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SIERRA LEONE’S SUPREME COURT STARTS HEARING ON EX-VP’S CASE AGAINST THE STATE

The Supreme Court of Sierra Leone has on Thursday 9th April 2015 held the first hearing of the case between Alhaji Samuel Sam Sumana versus the State. The hearing took place at the Supreme Court, Law Court Building in the country’s capital Freetown .It could be recalled that President Koroma on 17th March 2015 relieved Samuel Sam-Sumana from his duties as vice president of the Republic of Sierra Leone .This decision according to the president is guided by his Supreme Executive Authority as provided for in Section forty, sub section one of Act No.6 of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone

In a jam packed court room on Thursday morning the much anticipated constitutional debate started. At exactly ten o’clock the stage was set as the five justices of the Supreme Court including justice Valesius Thomas, (Acting Chief Justice), Nicholas Brown Marke, Eku Roberts, Patrick Hamilton and Vivian Solomon sat keenly Hearing the motion filed in by Lead counsel representing the plaintiff Alhaji Samuel Sam-Sumana JB Jenkins Johnston.

The Supreme Court of Sierra Leone
The Supreme Court of Sierra Leone

According to Jenkins Johnston, they are seeking an interlocutory injunction to restraint Victor Bockarie Foh (current vice president) from acting as and /or carrying the function of the Vice president of Sierra Leone pending the determination of the matter before the supreme court   in respect of the action of the president to have relieved Alhaji Samuel Sam-Sumana of his official duties as Vice president.

Jenkins Johnston further said the mere occupation of the office of Vice President by Victor Bockarie Foh is in itself a violation of the constitution of 1991 and therefore asked for a restraint on Mr.Foh.

On behalf of the second defendant, Victor Bockarie Foh was lead counsel Ajibola Mainly Spaine and Berthan Macaulay Jr. Attorney General Franklyn Bai Kargbo represented the state and the president.

Making her submission to the court on behalf of the 1st and 2nd defendant, Berthan Macaulay stated that the issue of putting an injunction on Victor Bockarie Foh, pending the outcome of the action of President Koroma could leave the office of the Vice president vacant and that in itself could mean a breach on the constitution which states that the office of the vice president should not be vacant. He also added that such office as appointed by the president is a direct substitute in case anything happens to the presidency.

Ajibola Manly Spaine and Berthan Macaulay concluded by asking the Supreme Court not to grant the plaintiff the said interlocutory injunction but rather asked for a speedy trial of the case. As both counsel (plaintiff and defendant) concluded their submission, the court was adjourned to a later date which would be communicated in due course.

 

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