Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Balogun's Bus Procurement Explanation to the Sierra Leone Parliament

Balogun Koroma 
Sierra Leone, a country that never seems to catch a clean break is once again in the grip of another scandal. As with most massive scandals in the country these days, the government is once again on the defensive.

A few weeks ago, the country's transportation Minister, a portly fellow called Balogun Koroma gleefully announced the arrival of 100 buses into the country from the People's Republic of China, with the expressed aim of alleviating the massive transportation problem in the country's capital Freetown. Balogun arranged a bus parade to show off the brand new vehicles and he was everywhere, as giddy as a kid in a candy store.

Sierra Leone has for decades been afflicted by the plague of rural urban migration. With the few economic opportunities in the country heavily concentrated in the country's Western region, Freetown and her environs have always been a Mecca for job seekers, students, hustlers, traders and people down on their luck. Even the world's oldest profession, prostitution, is infinitely more lucrative in the Western coastal corner of the country.
Mohamed Mansaray 

During the civil war of the 90s, insecurity in the rural areas accelerated the pace of rural urban migration and at the end of the conflict, many people refused to trade the relative comfort of Freetown for the drab and tough existence of their rural villages. As a consequence Freetown has over the years become an overpopulated coastal settlement drowning in a sea of humanity, poverty and filth.

This migration has led to the congestion of Freetown, a narrow city with old colonial roadways. Transportation has become a growing  problem and a major headache for successive governments. The lack of public transportation to accommodate the needs of the population has given rise to a lucrative business in motorcycle transport known locally as "Okadas." As most of the Okadas are owned by powerful people in the country, their activities have been largely unregulated,  even though they are frequently involved in very serious and occasionally fatal accidents.

So the decision by the current government to bring in 100 buses to tackle this perennial problem should have been a blessing, and the people should have been out in the streets celebrating the arrival of these brand new buses. But in Sierra Leone these days, people have grown skeptical, and in this case, it seems as if they had every right to be.

The first thing that smelled fishy about the entire hundred bus episode was the cost of acquiring the Chinese buses.

Twelve million dollars seemed too high a price to pay for the said buses,  especially when the same buses were being sold on the Chinese trading website Ali Baba for prices ranging from 19 to 50 thousand dollars apiece, with massive discounts for bulk purchases. Many people started to question why the Sierra Leone government would not have bought these buses from Germany, Japan or other countries that were renowned for the quality of the vehicles they manufactured. Even the Chinese bought reliable vehicles overseas.

To compound the skepticism, just a few days after the buses started appearing on the streets, they started breaking down. Lo and behold, some of the brand new buses started leaking oil and it was discovered that some had engines that did not look brand new. Now except if the Chinese had taken the extra time to paint them old, this looked suspicious to even the illiterate traders on the street. Some of the buses found it even difficult to climb short hills that were no match for locally operated "Poda Podas" some of which were more than 15 years old. Passengers had to come down and help push the brand new buses.

Something was just not right about these buses that were being  heralded as far away as America, as the final arrival of the "Agenda for Prosperity," with the Sierra Leone government's usual paid news outlets already starting to question the integrity and patriotism of those who questioned the bus deals.

Then last week Mohamed Kamaraimba Mansaray, the leader of a new political party, who had recently been chased out of the ruling party on account of his ambition to challenge for the leadership of the party, dropped a bombshell in the country. Mansaray detailed the crooked procurement procedures that had been followed to acquire these buses and gave specifics of how the prices of the buses had in many cases been doubled.
Mr. Mansaray questioned why the country's procurement procedures had not been followed and called on the country's Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate. The ACC, whose string of court losses are now their only redeeming figure, quickly  came out with what seemed like a halfhearted response to Mr. Mansaray. However, the crafty Minister  Balogun had already collaborated with party operatives in the Parliament for them to invite him to answer questions on the bus acquisitions. Parliament is now the main obstacle to anti-corruption investigations in Sierra Leone.

Balogun's explanation to parliament shows the depth of corruption in Sierra Leone and the brazen fashion in which state funds were been pillaged with reckless abandon. When I was reading his long meandering story to Parliament this evening, it was just sad to see the depths that Sierra Leone had fallen into, for even a class of primary school seniors would not have bought that story. But parliament believed him.

According to Balogun's elaborate tale, in 2013, the country's President Ernest Koroma happened upon people waiting in long lines for transport and felt he had to do something quick. He then instructed Transportation Minister Balogun to address the problem promptly. Balogun approached the Finance Minister who said he sympathized, but money had not been allocated in the budget for that. There was no money.

Balogun decided as long as the President had said so, even if there was no money,  it had to be found. So the search for money started. They searched long and hard without much luck. Fortunately, just as if by destiny, in comes a Lebanese business man Mahmoud Khadi, a popular local magnate. A man popular in Balogun's home district of Kono. Mahmoud Khadi had a solution.

Mahmoud had a Chinese Company, Poly Technology Group, of which he was a representative that will provide 12 million dollars loan to the government.  The catch here was that the government will not direvtly get the money, but the 12 million dollars loan would be used to buy 100 buses, ship and insure them, insure the whole transaction, pay the interest on the loan for 2 years, provide spare parts, pay for Balogun and his delegation to go to China and back, and so on. Balogun of course accepted all these crazy conditions without telling Parliament and the deal was done.

Sierra Leone was in a hole for 12 million dollars and the taxpayers of counyry, rural farmers on whose sweat the government depends will again have to pay in the future for buses they may never get to ride in.

But the good part, according to Balogun, is that the Buses were made just for Sierra Leone. They were not like other buses, but were made specifically just how Balogun and his ministry wanted them. The Chinese must have taken these instructions seriously-the buses started breaking down on their first day on the road. Nothing works in Sierra Leone. So why should buses?

After the long story Parliament cheered Balogun and thanked him. "Next time," they told him, "tell us before you do this kind of thing". He agreed. End of Story.

Will Africa ever develop? Well who knows. In Sierra Leone, at least we have an Agenda for Prosperity.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tegloma International Mini-Convention Boston 2015

Tegloma Federation Chairman
Mustapha Sheriff
Tegloma Federation International, Inc. a Sierra Leone sociocultural and philanthropic organization headquartered in the United States of America with 24 chapters in USA, Canada, UK, Gambia and Sierra Leone, held their annual Mini-Convention in Boston, MA, the intellectual hub of the United States of America and home of the Kennedys. 

Tegloma Federation Vice Chair
Eddie Williams
Massachusetts is home to Harvard University, University of Massachusetts, Amherst College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and many more universities considered among the best in the world. It is also the home of John F. Kennedy, the man who sent men to the moon. 

Tegloma Federation Board Chairman
Abu Bhonapha
Boston was a fitting place for the Tegloma Mini-Convention, as the organization is going through a process of change, with a greater focus on humanitarian efforts in Sierra Leone and the establishment of adequate provisions for some of its members nearing retirement or already retired. There was also an exploration of ideas to make the organization more relevant to a younger and more diverse generation. Tegloma members agreed that the organization should be nimble enough to provide supplementary response to humanitarian crisis like the current Ebola outbreak in the country, complementing the efforts of the authorities in the country.
Convention Host New England Chief
Contance Barkon "Mama Africa"

The Tegloma Federation currently provides many services to its members. Many of its individual chapters are also engaged in independent relief services in rural areas of Sierra Leone. The organization provides scholarships for deserving students all around the country, has supplied medical equipment to hospitals in Sierra Leone and was one of the first  indigenous Sierra Leone diaspora organizations to fly personal protective equipment into the country at the beginning of the recent Ebola crisis.
Chief Lahai Ansumana of Minnesota

Of immediate concern to Tegloma is the plight of the children orphaned by Ebola, and the need to help Ebola hit communities with small scale projects to restart their lives. There will also be a greater concentration on increasing the capacity of schools in rural communities in the country. Tegloma is currently planning to open a multipurpose center in Bo, Southern Sierra Leone.
New Tegloma DVC Chief
Augustine Kebbie

At the mini-convention, new chapter chiefs were introduced, including Mrs Constance Barkon, the Chief of Tegloma New England, Mr. Lahai Ansumana, the Chief of Tegloma Minnesota Chapter, Mr. Augustine Kebbie, the chief of the Tegloma Delaware Valley Chapter, and Mrs Elizabeth Mamie Bockarie, the chief of Tegloma Dallas.
Mr. Joseph Ngaojia

Mr. David Kolima Williams outlined a Cultural Life Insurance and Disability scheme that received a lot of attention and members voted for the project to be further explored and fine tuned for adoption. The scheme received the support of both the Board Chairman Abu Bhonapha and the Federation Chairman Mustapha Sheriff. Mr Joseph Ngaojia of the Garden State Chapter gave a presentation on Tegloma and Social Media that was also well received.

New Tegloma Dallas Chief
Elizabeth Mamie Bockarie
Chief Margaret Tagoe of New York appealed for Tegloma members to revisit their values. She appealed for a closer scrutiny of the scholarship award process and said the administration needed to provide more specific reports of individual scholarship recipients. She emphasized that Tegloma should ensure that all scholarship funds sent to Sierra Leone were reaching the intended recipients. She also appealed to the Tegloma administration to start treating all members as one, as she likened current events in the organization to "Animal Farm" in which all animals were equal, but some were treated as more equal than others. She also wanted the organization to define the role of its African chapters.
Board Chairnan Abu Bhonapha and
Fed. Sec. Gen. Amos Allie
Mrs Julia Hawa Conteh
Federation Chair Candidate

The Convention keynote Speaker Mrs. Fisher implored members of the organization to practice forgiveness in order to achieve progress. This was particularly relevant as some aggrieved members of the DVC chapter had come to the convention as the Dover Group, intent on forming a new chapter. Most Tegloma members were against the formation of a new chapter and urged members of DVC to find a way to settle their long running differences. The Convention also celebrated the Birthday of former Federation Chairman Sam Saidu.
New York Chief
Magaret Tagoe

Ex-Chairman Sam Saidu and Wife
The convention ended with declarations from individuals who were interested in being candidates for Tegloma Federation elections slated for Labor Day Weekend,  September 2015, in Sacramento California. Both the Federation Chairman Mustapha Sheriff and the Vice Chairman Eddie Williams were challenged by other candidates, as they go for their second and final two year terms. 

Elizabeth Momoh Vice Chair
The Segbwema blog will be publishing the campaign platforms of all the candidates. The California convention which is to be hosted by Tegloma Northern California Chapter promises to be very interesting.
Mr. Kolima Williams on Tegloma
Life Insurance Scheme

The Boston Convention received an "A," as the hospitality of the hosts led by Chief Constance Barkon and the Federation Board
Vice Chair Hawa Alice Kallon "Apkaji" was remarkable. All the chapter members rose to the occasion and Mr. Enoch Johnson deserves special mention for being there everytime people wanted to move from one place to the other.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Massive Demonstrations in Washington Against the President of Sierra Leone

Demonstrators in DC
On Saturday April 11th 2015, Sierra Leoneans from across the continental USA and some from neighboring Canada descended on the U.S. Capital, Washington DC, to demonstrate against the illegal removal of their country's Vice President and other negative developments in the West African country, including the embezzlement of millions of dollars donated toward to the eradication of the deadly Ebola virus outbreak in the country by its authorities.

Message to the President
A few weeks ago, the Vice President of Sierra Leone, Alhaji Sam Sumana, placed himself under quarantine when a member of his staff reported died from Ebola. Seizing this opportunity a group of senior officials close to the President hastily convened a meeting of the VP's opponents and dismissed him from the ruling party on bogus and unsubstantiated allegations. The President then quickly proceeded to strip the Vice President of his elected position, even though the country's current 1991 constitution gave him no such authority. The Vice President was directly elected on the same ticket as the President himself. Even the attorney general at the time the constitution was written stated that the president had no such authority to dismiss the VP, but the power hungry President decided not to listen and proceeded to appoint the Ambassador to China and former Secretary General of his party, Victor Foh, as Vice President, even though Victor Foh had a far longer list of scandals than the man he was appointed to replace.
Police Controlling Crowd

Sierra Leone has a very tormented political history. The country experienced a devastating civil war throughout the 90s. The war was started on the pretext of ridding the country of the nepotism and corruption that characterized the one-party government at the time, and many Sierra Leoneans today are worried that the growing dictatorial tendencies of the President, and his continuous effort to undermine the separation of powers and the checks and balances built into the country's constitution, is setting the foundation for another bloodbath. The country is growing more unstable as he grows more tyrannical and becomes bolder in disregarding the country's constitutional limits, encouraged by close advisers who are the few benefiting under his rule. Remarkably, it was the same party now in power that set the stage for the long civil war in Sierra Leone that lasted from 1991 to 2002.
Organizers Addressing Crowd

The growing use of armed police paramilitary personnel to control even small demonstrations, the compromise of the neutrality of the country's parliamentary speaker by a parliamentary coup, the use of bogus lawsuits in compromised courts to strip opposition politicians of clear electoral victories in favor of ruling party members, the financing of journalists in and out of the country to spread propaganda and lies against political opponents and cover up incidents of corruption, the use of public resources for partisan affairs and political patronage, are just some of the few examples of the slide back into the sad politics of the decades of the 70s and 80s that the is experiencing under the current regime.

The removal of the Vice President Sam Sumana, even though he is not a very popular politician, seems to have been a step too far, as many Sierra Leoneans weary of a repeat of history have decided that enough is enough and are now calling for the President to respect the rule of law and curb his executive excesses. The proliferation of social media has also helped make political propaganda less effective as everybody has now become a reporter in the country and government lies are now countered in real time.
The Young and Old

So on Saturday, thousands of Sierra Leoneans from all walks of life; young and old, men and women, belonging to both the opposition and the President's own party, decided to put aside their differences and converge on Lafayette Park for a White House protest in the U.S. Capital aimed at exposing the negative developments in their country. 

Massive People Power
The protests, arranged under the banner of Concerned Sierra Leoneans USA, were deliberately organized as a national event devoid of political, tribal or regional divide and the protesters were successful to get so many Sierra Leoneans to participate. However, the Rev. Kabbs Kanu, a portly political refugee and a noted sycophant who was appointed a Sierra Leone Minister Plenipotentiary, received money from Sierra Leone to sabotage the event and proceeded to do so by arranging a counter demonstration. Unfortunately for Kabs Kanu, his counter demonstration attracted only a few shameless and misguided Sierra Leoneans and a spattering of homeless people they had paid to join them. 
Kabs Kanu and the Dry Yai Crew

We Don't Care About Constitution
Saturday's APC counter demonstration on behalf of President Koroma was an unmitigated disaster, as thousands of patriots marched in favor of their country, the rule of law and the return to proper constitutional order. Many also took the opportunity to vent their feelings against the heartless squander of millions of dollars meant to fight Ebola in the country. However the yellow journalists of Cocorioko and Patriotic Vanguard shamefacedly reported that their counter demonstrations by the partisan group was a major success, even though thousands of demonstrators had turned out in broad day light to attend the power grab demonstrations. A Pastor who had attended the demonstration in support of Concerned Sierra Leoneans USA remarked that the Rev. Kabs Kanu was the most dishonest bold face liar to ever call himself a Reverend in the history of Sierra Leone. "You should at least lie with some shame," he added.
Ernest Bai Koroma
Sierra Leone Patriots

On the eve of the demonstrations Kabs Kanu and some of his supporters put out a recording in Mende and Krio alleging that the organizers including Mustapha Wai, Jesmed Suma and some others had received $200,000 to arrange the demonstrations, however most who heard the recording dismissed it as just another example of how low the government of Sierra Leone can go to damage the credibility of its opponents. 

London, UK Demonstrations
The organizers have vowed to keep up their peaceful protests until the president starts to realize that Sierra Leone will no longer go back to the politics of yesterday. Plans for demonstrations in Sierra Leone have even hampered by the continuing Ebola crisis in the country. The organizers also expressed their immense gratitude to the thousands of Sierra Leoneans who decided to forego their usual activities and join in demonstrations for love of country.

The US demonstrations come on the heel of massive demonstratrions of similar nature held in London a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Legal Opinion on Sierra Leone Vice President Expulsion-Ansu B. Lansana Esq.


The furore within the All Peoples’ Congress Party (APC) stemming from the allegations of Vice President Alhaji Samuel Sam Sumana misrepresenting his academic credentials, his eve-of-running mate-nomination switch from Christianity to Islam and his anti-APC activities have, over the past two weeks, overshadowed the nation’s preoccupation with the fight against the Ebola disease and the Auditor-general’s Report on the use of Ebola funds.

As the nation grappled with the implications of such allegations, the National Advisory Committee of the APC announced that the Vice President had been expelled from the party.

Much as the rationale for expulsion of the Vice President from the APC party rests with the APC to determine, the nation has been following the unfolding events with concern and anxiety; justifiably so because of the constitutional ramifications such an expulsion would have on the Office of the Vice President.

The nation’s concern and anxiety have now been heightened by the State House Press Release of 17th March 2015. The said press release informed the nation that Vice President Alhaji Sam Sumana had been dismissed from the Office of Vice President for the following reasons:

1. That by seeking asylum from a foreign embassy, he had evinced a willingness to abandon his duties and office as Vice President;
2. That having been expelled from the APC party, the Vice President was no longer a member of a political party in Sierra Leone and did not have the continuous requirement to hold office as Vice President.

Each of the aforementioned reasons has constitutional implications that make it imperative for the President to have invoked the interpretative jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as stipulated in Section 124 (1) (a) of the 1991 Constitution which states:

124. (1) The Supreme Court shall, save as otherwise provided in section 122 of this Constitution, have original jurisdiction, to the exclusion of all other Courts— 

a. in all matters relating to the enforcement or interpretation of any provision of this Constitution;


A detailed analysis of the reasons stated in the Press Release reveals illogicalities that render them untenable by average human comprehension, let alone legal scrutiny. 


Firstly, if it is argued that the Vice President demonstrated a willingness to abandon his duties and office as Vice President when he sought asylum, the legitimate question that comes to mind is: can demonstration of a willingness to abandon ones duties be equated to actually abandoning those duties?


Secondly, was the asylum the Vice President sought granted?


Thirdly, assuming, for the sake of argument, that the asylum the Vice President sought was granted. Can the President dismiss him on that score by merely invoking        Section 40 (1) of the 1991 Constitution which designates him the chief executive in governance? Can he dismiss the Vice President under any provision of the 1991 Constitution?


The legal import of treating the Vice President’s application for asylum as an abdication of his office is equating the application to constructive resignation. However, there is no provision in the 1991 Constitution for constructive resignation. The provision in the constitution is for real and actual resignation. Section 55 of the 1991 Constitution provides situations which render the Office of Vice President vacant:

55. The office of the Vice-President shall become vacant— 

a. on the expiration of the term of office of the President; or 

b. if the Vice-President resigns or retires from office or dies; or 

c. if the Vice-President is removed from office in accordance with the provisions of section 50 or 51 of this Constitution; or 

d. upon the assumption by the Vice-President to the office of President under subsection (4) of section 49. 



From the above Section, it is evidently manifest from (a) that the Vice President’s term of office expires upon the expiry of the President’s term of office. This is because in the eyes of the Law, the Presidency and Vice Presidency are indivisible. Their mandates are derived from the one single ticket on which the electorate voted for them. Therefore barring resignation, retirement or death, the only other modus operandi for creating a vacancy in the Office of the Vice President is by dismissal under Section 50 (for mental or physical incapacity) or 51 (for misconduct). Section 51 is more relevant to the issue under review:

51. (1) If notice in writing is given to the Speaker signed by not less than one-half of all the Members of Parliament of a motion alleging that the President/Vice President has committed any violation of the Constitution or any gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of his office and specifying the particulars of the allegations and proposing that a tribunal be appointed under this section to investigate those allegations, the Speaker shall— 

a. if Parliament is then sitting or has been summoned to meet within five days, cause the motion to be considered by Parliament within seven days of the receipt of the notice; or 

b. if Parliament is not then sitting (and notwithstanding that it may be prorogued), summon Parliament to meet within twenty-one days of the receipt of the notice, and cause the motion to be considered by Parliament. 


For the above procedure, a 2/3 majority in Parliament passes a motion for a Tribunal to be set up to investigate the allegations. The Tribunal submits its report within 3 months and if the report shows that the allegations have been substantiated, Parliament would then pass a resolution on a 2/3 majority that the Vice President ceases to hold office.

It is my settled legal opinion that barring the aforementioned procedures, any other means by which the Vice President is dismissed from office is unconstitutional and of no legal effect.

The second reason given in the Press Release is that the expulsion of the Vice President from the APC party renders him ‘partyless’ and therefore divests him of the qualification to hold the office of Vice President.

A number of issues emanate from such reasoning. Firstly, the decision to dismiss the Vice President on this ground is premature as a final party decision could only be taken after the expiry of the 30-day period limited for the Vice President to appeal the decision of the National Advisory Committee of the APC. To dismiss him even before he appeals the NAC decision is not only unfair to him but smacks of a flagrant disregard of the APC party constitution, structures and functionaries.

Secondly, assuming the Vice President appeals and loses the appeal, there is no provision in the 1991 Constitution stating that he can be dismissed from office if he ceases to belong to a political party. The only provision therein is Section 77 (k) which relates to Members of Parliament who lose their seats if they cease to be members of the political party of which they were members at the time of their election to Parliament. This provision cannot, in extenso, be implied as applicable to the Vice President unless there is a specific constitutional provision there for. In the absence of a specific provision to that effect, I consider it unsafe and downright unconstitutional for the Vice President to be dismissed on that score.


The appropriate step State House should have taken was to approach the Supreme Court for an interpretation of Section 41 (b) in the light of the Vice President’s expulsion from his party. 


Section41 (b) states:

41. No person shall be qualified for election as President unless he— 

b. is a member of a political party; 


The issue for determination by the Supreme Court would then be whether the qualification requiring membership of a political party for election as a President/Vice President is a continuing qualification, the loss of which divests the President/Vice President of his mandate to function as such.


The second issue the Supreme Court would have had to determine is the full extent of the expression found in Section 40 (1) of the Constitution under which the President purportedly dismissed the Vice President: ‘SUPREME EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY’.


The reason why it is imperative that the Supreme Court educates the nation about this constitutional phraseology is that within it lurks a time bomb for dictatorship. Today, the President can invoke it to dismiss the Vice President; tomorrow he may invoke it to ban the SLPP, the PMDC and all other parties and declare a one-party state.


I am raising these issues because Sierra Leone is supposed to be a democracy which recognizes the people as sovereign from whom Government, through the Constitution,derives all its powers, authority and legitimacy.


The foundations of our national development should be rooted in democratic best practices and adherence to the Rule of Law. It behoves us as good citizens of Sierra Leone to urge our Leaders to exercise their powers within the confines of constitutional provisions; if only to avert the attendant consequences of unconstitutional governance.


Political philosophers and historians have over the years appreciated the beauty of keeping political power within constitutional confines. In the words of Lord Acton:


“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”


Ansu Baatillo Lansana Esq.

20th March 2015.




Tuesday, March 24, 2015

No Man is an Island: The Miscalculations of Sam Sumana

Elected Vice President
Sam Sumana
Chief Alhaji Samuel Sam Sumana, the beleaguered Vice President of Sierra Leone, who has been unceremoniously disrobed of his party garments, stripped of his office by a President manifesting new tyrannical tentacles and whose replacement is one of the people he considered his close political allies, must be thinking to himself these days, "how the hell did I let this happen?"
Appointed Vice President
Victor Foh
After years of being estranged from the country's President Ernest Bai Koroma, things finally got to a climax in the past few days when he was issued marching orders by the ruling All Peoples Congress  (APC) party while he was trying to impress the whole world by putting himself under voluntary Ebola quarantine and acting the model of a very good citizen. As we previously reported, a member of his staff fell victim to the  dreaded Ebola virus. What better way than for the VP himself to prove that no one was above the law than voluntary quarantine?
Unfortunately for the VP, while he was busy showing what it meant to be a law abiding citizen, the law was being pulled from under his feet. Twenty one days of voluntary quarantine was more than enough time for President Koroma and his allies to finalize their grand plan for the Vice President. Sam Sumana would go into quarantine a Vice President and come out of quarantine 21 days later as a Private citizen, without an office, without a party and abandoned by fair-weather friends.
If President Koroma and his buddies have their way, Sam Sumana is just another JC (Jus Cam) who has been played. A man who is on the verge of losing everything and if he is not very careful, even his freedom. Now maybe people will start to understand why Monologue broadcaster David Tam Baryoh went to Pademba Road Prisons as a revolutionary and came out 11 days later as a reformed born again missionary.
President Koroma's Hatchet
Man Foday Yansaneh
Sam Sumana's adversaries within the ruling party have for years been looking for evry available opportunity to get rid of him without putting the country once more into turmoil. By putting himself under voluntary lock up for 21 days, unable to leave his residence, the leaders of his party, all handpicked by the country's President had the perfect opportunity to put the nail in the VPs political coffin. According to newly appointed ceremonial Vice President Victor Foh, a President is the boss and if he tells you to jump, you have only one question, "How High?"
So last week after much speculation on social media, President Ernest Bai Koroma's former political rivals now turned subservient errand men, Ibrahim B. Kargbo,  Party Secretary General Ambassador Foday Yansaneh and other cloak and dagger politicians expelled the Vice President from the ruling party on allegations so ridiculous that they almost sound untrue.
APC politicians probably had a lot of really good reasons they could have given for deciding that Sam Sumana was not one of them. That is if they had not wanted to be honest enough to tell him to his face that he did not have the geographical qualifications necessary to become an APC flagbearer. They could have referenced his complicity in the infamous Timbergate Scandal, or the scandal he had brought to the nation by allegedly defrauding multiple American businessmen who he had encouraged to go into diamond and timber businesses in the country when he was not yet a Vice President. They could have even convinced the people that he was acting against the national interest of the country, but they did not.

Remarkably, Vice President Sam Sumana was booted out of his own party on largely hearsay allegations that he was a Christian and had pretended to be a Muslim to get into office, that he had pretended to have a Masters degree when he didn't have one, that he was guilty of  fomenting violence in home district of Kono,  and that he had the intention of forming a new party. The violence charges are particularly  ridiculous, considering the fact that junior government ministers who have somehow managed to grow closer to the President, have for months now been engaged in a campaign of harassment and intimidation of individuals close to the Vice President, including the well publicized arrest of his near naked sister in their home district on directives given by Karamoh Kabbah a government minister. 
The ugly nature of Sierra Leone politics really showed iself in the past few weeks. Individuals like the President's former rival Solomon Berewa of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), President Koroma's personal political opposition stooge Mohamed Bangura of the UDM and even the man now appointed to replace Sam Sumana, Victor Foh, were sent as emissaries to the VP to convince him to resign. He reportedly told them he would, but then changed his mind. So the President was advised by his group of lawyers to use loopholes in the constitution to fire him. Sierra Leone has a brand of the type of lawyers who would discover Sharia Law in the center of the Holy Bible if only you pay them well enough.
Koroma Spiritual Strategist
Kabbs Kanu
Sam Sumana's current troubles lend credence to the enduring statement that, "no man is an Island." The VP has suddenly found himself under siege, abandoned by former friends. Save for a few brave voices within his APC party, the bulk of sympathy for the shoddy way he is being treated is coming from opposition politicians, Many of who simply do not want to see the country's constitution being so blatantly violated. One of Sam Sumana's most ardent defenders over the years, the Minister Plenipotentiary and publisher of the online new outlet Cocorioko the Reverend Leeroy Kabs Kanu, is now the lead Pharisee for his crucifixion. The loyalties of the Sierra Leone political class are as shifty as a candle in the wind, bowing in whichever direction the breeze is blowing.
As Vice President, Sam Sumana never really tried to endear himself to the people of Sierra Leone. Many were even surprised when the President decided to run again with him in 2012. His first problem was that he  never really tried to develop a political base outside his own APC party and could never get traction within the party. Unlike other politicians who try to reach outside their party base to build relationships, Sam Sumana was so fearful of being labeled an opposition sympathizer that he deliberately avoided personal relationships with opposition figures and independents in the country. So now he is like a man that everybody feels sorry for, but nobody really wants to fight for.
The Vice President Sam Sumana committed two strategic mistakes that most African politicians do not make. Firstly, he allowed a gulf to develop between himself and the President, allowing  ambitious junior political rivals to exploit this divide and sow seeds of discord between them. It is reported that the country's two leaders have not been on talking terms for a very long period. This was a real mistake. President Koroma rewards loyalty and is reportedly very suspicious of people who he doubts. The President also subscribes to a lot of gossip. The isolation of the President from the VP  allowed the VP's foes to poison the President's mind and help reduce VP's role to a largely ceremonial position,  as he was largely disregarded on most issues of national importance. This isolation also made the President to fill the party hierarchy with his loyalists, marginalizing people close to the VP. Today the VP has little standing in APC, even if he were to be somehow readmitted into party ranks.
The President's Chief Constitutional
Adviser Ibrahim B. Kargbo
The VP's second strategic mistake was the underestimation of the damage that junior politicians from his Kono district could do to his political fortunes. Three ministers from Kono who were not in any good relationship with the Vice President saw the rift between the President and the VP and decided that they would widen this rift and use it to cause his downfall. These Kono three, Karamoh Kabbah,  Diana Konomanyi and Balogun Koroma, apparently combined forces and ensured that they slowly chipped away at the VP's authority by helping fuel instability in Kono and disseminating negative propaganda against the man. It was a real battle between the VP and his three brethren for some considerable period and it seems as if for now the Kono three have won the current round.
Many Sierra Leoneans are asking for the VP to be reinstated. Truly, the only realistic chance the VP has is pressure from people who are fighting to defend the constitution, and these are largely civic organizations, opposition parties and other pressure groups. Sam Sumana has no chance in the Supreme Court, as President Koroma's politics of patronage has helped pave the way for many staunch loyalists to occupy prime positions in the judiciary. Lawyers meeting today Tuesday in Freetown to deliberate the constitutionality of the President's move were not even allowed to occupy the judicial building, but were impeded by both the top people in the judiciary and the police. Sam Sumana leaving his political fate in the hands of the Sierra Leone judiciary will be like leaving a young bull with lions for safekeeping. The Sierra Leone judiciary will always rule in favor of the President on this matter. For Parliament, don't even get me started. For now Vice President Sam Sumana is basically screwed. No man is an Island, even the powerful