Former Sierra Leonean Veep courts Rawlings’ support for protection

The former Vice President was dismissed under controversial circumstances by President Bai Koroma in 2015

Former Vice-President of Sierra Leone, Chief Samuel Sam-Sumana, has called on the international community to ensure that the political leadership in his country guarantees his safety in his bid to register as a voter during the ongoing voter registration process.

Chief Sam-Sumana says he has been unable to exercise his right to register as a voter for fear of his life and safety as well as that of his family.

The former Vice-President who was dismissed under controversial circumstances by President Bai Koroma in 2015 reiterated the call when he called on former President Jerry John Rawlings at his office in Accra on Wednesday.

Samuel Sam-Sumana

President Rawlings in a pose with Chief Sam-Sumana and Dr Raymond Atuguba

Sam-Sumana informed the former President he had taken the matter of his dismissal to the ECOWAS Court of Justice seeking an enforcement of his fundamental human rights, describing his removal as unconstitutional. The court has set April 25, 2017, for the hearing of the matter.

A letter authored by Solicitor for Chief Sam-Sumana, Dr. Raymond Atuguba and addressed to President Ernest Bai Koroma requested the President to “provide security for the safety of his client, his family, supporters, and well-wishers as they take steps to participate in this all important political process.”

The voter registration process opened on March 20, 2017, and closes on April 16, 2017. Presidential elections are scheduled in Sierra Leone for March 7, 2018.

President Koroma sacked Chief Sam-Sumana as Vice President in March 2015 for ‘abandoning’ his duties but the former stated that he had been compelled to seek asylum in a foreign embassy because his life was in danger.