By Fatmata Musa…
The main point of their argument rests on their very wide interpretation of Section 41(b) of the country’s constitution, that following his expulsion from the ruling party, Sam Sumana ceased to enjoy continuity of tenure of vice presidential office, and hence automatically lost his right to stay in that office.
This is what Section 41(b) says: “No person shall be qualified for election as President unless he a member of a political party”.
Does the president’s argument safely… meet the requirements of Section 41(b)? Does this section not solely relates to qualification for election?
Given that the country’s constitution does not make provision for the principle of continuity of membership of the ruling party, in order to continue to serve as the elected vice president, why has the Supreme Court bought into such lame argument?
The constitution of Sierra Leone is unequivocal as to what to do in circumstances where the vice president is found to be no longer fit for office, due to misconduct.
Section 54(8) says that: “The provisions of sections 50 and 51 of this Constitution, relating to the removal from office of the President, shall apply to the removal from office of the Vice-President.”
And if vice president Sam Sumana had committed an act or omission that was deemed tantamount to gross misconduct – as the president has been trying to convince the people of Sierra Leone in believing, then why did the president refuse to use Section 49(1) of the constitution to get rid of the vice president?
Why has he relied instead on the whims and caprices of the Supreme Court Judges to rubber stamp his appallingly poor judgement?
Section 49(1) of the constitution, says that: “The office of vice president shall become vacant where the incumbent ceases to hold that office in pursuance of section 51 of this Constitution” – (i.e. gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of his office).
This provision must apply where there is gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of his office, and 50% of parliamentarians have signed and handed a petition to the speaker of parliament for the vice president’s impeachment.
Was the president afraid of the fact that he no longer has the majority in parliament needed to support his call for a vote of no confidence by parliamentarians?