Sierra Leone’s Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana has now returned home following the request to be granted asylum at the U.S. embassy in Freetown as soldiers surrounded his residence on Saturday after his armed personnel were withdrawn.
Sam-Sumana was expelled from the All People’s Congress (APC), which is the ruling party after he was accused him of perpetuating violence in the diamond-rich eastern Sierra Leone and creating his own political movement that will rival the APC in the country.
He immediately went into hiding with his wife, claiming his life is in danger.
“I have fled my house and am with my wife in a place I cannot disclose, waiting to hear from the U.S. ambassador, whom I have asked for asylum,” he said.
His expulsion from the party has stirred confusion as Sierra Leone’s 1991 constitution only allows the dismissal of the vice president with the vote of two-thirds of parliament, but it does require the office holder to belong to a political party.
It should be recalled the since February, the Vice president has placed himself in a 21-day quarantine after one of his bodyguards died of Ebola amid a surge in new infections in the West African country.
More that 3,600 people have died from Ebola in Sierra Leone, one of the three countries hardest hit by the worst recorded outbreak of the deadly haemorrhagic fever – along with Guinea and Liberia. The outbreak has killed more than 10,000 people.