IGP Moigbeh to Face Parliament
January 11, 2019
By Jariatu S Bangura
Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Solomon Segepoh Thomas, has ordered the Clerk of Parliament to summon the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr. Richard Moigbeh, to appear before the Committee on Internal Affairs for further explanation with regards the withdrawal of state security personnel from the erstwhile Vice President and Chairman and Leader of the Coalition for Change (C4C) party, Chief Alhaji Samuel Sam Sumana.
On Wednesday 9th January 2019, the Inspector General of Police ordered the withdrawal of state security personnel from the former sacked Vice President, citing Section 21 (1)(2) of the Pensions and Retiring Benefits of Presidents and Vice President Act of 1986.
Over one hundred armed Operational Support Division (OSD) personnel raided the compound of the former vice president and withdrew his security personnel.
Leader of the Coalition for Change (C4C) in Parliament, Hon. Saa Emerson Lamina, yesterday cited Standing Orders 25, which gives him permission to raise personal matters that were affecting them as a party and other related issues of state matters.
According to Hon. Lamina, the withdrawal of state security from their leader and chairman has the propensity to threatening the security of the country, thus calling on the Speaker to engage both the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
Hon. Segepor, who presided over the House said the issue was serous and that the Inspector General of Police should provide thorough explanation to the committee and provide reason (s) behind such action.
Meanwhile, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Fodie Umaru Dabor, had stated on Radio Democracy 98.1 that, they have right to withdraw their personnel at any time they deem it necessary.
A letter from the SLP dated 9th January,2019, stated that “It has come to the notice of the Management of the Sierra Leone and the Ministry of Internal Affairs that you still have state security guards deployed to you. According to section 21, subsection 1&2 of the Pensions and Retiring Benefis of Presidents and Vice Presidents’ Act of 1986, you are not entitle to such state privilege as you are not a retired Vice President.”
The Deputy Inspector General of Police further reiterated that Chief Samuel Sam Sumana was a dismissed and not a retired Vice President, hence should not be accorded with such state privilege.
While the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone backed the decision of the then government of the All People’s Congress (APC) to relieve Sam Sumana of his duties as Vice President, the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice presided over by Justice Hameye Foune Mahalmadane of Mali, wronged the said action.
The West African apex court on Human Rights declared that his removal from office was illegal, null and void, adding that the singular action of President Ernest Bai Koroma in sacking the former did not follow due process.
In their reaction, the then opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) urged the then ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) political party administration to accept the judgement of the ECOWAS Court of Justice in the former Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana’s case delivered Monday, November 27, 2017, and called on the then Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, to resign immediately.
The SLPP National Secretary General, Umaru Napoleon Koroma, was quoted by the Associated Press (AP) to have applauded the ECOWAS Court ruling which declared the removal from office of Sam Sumana as Vice President in March, 2015, as unconstitutional.
While the then Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Joseph F.Kamara, dishonoured the ruling of the ECOWAS Court, the SLPP Secretary General described his reaction as “arrogant and disrespectful to not only the citizenry of Sierra Leone, but also to ECOWAS, which has always been in the forefront of sustaining Sierra Leone’s democracy and the Rule of Law even in the most trying and turbulent times of the country’s history.”
President Julius Maada Bio was also quoted by the AP during his election campaign saying that “I want it to be known that I fully respect the ruling of the ECOWAS Court. I would not hesitate to implore President Koroma’s Government to swiftly and diligently accept and honour the ruling of the ECOWAS regional court in respect of the wrongful removal from office of the elected Vice President.”
National Leader and Chairman of the SLPP, Dr. Prince Harding , was again quoted by the AP saying that “the ruling APC Government has scarred the international image of Sierra Leone by showing disrespect for the Rule of Law.”
He added “we are witnessing a very sad day in Sierra Leone after the Government has stated that the ECOWAS Court lacks competence and jurisdiction in the matter of the sacked Vice President. The country’s international respectability is at risk”, Dr. Prince Harding maintained.
Meanwhile, it is yet unclear whether the police acted independently to withdraw the state security personnel attached to the former vice president. But several quarters are accusing them of serving their master, instead of performing their constitutional duty in the rightful way.