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SAM SUMANA TRAVELS TO GHANA ON "EMERGENCY TRAVEL CERTIFICATE" PDF Print E-mail
Politics
Written by CLARENCE ROY-MACAULAY OOR VETERAN JOURNALIST AND SENIOR CITIZEN   
Thursday, 20 April 2017 11:07
Former elected Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana left Freetown International Airport, Lungi late afternoon Wednesday April 19, 2017 onboard Kenya Airways on an "Emergency Travel Certificate",  en route to Abuja, Nigeria on or about April 23/24, 2017 for the hearing of his petition filed on October 24, 2016 in the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, "seeking an enforcement of his fundamental Human Rights arising from his unconstitutional removal from office, and for further orders contained in the application."
 
"This matter has been set down for hearing by the Court for April 26, 2017."
 
According to a spokesman for the Sam Sumana family Matthias Bendu who was with Sam Sumana at the airport until the aircraft was airborne because of advanced information reaching the family that there would be some problem awaiting Sam Sumana at the airport, Matthias Bendu told this Writer on the cellphone from the airport that Sam Sumana "was detained by Immigration Officers at the airport for more than thirty minutes  after the aircraft  landed, and it was due to the intervention of the Inspector General of Police Francis Munu who told the immigration Officers that Sam Sumana had not committed any crime and must be allowed to travel".
 
In an interview with I.G. Francis Munu, he told this Writer on the cellphone "this was an incidence between the Immigration Officers and Sam Sumana.   As far as the Police is concerned, we have no report against Sam Sumana  and no reason to hold him"
 
Sam Sumana returned to Freetown Thursday April 13, 2017 from Ghana where he was residing since October, 2015, to register as a voter for the March 7, 2018 General Elections.   He confirmed  that he registered as a voter in Freetown Friday April 14, 2017.
 
Sam Sumana also confirmed that his diplomatic passport was with held at the Immigration Department at the International Airport, at Lungi on his arrival on Thursday April 13, 2017, for what an Immigration Officer told him was "on orders from above".
 
In that regard, Sam Sumana added, "I plan to call at the Immigration office in Freetown this week and apply for a regular passport to enable me to travel for the hearing of my petition".
 
Sam Sumana told this Writer that he did apply for an ordinary passport and was informed that the Immigration Department had "ran out of copies of ordinary passports" and on Tuesday April 18, 2017 he was issued with an "Emergency Travel Certificate" to enable him depart Freetown Wednesday April 19, 2017 for Ghana.
 
On Saturday April 15, 2017 when asked about his  "immense participation  in the upcoming elections" on  March 7, 2018," according to his Ghanaian Lawyer Dr'. Raymond A. Atugba,  in the latter's letter to President Ernest Bai Koroma dated April 7, 2017, requesting "security for the safety of his client",  Sam Sumana replied "at the moment I do not belong to any political party and my options are open.   I plan to return mid this week for the hearing of my petition in the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in Abuja, Nigeria, which is scheduled for April 26, 2017, if I can secure a passport, and after the hearing I will return to Sierra Leone for consultation with my supporters and then decide to take a direction.   At the moment I have no commitment to anyone for Leadership. "
 
Sam Sumana clarified that he is not the Leader of the "Coalition for Change", which,he said, is a "Movement" and headed by  Alieu Iscandari.
 
In May 2015, he filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone challenging his removal from office as Vice President as "unconstitutional'  but the court of five judges on  Wednesday September 9, 2015 confirmed President Ernest Bai Koroma's removal from office of his Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana on 17th March, 2015. 

on the grounds that President Koroma has no such power to sack him as both the President and Vice President were both elected in the 2012 Presidential election on the same Presidential ticket.  

 
 
Sam Sumana had also called on the Supreme Court, which is the highest Constitutional Court in Sierra Leone  to declare that President Koroma had no such "Supreme Executive Authority" as claimed under the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone , to sack the Vice President.
 
On March 6, 2015, the Ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) political party expelled the Vice President from the Ruling APC for various allegations of acts of sabotage against the Ruling Party.  
 
On 15 March, 2015, the APC Government accused Sam Sumana of abandoning his office as Vice President and seeking political assylum in a foreign embassy (the American Embassy) which is very close to Sam Sumana's private residence on the grounds that his life was threatened.   There was no evidence that the American Embassy granted Sam Sumana political assylum.
 
On 17th March, 2015, a press release from State House announced that President Koroma had relieved Sam Sumana from the office of Vice President .
 
In their unanimous ruling the Bench of five Judges headed by then Acting Chief Justice Valisius Thomas,  stated , among things, that "since Sam Sumana ceases to be a member of a political party, he lost one of the qualifications (requirements) in the 1991 Constitution for continuing to hold the office of Vice President.   It is impracticable, unworkable and absurd, to continue to hold the office of Vice President, since he ceases to be a member of the Ruling  political party.  Having been expelled from the APC political party, he does not belong to a political party.   As long as he remains as Vice President he must be a member of a political party.   It is a continuous requirement (qualification).   There is no provision in the 1991 Constitution that curtails the powers of the President to remove the Vice President from office."
 
CLARENCE ROY-MACAULAY  OOR

VETERAN JOURNALIST AND SENIOR CITIZEN

 

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