Attorney General and Minister of Justice Joseph F. Kamara has admitted to Awoko in an interview that on the 3rd November his office received a case file from the ECOWAS Court on a matter between former Vice President Sam Sumana and the Government of Sierra Leone.

Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara

He said they have filed a submission to the Chief Registrar of the Court indicating that “the ECOWAS Court does not have jurisdiction to review matters that have been settled by the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone. To do so we will be surrendering what we call Judiciary Sovereignty to the ECOWAS Court; powers which they don’t have. Sierra Leone is a sovereign State and we did not acceed for the ECOWAS Court to reign sovereignty over Sierra Leone in terms of its judicial outcomes.”

Going through the files revealing the case the former VP filed against the Government, the AG said “the allegations are that his human rights have been violated, that he has accessed the ECOWAS Court for a redress and that for the Court to reverse the decision of the Supreme Court in the sense that the government should reinstall him as the Vice President, and that the current Vice President be removed, and for him to be reinstated and that his right to work has been interfered with and violated”.

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Questioned as to whether he will be going to the ECOWAS Court to Abuja to argue the submission? Kamara disclosed that “We will not be going to Abuja as we have filed a submission. The court on its motion can dismiss the application when they believe that there is a bar to proceedings. For example the issues they are about to discuss are the same issues that have been settled in the National Court. The Jurisprudence is always there suggesting that if the matter is settled in a national court, you have the opportunity to be heard and then they cannot re-hear the matter. And so we are asking them now based on their own motion to dismiss the application.”

But if they don’t dismiss the application? “We are not going to participate in it because we know they don’t have jurisdiction and we will not accept any outcome. There is no winning to this, he will be there all by himself and whatever the outcome is, ECOWAS Court do not have enforcement provisions and so cannot enforce any outcomes and so it is a fruitless endeavour as far as Sierra Leone is concern” the AG maintained.

Questions as to the motive of the former VP, Joseph Kamara said “The action of the former Vice President is a mischievous application and one with a gold digging motive trying to seek and bleed the country out for money that we don’t have and even if we do we will not give”.

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The Attorney General and Minister of Justice stated that this action is all a waste of time and resources “intended to cause mischief and embarrassment for the government and people of Sierra Leone” and they have included it in their submission.

Former Vice President Sam Sumana was removed from office on 17th March 2015 due to the fact that he was dismissed from the All People Congress (APC) Party. On the 15th May lawyers for sacked Vice President filed a motion to the Supreme Court on whether the constitution of Sierra Leone empowers President Koroma to sack the elected Vice President. In September 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that President Koroma has the right to remove his Vice President.