Lawyers of elected vice president Sam Sumana have compared president Koroma to number of popular dictators in Africa.
Lawyers Femi Falana (a senior advocate of Nigeria) and Dr. Raymond Atuguba made this statement in a press release on recent political development in Sierra Leone Wednesday 13 December 2017.
The two of kind legal practitioners said however that “recent changes by President Koroma in the security sector after the ECOWAS judgment affect the security set-up just as campaigning for the 2018 Presidential Elections – in which the Honourable Alhaji Sam-Sumana is a viable candidate – is intensifying.”
“In the wake of his full emersion into the Presidential race, the Government released another statement indicating that in addition to appointing a new Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, other appointments would be made that affect the Cabinet, including a number of Cabinet appointments which will have further security implications within the Republic of Sierra Leone. In particular, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma appointed a new Minister of Internal Affairs, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, and a new Minister of Information and Communications.
The President also appointed a new Minister of Defence,” the lawyers continued.
They expressed concern over the recent action of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to take two bills to parliament to amend the section in the constitution which states that one must have 55% before being elected as President to 50+1^% as one that violates ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
They added that it would appear that the current Government is determined to consolidate and maintain power at all cost, as evidenced by their current actions and by reports from June of 2016 that a secret plan had been discovered which sought to amend the qualifications for the presidential candidacy as stipulated in Section 41 of 1991 Constitution in order to exclude certain individuals from contesting the presidential election in 2018.
“The attempted amendments are reminiscent of the recent efforts by Burkina Faso’s Blaise Compaore and The Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh to alter the electoral rules to favour themselves,” they maintained.
That the Government of the Republic of Serra Leone should do well to abide by the international and democratic principles of freedom, justice and good governance; the Government must respect the decision of Courts where it falls under their jurisdiction; and should also be guided by its agreements under international law to ensure that every accession to power must be made through free, fair and transparent elections.