By Mohamed Sankoh (One Drop)
Those who have case-studied former axed Vice President, Alhaji Chief Samuel Sumana aka Samsumana, very well know that one of the consistent things about him is his constant inconsistencies. The only thing that seems to have the exact parallel with that man’s inconsistencies is the weather.
Since he came into the political limelight in 2007 to date, Samsumana has changed lawyers with the frequency with which he changes his suits and socks. During his first inning as Vice President when the “Taakor” issue (later dubbed by the SLPP-leaning press as “Timbergate”) came up, he sought the legal services of Yada Williams and Associates at No.7 Walpole Street in Freetown. For the “Al-Jazeeragate”; there was another lawyer in the picture. And for the “Mark Heiligmangate”; the former Vice President had another lawyer.
When he had a brush with me (One Drop) for merely reporting in my Nationalist newspaper of an alleged land grabbing stunt by him at Leicester; he forgot about the series of former lawyers he had once hired and instead hired the services of Serry-Kamal and Co. who wrote me a letter, dated 18 December 2013, informing me that “…The damage caused to our client’s hard earned reputation by your publication is still continuing and has now instructed us to proceed to re-establish his damaged reputation at law…” Very good. But with “Timbergate”, “Al-Jazeeragate”, and “Heiligmangate”; it might have been very interesting how Serry-Kamal and Co. could have re-established Mr Samsumana’s “damaged reputation at law”. But, in the end, why did he have to terminate their legal services with all that determination to “re-establish his damaged reputation at law”? Your guess might be as illogical as my implied fallacy!
And when the matter of challenging his sacking as Vice President at the Supreme Court became an issue; he hired the services of Jenkins-Johnston and Co of Ayotunde Chambers of No. 54 Wellington Street in Freetown. And even before those lawyers could begin their legal arguments in the Supreme Court; he has fired them and hired Charles F. Margai and Associates of No.46 Rawdon Street in Freetown with an instruction for them to work with lawyer Mohamed Pa-Momo Fofana.
I am not a professional psychologist nor would I feign any pretence of reading a little bit of psychology at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom; but the pattern of inconsistencies in the manner in which Samsumana hires and fires lawyers shows that something is not right about him. Or it could mean that he might always be having problems with what legal minds called “Retainership fees”. Or at worst, he might be someone who believes in telling his lawyers what to do instead of allowing them to do their job. I am not inferring anything here but just trying to scratch the surface a little bit.
Prior to his Supreme Court case, Samsumana showed his inconsistency in his asylum story. According to the BBC reporter, Alhaji Umaru Fofana, he spoke on the phone with Mr Samsumana over a dozen times in which the latter told him that he was contemplating of seeking an asylum in the United States’ embassy at Leicester in Freetown because he feared for his life and that of his wife. And Sorie Fofana, the Managing Editor of the Global Times newspaper, was also alleged to have met him at or in his supposed “hideout” where pictures of the former Vice President were taken and later splashed on social media and in the local press—all intended to corroborate the “asylum” and “fearing for my life and that of my wife” story. Only for Mr Samsumana to come out of his supposed “hideout” later and told the world that he did not speak to or meet any journalist while he was incommunicado—forgetting that there were pictures of him eating boiled cassava and stew while he was in his supposed “hideout” waiting for word on whether his asylum application had been okayed or not.
So, why should anyone be surprised when Mr Samsumana decides to add another ingredient into the Supreme Court potpourri by swapping lawyers? If a “Samuel” could easily be swapped for a Muslim; what could prevent a Mohamed from being swapped for a Christian? So let the drama continues!
Once again, Alhaji Chief Samuel Sumana’s experimentation with lawyers has shown or is showing his state of mind or the state of his pockets. But one thing I know for sure is what Moses Crowell notes that, “It is a secret worth knowing that lawyers rarely go to law”. It is not the basketful of lawyers that one takes to the Supreme Court that matters; what matters most is the fact of or the argument(s) in the case. At the end of it all we, journalists, would have to post-script the whole saga thus: he employed the best battery of lawyers the Almighty dollar could hire but…