By Umaru Fofana….
Lawyers for Samuel Sam-Sumana have completed filing their case at the ECOWAS Court in Abuja challenging his sacking in March 2015 as Vice President of Sierra Leone. They are led by Ghanaian lawyer Dr. Raymond Akongburo ATUGUBA and prominent Nigerian lawyer Femi Falana
In a 25-page application, the lawyers are asking the Ecowas Court to order Sierra Leone to pay their client $ 210 million in damages and legal cost. They also want him reinstated as Vice President of Sierra Leone.
They say his removal from office, the appointment of current Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh and the ruling by the Supreme Court upholding his dismissal should be declared “illegal, null and void”.
In the detailed submission which catalogues the events leading to those dramatic events in March 2015 when he was first expelled from his ruling APC party and then sacked as VP, they argue that due process was not respected.
The application says Sam-Sumana’s rights were violated including his personal safety and security, participation in government, and even his dignity. They also say Sierra Leone failed to provide an effective remedy accusing the country’s Supreme Court, which justified the president’s action to sack him, of denying him to “exhaustively present his case”.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Joseph Kamara says they’ve been notified about the matter by the registry of the Ecowas Court but that they are yet to receive the document hence cannot comment on it the substance of the matter. He however says that they are “willing and ready” to defend the action of the President any time, anywhere.
Sam-Sumana was expelled from the ruling All People’s Congress party in March 2015 and accused of lying about his faith and educational qualification. he was also accused of anti-party activities.
He has been living out of Sierra Leone for exactly one year.
This is the third time Sierra Leone has been brought before the ECOWAS Court 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 also challenged his dismissal from the force. Both men won by default after the government failed to represent itself.
While the government obliged the outcome of Wanza’s ruling by paying for his gunboat, it is yet to do so in the case of the police officer for whom the court asked a financial compensation.
See full Application to the ECOWAS Court here:
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