APC cannot file a petition against Kandeh Yumkella’s candidacy

Abu Bakarr Orkailkail Bangura: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 January 2018:

I am shocked to hear that the APC party has filed a legal petition against Kandeh Yumkella’s candidacy. I recently posted a commentary supporting the views expressed by Francis Gabiddon on the dual citizenship issue. I stated that the constitution is the supreme law of the land and consequently, any law that is inconsistent with provisions of the constitution law is invalid to the extent of the inconsistency.

Since the 2006 Citizenship Act neither addressed nor contradict provisions of the constitution, Section 76(1) of the Constitution is still valid and will remain in force until amended. However, it would be a total miscalculation with far-reaching ramifications for the APC party to petition the candidacy of Kandeh Yumkella.

The APC party/government had over 50 dual citizens who served as MPs in the recently dissolved Parliament, and there are still people with dual citizenship and foreign nationals serving as MINISTERS in the current government in flagrant violation of section 76 of the Constitution.

The effect of this violation is that any law that was passed by a Sierra Leone Parliament with illegal MPs (foreign nationals or dual citizens) is void ab initio. The same also goes for all nominations approved or confirmed by the said Parliament.

This means the entire country has been operating illegally for the past ten years. To put the extent of this illegality into perspective I will give just a few examples.

The SUPREME COURT

All or most of the judges in the current Supreme Court of Sierra Leone were confirmed by the last two parliament, which had illegal MPs. This means that the confirmation of such judges is illegal, and consequently those judges are illegally serving in the Supreme Court.

This makes it very complicating for an illegal Supreme Court, whose Judges were confirmed in violation of Section 76 of the Constitution to hear a petition against the nomination of a candidate alleged to be in violation of the same Section 76.

Also, since all or most judges of lower courts were also approved by the Sierra Leone Parliament in the last ten years, it would be apt to say that all judgments/decisions given by the Sierra Leone courts in the past ten years are illegal.

THE EXECUTIVE

Since all CABINET MINISTERS, except the Attorney General have to be approved by Parliament, it is obvious that ALL ministers who have served in the past ten years have done so illegally by virtue of them being approved by an illegal Parliament.

All CONTRACTS / AGREEMENTS (mining, debts, international agreements) entered into by the government in the last 10 years are illegal. Again, ALL actions of NEC approved by an illegal parliament including the registration of voters are illegal. The list goes on.

These are just some of the implications of a petition against Yumkella (Photo). It would be like opening Pandora’s box. According to the famous equitable maxim, “he who comes to equity must come with cleans hands”.

The APC definitely does not have clean hands because APC has violated Section 76 in the past 10 years and the violation still continues with dual citizens/foreign national currently serving as ministers.

The APC lawyers that, all of a sudden have become moral guarantors of the constitution should hold their heads in shame, as Section 76 has always been alive. YOU CANNOT FILE A PETITION FOR A VIOLATION OF A LAW THAT YOU HAVE CONSISTENTLY VIOLATED AND STILL VIOLATING.

You cannot complain about the snow in your neighbour’s house, while your doorstep is unclean. My advice to the APC government/Party and the judiciary is, to let sleeping dogs lie and let Section 76 be applied henceforth and not retrospectively.

About the author

Abu Bakarr Orkailkail Bangura holds the following qualifications: BA, LLB (UNDA), GDLP, LLM (USYD), LLM (UNSW), PhD in Law Cand. (UNSW)

5 Comments

  1. Dr Bangura you are right. The a APC want to take our minds off their failed policies, so that people will not use those policy failures to campaign against them. When you set a trap for the righteous, you will be the one who will be trapped. May God expose the evil ones that mean bad for this country, during this election in Jesus name.

  2. What I find baffling is this assertion that one renounces your Sierra Leonean citizenship just because you become a naturalised citizen of another country which is rubbish. A naturalised citizen is mainly being a citizen other than by birth.

    Both the United States and Britain allow for dual nationality. If you were born in Sierra Leone to Sierra Leonean parents means you are a Sierra Leonean and your country of origin that cannot be taken from you. But I am not surprised as the APC is full of mediocre politicians who leave much to be desired.

    This petition will fall flat as no sane person will uphold it. They are doing Kandeh Yumkella a great favour by making him more popular in what is now clearly seen as a witch hunt to prevent him from being nominated. Kandeh now seems to be the man of the moment overshadowing even those who have been in the race long before him with the momentum that can cause a serious upset to the political establishment come March 7.

    To get rid of the APC, a coalition is the way to go which will wipe off the top half of the political map traditionally the stronghold of the APC. This election must go on and no amount of intimidation can prevent us from exercising our rights unless President Koroma wants to go down in the history books as the leader that brought about chaos after so many years of peace in our beloved country.

  3. Baindu Tucker, you wondered “why this has become the hot topic in our upcoming election when there are many other important issues that should be at the centre stage in the campaigns”, alluding to the dual citizenship issue.

    Allow me to proffer an explanation. You see, APC are running extremely scared of Kandeh Yumkella. Literally, Baindu, I am ready to stake anything, including my life, to declare that had Kandeh’s politicking not gained any traction or momentum, APC would have consciously drowned themselves into the worst case of amnesia, dementia and senility to ensure that no one would have the time to question them about dual citizenship. This would have spared them the impossible task of explaining the duplicity and hypocrisy which they are now in a futile mode to disguise, for most of those in the government hold dual citizenship.

    A scared fighter, which APC are, is a very dangerous fighter, always ready to discard all established rules in the name of being the first to cross the finish line; this could mean annihilating opponents along the way,sometimes stage managing a coup d’detat for the purpose. This was what happened to Dr Mohamed Sorie Forna and others in the seventies, which led to their gruesome execution.

    SLPP? They are lost. Kandeh has upstaged them. Maada Bio is in sixes and sevens, just like Bernadette Lahai has been in opposition; she was compromised by APC right from the beginning. Rumours have it that she possessed a rubber stamp copy of Ernest Koroma’s signature to make it easier for her to acquiesce to everything emanating from State House.

    Kandeh cannot be brought down because, we the people are behind him.

  4. APC as a political Party did not file a petition against Dr. Yumkella. Rather it was a parliamentary aspirant under the APC ticket.

    All that the erudite Dr. Bangura wrote about in the above article is true. However, since no one objected at the time that these constitutional provisions were flouted, it does not mean that we as a nation cannot right that which has been wrong all these while.

    I saw the petition that the APC Parliamentary candidate of Samu Chiefdom sent to NEC against Dr. Yumkella. If it is true that at the time that Dr. Yumkella received his American citizenship (before 2006) there was no provision for Dual citizenship in Sierra Leone, by implication, Dr. Yumkella must have renounced his Sierra Leonean citizenship.

    After the 2006 Dual citizenship Act came into force, did Dr. Yumkella reapply for his Sierra Leonean citizenship to be restored? That is what the petitioner is alleging that he did not. If he did not regularise it and just decided to take things for granted, it could be a problem.

    Having said that, I do not even know why this has become the hot topic in our upcoming election when there are many other important issues that should be at the center stage in the campaigns.

    APC could be made to get away with their poor governance and hyper corruption in this election as no one is asking them at this time to account for their more than 10 years stewardship of the affairs of our state-Sierra Leone. The main opposition party candidate seems to be ashamed of the mike.

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