By: James Kamara-Manneh

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice Mohamed Lamin Tarawally has engaged the media yesterday at his Lamin Sankoh Street office in Freetown to inform the nation through the media that the former-expelled Vice President Chief Alhaji Samuel Sam Sumana request made at the ECOWAS court in 2015 was serious and it could have had negative impact on the developmental progress of the nation.

He continued that had it not been the swift intervention of erudite legal luminaries of the present administration the ECOWAS court would have slammed heavy sanctions on Sierra Leone and that would have affected both our national and international recognition and membership of the ECOWAS community.

The AG continues that the former VP felt dissatisfied and sought redress at the international court (ECOWAS) for what he described as unlawful removal from office, and violation of his Human Rights during the All People’s Congress regime led by former President Ernest Bai Koroma.

He said the last regime could not defend the action; therefore, the country was exposed and judgement was delivered against the State in 2017, and by virtue of the judgement the state was compelled to pay him his benefit which he was requesting.

Interestingly, Sierra Leone being a member of the ECOWAS community and signatory to many other organizations and was very ironical for the previous government failed to submit themselves to the court being a sovereign state, based on that a default judgement was entered against the country.

 However, in 2018 there emerged a new political administration.

Again, Sam Sumana wanted to enforce the court judgement, therefore, he went back to the ECOWAS court to enforce the judgement. According to the AG, the relief he (former VP) sought before the court was serious pinning that Chief Sam Sumana wanted the court to sanction the country as a terrorist or military regime nation.

He disclosed that the former VP further wanted the following sanctions to be slammed against the people of Sierra Leone: to impose sanctions against the Respondent through suspension of new community loans or assistance, suspension of disbursement on on-going community projects or assistance programmes, exclusion from presenting candidates for statutory and professional posts and suspension from participating in the activities of the community pending compliance with the Judgment of the honourable Court delivered on the 27th day of November, 2017.

“If this order was to be granted it would have affected the entire nation and its citizens. We call the press so that the nation will know the gravity of the sanction that the former VP requested against the state,” said the AG.

He said as Lawyers defending the state there was no alternative than to appear before the court and defend the State, if they had failed to present themselves this would have had a serious knack on their reputation as Lawyers defending the State.

However, they were able to put up a strong defence for the state by filing a preliminary objection to the Applicant’s motion (Former VP) on grounds that the Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the Applicant’s motion seeking to enforce the Court’s judgment in ALHAJI SAMUEL SAM-SUMANA v REPUBLIC OF SIERRA LEONE (ECW/CCJ/JUD/19/17); and that the Applicant has no locus standing or capacity to file the motion.

Another significant of the judgement was that the Former VP went to court seeking redress upon the violation of his Human Rights, political deprivation in governance etc, AG narrated.

Whereas, the Solicitor’s General Roberts Kowa described the action as undefended based on the fact that the past administration said that they will not subject themselves to the ECOWAS base on the decision given by the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone and the judgement was obtained. He added they came in as Lawyers defending the State to restore the dignity and respect of the Sierra Leone, and they have succeeded in accomplishing their mission.

He added that the Former VP intention was to cripple the economy of Sierra Leone had the court granted such orders.

The Principal State Counsel Osman I. Kanu reiterated that the Judgement delivered on 27th November,2017 in favour of the Applicant (Former VP) delivered a default judgment in which it found that the Applicant’s rights to political participation and fair hearing under the African Charter were violated. The Court consequently ordered Respondent (Sierra Leone Government) to pay all remunerations, perquisites of office and other entitlements due to the Applicant from the date of his removal from office till the date his tenure of office ended.  Because the State failed to compile with the Judgement another action was filed against by the Sam Sumana against a country, he wanting to become President.

While the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Easmon Ngakui succinctly analysed the judgement delivered against former United Democratic Alliance (UDM) Presidential Candidate Mohamed Kamarianba Mansaray that the court judgement was a bit considerate and that the convict will run a jail term of less than 15years for all eight counts charged against him. He further clarifies that the said matter had no political bearings and that both the Prosecutions and defence team did their work very well. Whereas, the case of Alhaji Amadu Bah fondly called KING BOSS LA, the DPP said that the matter was not adjourned for another reason to the best of his knowledge rather it was the sole-decision of the Honourable Judge to have adjourned the matter for Judgement.


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