Just 12 days after been expelled from the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) party, the Vice President of Sierra Leone, Chief Samuel Sam Sumana has been dismissed from office as Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone. The ruling APC had earlier expelled Mr Sam-Sumana after accusing him of fueling violence, and trying to form a rival political movement in his home district of Kono. which he denied.
He was due to appeal his expulsion from the party, according to party provisions at the end of his self-quarantine which ends this weekend. Last month, Mr Sam-Sumana put himself in voluntary quarantine for 21 days after one of his bodyguards died of the Ebola virus.
Speaking on the issue, the President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma who carried out the action said he did so because the VP was seeking political asylum in a foreign embassy, and as such “demonstrated a willingness to abandon his duties and office” as a Vice President.
It should be recalled that on Saturday, Mr Sam-Sumana said he had asked for asylum in the US because his life was in danger after his security detail was withdrawn.
In a press release, the president claimed he had the constitutional rights to dismiss the VP. Her further maintained that Sam Saumana’s expulsion from the party that elected him means he no longer “the continuous requirement to hold office”.
This claim from the President is rather contestable because Section 41(b) of the 1991 constitution does not state that the political party membership is a continuous requirement of being President or Vice President. And it is unclear whether the constitution gives the president the power to dismiss his deputy.
As of the time of this post, the office of the Vice President in Sierra Leone is vacant. The President says he has consulted with this party for potential candidates so we believe a new Vice President will be named and appointed shortly.