19th February 2018
Supreme Court Judges are Section 76 Violators with No Morality to Try KKY!
By Abu Shaw in London (09/02/18)
The pandora box opened by the APC government has alarmingly revealed that even the Supreme Court judges have violated Section 76.
Of all the legal papers submitted by Sierra Leone lawyers regarding the dual citizenship issue so far, only one frank and patriotic legal submission caught the eyes of www.theorganiser.net newspaper. The one by erudite lawyer Abu Bakarr Orkailkail Bangura. It is worth reading by all compatriots. (Photo: Former Nigeria President Olusegun Obasanjo embarrasses KKY and has even endorsed him for the presidency in Sierra Leone). Quoting Mr. Orkailkail Bangura thus:
"All or most of the judges in the current Supreme Court of Sierra Leone were confirmed by the last two parliament which had illegal MPs. This means that the confirmation of such judges is illegal, and consequently those judges are illegally serving in the Supreme Court. This makes it very complicating for an illegal Supreme Court whose Judges were confirmed in violation of Section 76 of the Constitution to hear a petition against the nomination of a candidate alleged to be in violation of the same Section 76. Also, since all or most judges of lower courts were also approved by the Sierra Leone Parliament in the last ten years, it would be apt to say that all judgments/decisions given by the Sierra Leone courts in the past ten years are illegal," Unquote.
It is factually astonishing from the above submission that judges - especially those who got parliamentary approval under the APC government - have also violated Section 76 of our constitution thus rendering them as illegals with no moral compass to judge anyone for violating the same Section 76! This shock revelation has startlingly confirmed that the 10 year tenure of the APC government of president Ernest Bai Koroma had flagrantly violated and continues to violate the dictates of Section 76 of the Sierra Leone Constitution.
Which automatically implies that all present and former government ministers, parliamentarians and presidential nominees fall squarely within the same illegal bracket as their services clearly contravene Section 76 of our sacred consitution. All promoted and demoted and sacked and relieved cabinet ministers cannot escape this guilty verdict for consciously or unconsciously violating Section 76.
Many legal luminaries in and outside the country are certain that the Supreme Court judges currently adjudicating the APC petition case against the leader of the National Grand Coalition Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella in Freetown are themselves flagrant violators of Section 76 of the Sierra Leone Constitution either directly or indirectly.
If the Constitution of Sierra Leone is really implemented to the letter, hell will definitely break loose! Presently, many so-called APC constitutional commentators are only campaigning to disenfranchise KKY for selfish gains. If it is about upholding and respecting the constitution, then it means tax payers' monies dished out to past and present cabinet ministers in the form of salaries or allowances etc. will be forced to refund such monies to the national coffers because in essence they were serving the country illegally by contravening Section 76.
Interestingly, the violation of Section 76 by so many unsuspecting stakeholders in the Sierra Leone government, in the civil service and even in parliament etc. would never have fallen on the public dormain had the APC government decided not to petition KKY's dual citizenship. But God does not sleep. For the corrupt APC government to shoot themselves in the foot has unravel a very significant constitutional loophole. Independent observers believe the KKY petition is a blessing in disguise to give Sierra Leoneans the opportunity to see how politicians violate our constitution, past and present.
The APC has accused KKY of violating section 76(1a) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act No 6 of 1991 and the Public Elections (Act No 4) of 2012. Dr. Yumkella, with voter Identification Card number 2282101, is now a citizen of the Republic of Sierra Leone after he openly confirmed on January 18, 2018 in a press conference in Freetown that he has renounced his US Citizenship. But the stubborn APC government has continued its divisive campaigns to stop a born and bred citizen of Sierra Leone from exercising his inalienable rights to vote and to be voted for come March 7, 2018 general elections.
This APC pandora box, a self inflicted technical knock-out punch, will have devastating legal effects on the ruling government and Sierra Leone in general. It is now very crystal that President Koroma's dumb APC think tank did not see this constitutional own goal coming!
Back to the submission of Mr. Abu Bakarr Orkailkail Bangura, one of Sierra Leone's best legal minds. Lawyer Orkailkail Bangura had earlier warned the APC party to back off and close the pandora box for their own good rather than pursue the matter at the Supreme Court, which will leave many stakeholders exposed and embarrassed as the case goes on.
"Legal Miscalculation," that's how lawyer Orkailkail Bangura described the APC petition against KKY’s candidacy. Few weeks ago, Mr. Orkailkail Bangura supported the legal stance expressed by another erudite Sierra Leone lawyer Francis Gabiddon on the dual citizenship issue and stated that the constitution is the supreme law of the land and consequently, any law that is inconsistent with provisions of the constitution law is invalid to the extent of the inconsistency.
He noted that since the 2006 Citizenship Act neither addressed nor contradict provisions of the constitution, Section 76(1) of the Constitution is still valid and will remain in force until amended, lawyer Bangura noted.
However, lawyer Bangura submitted that it would be a total miscalculation with far-reaching ramifications for the APC party to petition the candidacy of Kandeh Yumkella. Read lawyer Bangura's submission in verbatim:
The APC party/government had over 50 dual citizens who served as MPs in the recently dissolved Parliament, and there are still people with dual citizenship and foreign nationals serving as Ministers in the current government in flagrant violation of section 76 of the Constitution.
The effect of this violation is that any law that was passed by a Sierra Leone Parliament with illegal MPs (foreign nationals or dual citizens) is void ab initio. The same also goes for all nominations approved or confirmed by the said Parliament. This means the entire country has been operating illegally for the past ten years. To put the extent of this illegality into perspective I will give just a few examples.
THE SUPREME COURT
All or most of the judges in the current Supreme Court of Sierra Leone were confirmed by the last two parliament which had illegal MPs. This means that the confirmation of such judges is illegal, and consequently those judges are illegally serving in the Supreme Court. This makes it very complicating for an illegal Supreme Court whose Judges were confirmed in violation of Section 76 of the Constitution to hear a petition against the nomination of a candidate alleged to be in violation of the same Section 76. Also, since all or most judges of lower courts were also approved by the Sierra Leone Parliament in the last ten years, it would be apt to say that all judgments/decisions given by the Sierra Leone courts in the past ten years are illegal.
Since all Cabinet Ministers, except the Attorney General have to be approved by Parliament, it is obvious that all ministers who have served in the past ten years have done so illegally by virtue of them being approved by an illegal Parliament. All Contracts/Agreements (mining, debts, international agreements) entered into by the government in the last 10 years are illegal. Again, all actions of National Electoral Commission NEC approved by an illegal parliament including the registration of voters are illegal. The list goes on.
These are just some of the implications of a petition against Dr. Yumkella. It would be like opening a Pandora’s box. According to the famous equitable maxim, he who comes to equity must come with cleans hands. The APC definitely does not have clean hands because APC has violated Section 76 in the past 10 years and the violation still continues with dual citizens/foreign national currently serving as ministers.
The APC lawyers that, all of a sudden have become moral guarantors of the constitution should hold their heads in shame as Section 76 has always been alive. YOU CANNOT FILE A PETITION FOR A VIOLATION OF A LAW THAT YOU HAVE CONSISTENTLY VIOLATED AND STILL VIOLATING. You cannot complain about the snow in your neighbour’s house while your doorstep is unclean.
PRESIDENT KABBAH SUPPORTED KKY'S CANDIDACY FOR UNIDO!
When it was Africa's turn to choose the Director General of UNIDO, Dr. Yumkella was one of Africa's candidates who met the Criteria to declare for the position. As a Sierra Leone, his government had to recommend him to the African Union. It was the late SLPP government of President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, of blessed memory, who recommended Dr. Yumkella's bid as President of Sierra Leone not Ernest Bai Koroma of the APC.
Even President Kabbah recommended Dr. Yumkella after the President of the African Union, Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria then, had presented Yumkella to the African Union (AU) as Africa's choice out of 6 other candidates for the UNIDO job. That was April of 2005 and Dr. Yumkella became Director General of UNIDO in December of 2005. He also won it for the second term with the blessing of his motherland Sierra Leone.
My advice to the APC government/party and the judiciary is that let sleeping dogs lie and let Section 76 be applied henceforth and not retrospectively.
Courtesy: Mr. Abu Bakarr Orkailkail Bangura - BA, LLB (UNDA), GDLP, LLM (USYD), LLM (UNSW), PhD in Law Cand. (UNSW)