Counsel for the elected Vice President, Alhaji Chief Samuel Sam Sumana, Lawyer Pa. Momoh Fofana yesterday challenged the eligibility of the appointment of Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh as Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
Pa Momoh Fofana noted that, the 1991 Constitution clearly states that both the President and Vice President are elected into office by the citizens of Sierra Leone.
He submitted that the declaration by President Ernest Bai Koroma of relieving the elected Vice President of his lawful duties was unconstitutional and must be declared null and void in the interest of safeguarding the integrity of the Judiciary and the national Constitution.
He went on to submit on behalf of the Plaintiff that membership of a political party is not a continuous requirement for the holder of office as Vice President. He continued that the requirement is only a requisite for candidature for the offices of both President and Vice President and after elections that requirement ceases to be in effect.
He cited several provisions and sections of the Public Election Act and the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone to buttress his point. He further submitted that the requirement for membership of a political party before elections is intended by the constitution to bring political parties together during elections and if the President leaves the sovereignty mandate of the people in the hands of a political party, then the President has subverted the constitution. This action by the President he said has created the vacancy in breach of Section 54 sub section 5 of the 1991 Constitution. He added that no vacancy was legally created under the law.
He said their interest in the matter is not only to safeguard the liberty of the Plaintiff but the citizens and at the same time protect Parliament and even the Judiciary so that the Supreme Executive Authority mentioned in the 1991 Constitution would not be unlawfully used again.
The matter was adjourned to 27th July 2015.