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Vol 56 No 19

Published 25th September 2015

Sierra Leone

Court rescues Koroma

Five months after being asked to rule on the President’s summary sacking of his Vice-President, judges have dismayed many by endorsing it

In a decision mourned in Freetown's legal and political circles alike, the Supreme Court has ruled that President Ernest Bai Koroma did indeed have the power to sack his deputy, Vice-President Samuel Sam-Sumana, and appoint a successor last March. The Court's 9 September judgement ran to 127 pages of what many people saw as contorted logic to justify its verdict. Koroma sacked Sam-Sumana just after he found out that he was taking soundings about running for the presidency. Each of the five judges on the panel, presided over by Acting Chief Justice Valesius Thomas, contributed to the judgement, agreeing with Koroma's lawyers on all their arguments. Many Sierra Leoneans believe the judiciary is amenable to political influence and the latest decision has done little to counter that view.

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