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Sierra Leone News: SLPP urges GoSL to accept ECOWAS ruling

The Sierra Leone People’s Party in consonant with Julius Maada Bio, presidential aspirant, SLPP on Tuesday 28 November 2017, called on the Government of Sierra Leone to accept the ECOWAS ruling and implement all the reliefs granted especially the restitution of all benefits, perquisites and amenities due to former Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana.
The former Vice President was removed from office by President Koroma and the All People’s Congress (APC) Party. The matter was adjudicated by the Sierra Leone Supreme Court and ruled that the removal was constitutional.
As a way of seeking redress for violations of his constitutional and human rights, the Vice President took the case to the ECOWAS Community Court for Justice.
The ECOWAS court, yesterday 27 November 2017, declared the dismissal of the former VP as an abuse of his rights.
Addressing the press at SLPP headquarters office on Wallace Johnson Street in Freetown, Umaru Napolean Koroma, National Secretary General, SLPP, said that the rejection of the ECOWAS ruling by ruling All People’s Congress, despite Sierra Leone being a signatory to the Community’s Protocol, signals disrespect for the rule of law.
Koroma pointed to a default judgement against the government of Sierra Leone involving a businessman Mohamed Wanza and a compensation of $25 million USD.
“SLPP believes the ECOWAS court ruling has provided a valuable learning opportunity that Sierra Leone Supreme Court will reflect on and ask themselves the tough questions as to whether they served justice or their political masters when the matter was before them,” the press statement noted.
The SLPP also called for immediate resignation of Attorney General Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, pointing out his vacuous response that the Community Court did not have the competence and jurisdiction in the matter
“I would like to recall my earlier statement in 2015 in which I unreservedly condemned the arbitrary removal of Vice-President Sam Sumana by President Koroma as wrongful, unconstitutional and unacceptable. Despite this I expressed respect for the judgement of the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone based on my conviction that respect for the Rule of Law as interpreted by the Superior Courts is always paramount. By the same token, that judgement of the Sierra Leone Supreme Court, now having been overturned by the ruling of the ECOWAS Regional Court.
Bio reiterated on the two very recent instructive precedents involving the Government of President Ernest Bai Koroma the ECOWAS Regional Court, namely the Wansa and Tayyib Bah cases again decided by the same Regional Court.
“If indeed those two payments by the Government were driven wholly and solely by the imperative of fulfilling the international legal obligations of the State of Sierra Leone as determined by the ECOWAS Regional Court. The same powerful considerations more than demand the same Government to respect and honour the ruling of the same Court in the VP case.
Accordingly I will not hesitate for a moment to implore and exhort the Government of President Koroma to swiftly and diligently accept and honour the Ruling of the ECOWAS Regional Court in respect of its wrongful removal from office of the elected Vice-President
Alhaji Sam Sumana. SV/28/11/17
By Sylvia Villa
Wednesday November 29, 2017.

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