qualification as well as anti-party activities.

He went to the country's Supreme Court which ruled that the action of the president was within the law. 

He has been living out of Sierra Leone for exactly one year. 

Sierra Leone has been brought before the ECOWAS Court twice under Ernest Bai Koroma’s presidency. Lebanese businessman, Mohamed Wanza sought redress over a questionable gunboat deal he went into with the NPRC junta. A former police officer Mohamed El-Tayyib Bah who challenged his dismissal from the force. 

Both men won by default after the government failed to put up a defence. The government obliged the outcome of Wanza’s ruling by paying for his gunboat, but is yet to do so in the case of the police officer for whom the court asked a financial compensation. 

Attorney General, Joseph Kamara could not be reached for a reaction, and Information Minister Mohamed Bangura would not give an immediate reaction.

Copyright (c) Politico 2016