Tamba Gborie: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 November 2017
The defence from various Media practitioners and political pundits on behalf of the president’s extraordinary action hinging on a constitutional violation came too little too late. Such a defense could have come at a time when the ECOWAS Court wrote to the president to defend his actions. He had the best opportunity then to explain his actions but he squandered it.
Any defence now that the final verdict is less than a week away is a rain drop on back of a duck or academic to be precise.
The Attorney General’s (Photo: Joseph Kamara) response to the ECOWAS Court then was that: “The ECOWAS Court has no jurisdiction in the constitutional crisis caused by president. Koroma”.
On the second request it is not clear whether the Attorney General repeated the statement aforementioned out of genuine lack of understanding of how the ECOWAS Court works; or whether he was just plain contemptuous of the Court. But it will be better left in the annals of history for posterity to judge.
No matter how long it takes, when the dust shall have settled, the truth will come to light.
The Attorney General shove the truth under the carpet to protect president Koroma as he is aware that in October 1999, ECOWAS decided to establish a Court of Justice following a two-day meeting of Justice Ministers in Abuja. The court addresses complaints by member states, their institutions, as well as issues relating to defaulting nations.
The court has a president, chief registrar and seven judges and is a permanent institution. Draft rules of procedure for the Court are being finalised.
For the Attorney General to then make such an utterance when Sierra Leone is signatory to the ECOWAS Court is a very unfortunate development that leaves concerned Sierra Leoneans wondering whether the Koroma government is informed, or if it means anything good for Sierra Leone. Or is it a case of lawlessness at its best?
President Koroma’s excuse
President Koroma’s excuse for unlawfully sacking the elected VP Chief Alhaji Abubakarr Sidique Sam Sumana is that he left his post of duty to seek asylum at the American Embassy in Freetown.
This is childish, laughable, preposterous and unsubstantiated excuse that American Embassy are naïve to allow a man under Ebola Quarantine to enter their premises. It is definitely a non-starter and does not add up by any measure.
The question certain Media people, including the desperate Kabs Kanu (the APC mouthpiece and defender of president Koroma’s unprecedented actions) need to answer is; “Does the president have the right to sack an elected VP? If the answer is no, Kabs Kanu and others should keep their defence to themselves as it makes no difference to the case; it is closed, done and dusted with.
The ECOWAS Court has the last drop of the hammer to finally put an end to dictatorial- and draconian-style leadership in West Africa and Sierra Leone in particular. Remember; the guilty are always afraid to confront the law. Is president Koroma guilty?
If he was not guilty of perpetrating a heinous offense by tampering with the nation’s constitution, he would have been proud of himself and would have made sure that his government was represented at the ECOWAS Courts in Abuja.