The Supreme Court of Sierra Leone on Wednesday 9th September ruled
that the President of Sierra Leone has the power under the 1991
constitution to remove the country’s Vice President.
In the ruling, the Supreme Court stated amongst other things that, the
President has powers to remove his Vice under section 40 since the
requirement on section 41 is continuous. The provisions in section 55
of the 1991 Constitution, the court said, are by implication modified
by the provisions in sec 54 (5).
This verdict came following the sacking of former Vice President Sam
Sumana in March of this year, after the governing All People’s
Congress had earlier expelled him following accusations of fuelling
violence, and trying to form a breakaway party in his home district of
Kono, amongst others.
Immediately he was sacked, the ex-Vice President sought the attention
of the country’s highest court to determine the constitutionality or
otherwise of the President’s action, with the current Vice President
and the country’s Attorney General as defendants.
Following the removal of Sam Sumana, Hon. Victor Bockarie Foh was on
19th March 2015 appointed Sierra Leone’s Vice President by His
Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma in line with the country’s
With a verdict delivered, this writer caught up with the Vice
President, Victor Bockarie Foh at his Tower Hill Office, central
Freetown and asked him what he reaction was to the Supreme Court
VP Foh: This matter has been decided by the highest court of the land
and I support the ruling. I am neither happy nor unhappy. I will be
happiest when my Party builds itself in a very strong way. We are on
the road to build the Party into a very strong and unified Political
Party. We want to continue to have touch with the grassroots of our
Party membership, not forgetting the elders of the Party. We want to
have all hands on deck. We want the APC to continue to be in every
corner of Sierra Leone. The foundation upon which the APC built was to
care for the poor and the deprived. More or less, I am saying, it is a
mass Party. Everybody must be happy with it.
John Baimba: With the former VP giving the view that he was a strong
member of the Party then, and with this recent verdict, will that not
in a way affect the Party in coming elections?
VP Foh: No. I look at it differently. It awakens the Party. The Party
may have at a time, gone into slumber but the verdict awakens the
Party to continue to be in touch with its membership. The Vice
President was catapulted into a very high position within the Party
but he was not a strong member of the Party. He did not know the Party
and the Party did not know him. I believe he was hanging on the Party.
He was not carrying the Party. He was supposed to be the Principal
Assistant of the President and when one is Principal Assistant, you
must assist the President on all fronts including the political front.
I belive that is a job he may not have done properly because I was the
then Secretary-General of the Party. I believe the Vice President’s
role as Vice President and Principal Assistant of the President was
not very well articulated at the Party level by Mr. Sam Sumana.
For the case, I would say I am happy not because I am now occupying
the position as Vice President. I am happy because my President’s
powers have been further demonstrated to the public that the Supreme
Executive Authority rests with the President .I am happy that my
President’s hands have been made stronger. Yes indeed, those powers
are in the constitution and have ever been in it since 1991 but not
many people read and understand the constitution. Now that we have
been told in no uncertain terms that the President is the Supreme
Executive Authority in this land and that he has powers to sack his
Vice President including myself, we are all on our toes
John Baimba: If you were to be sacked today?
VP Foh: I will gladly go but will work as a member of the APC and
continue to work with President Koroma.
John Baimba: With pending elections in years to come, what have you
been doing to consolidate the Party’s presence and grip across the
VP Foh: I have been everywhere. I go on Government function as we have
been trying to grapple with Ebola. I go really to preach the gospel
that Ebola is not good and we must get rid of it. But I am a
politician. One hand says, no Ebola and the other hand says politics.
Don’t forget your Party. We are waiting. The census will be here very
soon. Boundary delimitation will be here very soon and population
counts. This is a numbers game .I am meeting my people.
John Baimba: Thank you Mr. Vice President.
VP Foh: Thank you Mr. Sesay