Lawyers representing the elected but relieved Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana; Nigeria’s Legal Giant, Femi Falana and Ghana’s Legal Champion, Raymond Atuguba have responded to the initial reaction of Sierra Leone’s Attorney General.
In a statement dated the 28 November 2017, the Lawyers described the statement of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Joseph Kamara that the ECOWAS Court lacks the jurisdiction as “false.”
“Contrary to the misleading statement of the Attorney General, the Government of Sierra Leone actually participated in the proceedings,” the lawyers claimed.
That upon receiving the originating application, the Attorney General filed a notice of preliminary objection as the Registry of the ECOWAS Court at Abuja.
That the objection was accompanied by a written address, signed by the same Attorney General.
“It is important to note the address filed by the Republic of Sierra Leone in some significant respects went beyond the preliminary and responded to the substance of the case,” the Lawyers maintained.
They said that following the preliminary objection of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, they (Lawyers of Sam Sumana) replied to it.
“In the comprehensive judgement of the ECOWAS Court, it was found that the preliminary objection was completely lacking in merit,” the Lawyers explained.
They explained that it was there and then that the ECOWAS Court proceeded to consider the substantive case and declared the purported removal of the plaintiff as the Vice President of Sierra Leone illegal, null and void on the grounds that human rights of the plaintiff to fair hearing had been breached.
They highlighted that the Attorney General keeps on contradicting himself on the outcome of the court as he said that he will not accept or recognize the judgment but ended up saying that, “upon receipt and review of the said judgement, government will be advised accordingly on the appropriate actions.”
They ended up saying they are compelled to caution the Attorney General to desist from misleading the government and the people of Sierra Leone with respect to the decision of the ECOWAS Court.