Lawyers for the elected Vice President, Alhaji Chief Samuel Sam Sumana have opened their argument with the call for President Ernest Bai Koroma’s action in ‘relieving’ the Vice President of his duties to be declared null and void.
In his submission before the Supreme Court on Friday, Lawyer Blyden Jenkins Johnston, the lead counsel for the plaintiff said the matter was brought before the court essentially to answer two basic questions.
The two questions are whether President Koroma had the power to ‘relieve’ the elected Vice President of his duties in any way other than those set out in the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone and also to determine whether the “Supreme Executive Authority” which the President referred to empowers him to ‘relieve’ the Vice President of his duties in any other way other than those set out in the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.
Lawyer Jenkins Johnston argued further that if the answer to those questions are no, then he said his client will not only be demanding reparations but also that the President’s action should be deemed to be unlawful, unconstitutional and must therefore be declared null and void.
The legal luminary also argued that the appointment of another Vice President to replace the elected Vice President should also be declared null and void and that the elected Vice President should remain in office unless and until his tenure ends or he is removed from office according to the constitutional provisions.
He said President Ernest Bai Koroma and Vice President Alhaji Chief Sam Sumana were both elected in 2007 and then in the 2012 Presidential elections. Both men were voted for on a joint ticket by the people of Sierra Leone, lawyer Jenkins Johnston told the Supreme Court.
Vice President Alhaji Chief Sam Sumana was also present in court on Friday.
The matter was adjourned to May 28, 2015 for further hearing.