Reports from Abuja, Nigeria, says that the West African Regional Court of Justice – the ECOWAS Court, has today ruled that president Koroma’s sacking of the country’s vice president Sam Sumana in 2015, after accusing Sam Sumana of “abandoning” his duties by seeking political asylum in the US embassy, was illegal. Koroma must now pay restitution damages.
This court ruling comes against the earlier decision of the Sierra Leone Supreme Court Judges, who said that president koroma as Supreme ruler of Sierra Leone, has the right to sack the vice president.
But the ECOWAS Court of Justice disagrees, and has ordered the government of Sierra Leone to pay the former vice president Sam Sumana his full salary along with other emoluments lost since his dismissal in 2015.
Sam Sumana’s lawyers had told the Court that their client should receive damages in the sum of $250 million (about £190 million), for the hurt caused to his person and financial loss suffered as a result of president Koroma’s unconstitutional decision to kick him out of office without proper due process.
It is unlikely the Court could have ruled for cash-strapped Sierra Leone taxpayers to pay this amount, which is almost as much as the country receives in foreign aid. And to do so would have been regarded as a punishment of the people of Sierra Leone, for the sins of their president.
But by failing to attend the ECOWAS Court proceedings and make representation to defend the decision of president Koroma to sack the vice president, critics say that the Koroma government deliberately shot itself in the foot.
Source: The Sierra Leone Telegraph