Amendment is paramount to Sam-Sumana case


...Lawyer Charles Margai

June 12, 2015 By Regina Pratt

Cheerful? … Chief Alhaji Samuel Sam-Sumana
Cheerful? … Chief Alhaji Samuel Sam-Sumana

Lawyer Charles Francis Margai, who was announced this week as lead counsel representing Alhaji Samuel Sam-Sumana in his petition at the Supreme Court against his sacking, said on Wednesday, 10 June that he was requesting an adjournment to an originating motion filed by previous counsel, J.B. Jenkins-Johnston, in March this year.

He told the court he was unprepared to carry on yesterday as his client believes the amendment was significant to the success of his challenge to his “unconstitutional and unlawful” sacking.

When asked by acting Chief Justice Valisius Thomas whether he wanted to continue from where the previous counsel had left, the veteran legal luminary said he had received the files late Monday and was still preparing his papers to seek certain orders from the court.

He said the papers are pertinent to the case and sought for an adjournment, which counsel for the first defendant, Berthan Macauley Jr., made no objection to, although lawyer for the second defendant, Ajibola Manley-Spaine quipped that they should wait until they see the papers.

In another development before the start of the case, Berthan Macauley made an observation in relation to the sitting position of Alhaji Samuel Sam-Sumana as he is not a member of the Bar and was sitting at seats reserved for lawyers.

In response, Mr. Margai retorted that what is good for the goose must be good for the gander, in reference to Attorney-General and Minster of Justice, Frank Kargbo, who as first defendant in the constitutional matter was sat together with lawyers.

But Mr. Macauley remarked that the first defendant is the titular head of the Bar, to which Mr. Margai replied that he is a defendant in the instance, and demanded the presence of second defendant, Victor Bockarie Foh in court.

Justice Thomas agreed with counsel Macauley and urged Margai to follow what had been happening in court.

Lawyer for the plaintiff said it was for ease of confirmation that he had asked the sacked vice president to occupy a seat normally reserved for lawyers, but promised to tell his client to take the back seat in subsequent hearings.

Meanwhile, as the court adjourned until Tuesday, June 16, it remains unclear whether the de facto vice president will be in court, as demanded by Mr. Margai.