By: Sierra Leone First, UK
The United Kingdom Government through the African Directorate of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has responded to a petition by Sierra Leoneans in United Kingdom on the dismissal of the elected Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana.
In a letter dated 29th May 2015 addressed to the charismatic Chairman of Sierra Leone First which is the organising group of concerned Sierra Leoneans in the United Kingdom, a Desk Officer in the African Directorate of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office thanked the Chairman, Mr Jimmy B. Songa for sending the UK Government a petition dated 27th April 2015.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office letter stated “The UK continues to monitor developments following the announcement on 17th March by President Ernest Koroma dismissing Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana from office and the subsequent case that has been filed at the Supreme Court. The UK government encourages all parties to work within the democratic framework to resolve the issue peacefully, respecting due process and the rule of law.”
Commenting on the letter, the Chairman of Sierra Leone First said “As concerned Sierra Leoneans in the United Kingdom we have collectively accomplished an important task which was to bring to the attention of the UK Government our opposition to the actions of President Koroma which we consider unconstitutional and illegal. We are happy for the response from the UK Government and the fact that they are monitoring the developments in Sierra Leone means that our Judiciary is on test.
Therefore our message to the judges is to interpret the relevant provisions of the constitution in the best interest of our democracy and the people of Sierra Leone.”
It can be recalled that following the sacking of the elected Vice President Sam Sumana concerned Sierra Leoneans in the United Kingdom have organised many protests calling on President Koroma to respect the Rule of Law, Democracy and Constitutional Order. It is no coincidence that in the letter of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the UK government also stressed “Democracy rests on foundations that have to be built over time: strong institutions, responsible and accountable government, a free press, the rule of law and equal rights for men and women.”