Hon. Dr. KandehYumkella, was commenting on the prevailing “political tension in the country.” He added: “President Julius Maada Bio can start by helping to reduce the tension in the country.”
It could be recalled that the then main opposition political party which was represented in Parliament, Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), at a press conference on Tuesday evening November 28, 2017 held at the SLPP headquarters, located on Wallace Johnson Street in Freetown, had urged the then ruling All People’s Congress (APC) political party administration to accept the ECOWAS Court of Justice sitting in Abuja, Nigeria, judgment in the former Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana’s case against the Sierra Leone Government delivered on Monday November 27, 2017, and had called on the then Attorney General and Minister of Justice Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara to resign immediately.
Addressing the press conference SLPP National Secretary General Umaru Napoleon Koroma, who is a Lawyer by profession, said the SLPP “applauds the ECOWAS Court ruling of 27th November, 2017, which declared the removal from office of Sam Sumana as Vice President in March, 2015 as unconstitutional.”
The SLPP Secretary General described the then Attorney General’s statement in reaction to the ECOWAS Judgment as “arrogant and disrespectful to not only the citizenry of Sierra Leone, but also to ECOWAS, which has always been in the forefront of sustaining Sierra Leone’s democracy and the Rule of Law even in the most trying and turbulent times of Sierra Leone’s history.” (reference ECOMOG’s Military wing of ECOWAS intervention during the ten-year rebel war).
The SLPP National Secretary General recalled that the same ECOWAS Court, in matters involving the Government of Sierra Leone and Messrs Mohamed Wanza and Tayyib Bah respectively, had ruled that the Government pay $25,000 for a non-existent gun-boat and the second payment of damages amounting to $250,000 which the then APC administration complied with.
The SLPP called on the Attorney General Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara to immediately resign because of gross disrespect and empty response to the ECOWAS Court ruling.
SLPP Presidential candidate for the March 7, 2018 Presidential Election retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio said: “I want it to be known that I fully respect the ruling of the ECOWAS Court. I would not hesitate to implore President Koroma’s Government to swiftly and diligently accept and honor the ruling of the ECOWAS regional court in respect of the wrongful removal from office of the elected Vice President.”
The National Leader and Chairman of the SLPP Dr. Prince Harding said: “the ruling APC Government has scarred the international image of Sierra Leone by showing disrespect for the Rule of Law.”
He added: “we are witnessing a very sad day in Sierra Leone after the Government has stated that the ECOWAS Court lacks competence and jurisdiction in the matter of the sacked Vice President. The country’s international respectability is at risk”, Dr. Prince Harding maintained.
One of the wise sayings this Writer learnt from late President Siaka Stevens while he (Writer) was the First Press Secretary at State House from 8th August, 1971, following Sierra Leone attaining Republican status in April, 1971, was: “the worst ‘halaki’ that can befall a politician is MIS-TIMING”
As was stated in a local newspaper of 9th January, 2019: “The withdrawal of security personnel from Sam Sumana could not be unconnected to his earlier visit to former President Ernest Bai Koroma. Many observers have questioned the TIMING because he (Sam Sumana) has been enjoying such state privilege since he was sacked as Vice President.”