Sierra Leone Rejects Decision of ECOWAS Court on Dismissed VP Sumana

Abuja, Nigeria – Following the ruling of the ECOWAS Court on Monday in Abuja that the dismissal of Vice President Sam Sumana by President Ernest Bai Koroma, the Sierra Leonen Government has rejected the decision in its formal response.

Former Vice President Sam Sumanna and President Ernest Bai Koroma
Former Vice President Sam Sumana and President Ernest Bai Koroma

In a statement issued in Freetown by the Sierra Leone Justice Ministry said that “The Supreme Court of Sierra Leone did rule on the above matter and therefore no other court is competent to overrule it except by itself. Therefore, the Government of Sierra Leone refused to participate in the proceedings and does not accept nor recognize the ECOWAS court in respect of the said judgment.”

The ECOWAS Court of Justice ruled that the 2015 dismissal of the Sierra Leonen Vice President was done illegally and that his fundamental human rights, as guaranteed by the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

The Charter, set up in 1987, is an international human rights instrument that is intended to promote and protect human rights and basic freedoms in the African continent.

In dismissing the challenge to the Sierra Leonen Government that it had no jurisdiction over the matter, the Court held that it did have full jurisdiction to consider and adjudicate the case of Mr. Sumana in defense of is fundamental human rights.

In dismissing his former Vice President in 2015, President Koroma defended his decision then, saying that Mr. Sumana had taken up asylum in a foreign embassy and abandoned his duties.

Former Vice President Sam Sumana
Former Vice President Sam Sumana

In response, the former Vice President said he feared for his life and sought asylum in the U.S.

The ruling of the Ecowas Court of Justice awarded Mr. Sumana reparation for his legal fees, back salary and emoluments as of thee day of his dismissal by President Koroma.

In instances where local laws of Sierra Leone were involved or due to lapse of time, the Court said it could not offer such relief to Mr. Sumana.

42 African countries including Sierra Leone have signed and ratified the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

By Emmanuel Abalo

West African Journal Magazine


Published by

West African Journal Magazine

The West African Journal was a major magazine publication in the United States with a focus on the Mano River region and West Africa sub-region during the civil crises in Liberia and neighboring countries during the decades of the 1990s. This was the period when many citizens and others in the sub-region were fleeing their homeland due to conflicts, and the magazine was a reliable source of information covering developments in the region and in the Diaspora.  However, the magazine suspended publication several years ago but is now back. It is, therefore, delightful that The West African Journal has been reactivated. The print edition of the magazine, to be published monthly and distributed in the United States, West Africa, and other parts of the world, will provide analysis of the major events of the period under review. Due to challenges relating to availability of reading materials in the sub-region, a few hundred copies of every edition of the magazine will be distributed free of charge to libraries and reading rooms at schools and institutions of higher learning in the sub-West Africa sub-region. The Journal covers government/politics, economics/international trade/investment and partnerships, women's issues, showcase of tourism and historic attractions in West Africa in particular, and Africa in general, as well as cover the Diaspora, entrepreneurship, among others. The Journal also taps into growing interest in the Unites States regarding resource-rich Africa as the next frontier for global economic progress amid an increasing global competition for access to the continent’s abundant natural resources. The magazine will regularly cover bilateral and multilateral partnerships between the US/multinational agencies and Africa/individual African countries. More importantly, in considering the danger of Climate Change and Global Warming, The Journal serves as a strong and unrelenting advocate to create international awareness regarding Climate Change, especially how West African countries and the African Continent as a whole are being negatively impacted. Through its environmental coverage, The Journal promotes education and awareness for people to be empowered. Our experienced team of editors, reporters and feature writers are excited to bring the stories that impact politics, finance, economy, arts, health, education, climate change, women and youth issues in Africa today. Contact The West African Journal is registered and published in Washington, D.C., U.S.A. Plans are underway to open a bureau office in Liberia, from which operations in other West African countries will be coordinated. Our journalists, who bring decades of high engagement of news and reportage, include former BBC veteran correspondent Isaac D.E. Bantu, former Daily Observer Features Editor and publisher of the West African Journal Joe S. Kappia, and Pana Press Editor Tepitapia K. Sannah, and respected Photo journalist and editor Gregory Stemn. These experienced and internationally-respected journalists ensure a high standard of professional journalism. Information and inquiries for The West African Journal should be directed to the following: Editor-in-Chief; Email: Isaac D.E. Bantu: Publishing Partner; Email: Mailing Address: P.O. Box 55053, Washington, D.C. 20040-5053 USA Thank you. Managing Editor