By Umaru Fofana
The sacked Vice President of Sierra Leone, Samuel Sam-Sumana returns home on Thursday 13 April 2017 to register to vote in presidential and legislative elections scheduled for March next year.
Ahead of his arrival his lawyer, Dr Raymond A. Atugba has written to President Ernest Bai Koroma and copied in all West African heads of state among other things calling for the guaranteeing of the safety and security of his client. He has sued the government to the ECOWAS Court over his controversial dismissal claiming around $ 210 million in damages.
Speaking to Politico Chief Sam-Sumana said he was going to continue with his political career. He said he was concentrating on his case at the ECOWAS Court which comes up on 26 April, before holding consultations to determine his next move.
Asked whether or not he was planning to set up or join a new political party, he responded: “I will not rule out any political party and will make my decision after consulting with my family, friends and supporters”.
There has been speculation that he plans to work with a new political movement made up mostly of disgruntled members of his former party.
Sam-Sumana was controversially sacked as VP in March 2015 shortly after he had been expelled from the ruling APC party on allegations of lying about his academic qualification, his faith and being involved in anti-party activities. Allegations he dismissed as false.
He later went to Ghana where he’s been living since 15 October 2015.
This will be his first return to the country since that flight.
Following is the letter written by Dr Raymond A. Atugba to President Koroma, dated 7 April:
“I act as Solicitor for His Excellency Alhaji Samuel Sam-Sumana, the constitutionally elected Vice President of Sierra Leone and the Plaintiff in the above-named case pending before the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice.
“On October 24, 2016, I filed an Application on behalf of my Client before 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.
“The National Electoral Commission (NEC) of Sierra Leone has set March 20, 2017 to April 16, 2017 for registration of voters for the upcoming Presidential Elections due on March 7, 2018. My Client intends to register and participate immensely in the upcoming elections, but has been unable to do so for fear of his life and safety as well as that of his family, supporters and well-wishers.
“On March 20, 2017, the date the registration exercise commenced, I filed an application for provisional measures and instructions in respect of the matters immediately above before the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice and expect a date for the hearing of that application shortly.
“Since registration for the upcoming elections is underway and closes in some eight (8) days, I am by this letter additionally requesting your high office to provide security for the safety of my Client, his family, supporters and well-wishers as they take steps to participate in this all important political process. This, I believe, is necessary to uphold the democracy which we all strive to build in Africa…”
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