Tuesday, 16 January 2018

TITBITS OF OUR SIERRA LEONE CONSTITUTION: 3



  One Franklyn Davies has displayed a ragamophine approach to a serious debate the kind of unresearched and unsubstantiated giggling rat-ta-tat filled with emotional inuendos and unwarranted accusations against President Ernest Koroma and the APC under the caption: "PEOPLE WITH GLASS HOUSES MUST NOT THROW STONES" ...How Ernest Koroma...of the APC, misfired, suffocated his party's caboodle and the Diaspora will laugh last"

What I found disappointing in Davies's essay is the ramblings from one unrelated and unsubstantiated issue to another with no coherence or semblance or understanding of the factors involved. If I am to borrow from my subsidiary profession I would only award him a 2 out of 10 (20%) for effort and a re-submission!
The trouble with some of our educated folks (or those who think they are educated enough to read and write), is that they do not bother to explore beyond the initial thoughts or hear say of an issue before jumping into the band wagon; as such,  they come out short of the merits deserved in what the are saying distorting the facts or mislead and mix up the relevant issues. 
By courtesy of Jimmy Kandeh {Face Biok post } I give the link here below: Click! 


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QUOTE

People In Glass Houses Must Not Throw Stones
 
How Ernest Koroma, Lifetime Chairman and Leader of the All Peoples Congress (APC), misfired, suffocated his party’s caboodle and the Diaspora will laugh last.
 
Franklyn Davies
 
The whole brouhaha about dual nationality locally referred to as “two SIM cards” is a hot topic in Sierra Leone today. However, it is poised to be a blessing in disguise for the Sierra Leonean people including our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora. Such a last-minute ploy by the Ernest Bai Koroma APC government to once again play havoc with constitutional provisions continues to underscore his contempt for the populace.
 
President Koroma should know that all his maneuvers simply provide more evidence to the international community showcasing his deliberate attempt to undermine the democracy they invested heavily in after eleven years of civil war. It is also clear that by his actions, he is also strengthening the various cases being compiled by international NGOs and Human Rights groups (both in Sierra Leone and overseas) for him to account for his 10 years of stewardship including his looting and blatant abuse of Sierra Leoneans.  The truth is, he has misfired!!
 
It is an open secret that the top hierarchy of the All Peoples Congress (APC) and several senior functionaries of the Government hold dual nationality.  President Koroma’s family filed for him for U.K. Citizenship when he was in opposition.  The APC flag-bearer candidate, Samura Kamara, holds a U.K. Passport as confirmed by many who have travelled overseas with him during the past two decades.  Chernoh Maju (Chericoco) Bah, the APC running mate, would have to present evidence of naturalization by both his parents because he and they were not born in Sierra Leone. John Sisay, a British citizen ran a vigorous campaign to succeed his cousin, Ernest Bai Koroma. In fact, the Independent, a British newspaper published a glowing article about their pride that one of their own citizens, a South-Londoner, could potentially be  president of Sierra Leone.
 
In the Independent profile, Sisay, a former member of the UK’s Labour party noted that even though he is a British citizen, “Sierra Leone, his home country, was where he wanted to serve. He has political connections there: his first cousin, Ernest Bai Koroma, is the current President and his family has long been socially and politically active. There are also financial connections, he is the former CEO of Sierra Rutile, the largest mining company for rutile, a mineral formed mainly of titanium dioxide, in the region and is the president of the Sierra Leone Chamber of Mines.”
 
However, Sisay’s bid to return to the UK following his failed presidential campaign to succeed his cousin was scuttered following a corruption scandal that could send him to prison.  Sisay is fleeing away from justice for a 110,000 USD bribe payment he funneled via a West African logistics company. His widely known corrupt practices along with his cousin Koroma are about to catch up with him. Today, he serves as chairman of the APC 2018 campaign. 
 
 
It is noteworthy that all other candidates were born in Sierra Leone except for Chernoh Maju Chericoco Bah. Further, even if they naturalized, I have no doubt that all aspirants (if they hold dual citizenships in other countries) would have renounced their second citizenship before nomination (which is what they are required to do). The "duality issue" with the NGC flag-bearer is like the "birther issue" with Obama in 2011, and in that case, he said nothing even though he was attacked, and innuendos flourished. For a government that has ministers in cabinet and Members of Parliament with dual nationality for the last 10 years, one wonders why they only thought about this now. They shamelessly parade party functionaries masquerading as respecters of the rule of law.
 
 If Dr. Yumkella has dual citizenship, as intelligent as he is and a true patriot of Sierra Leone, I am confident he will release the facts at a time of his choosing. Like the decision to leave the United Nations, if he has something to say about dual citizenship, I am sure he will do so on his own volition. If he had a US passport, I have no doubt that he may have already renounced the US citizenship. KKY is a decent man regardless of how his critics like to spin his character. Thus, if indeed the intent of the Koroma government was to disqualify him from running for the presidency, Koroma’s ploy will miss him and will instead, catch up with him and his caboodle.
 
Julius Maada Bio, flag-bearer candidate for the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) is also reported to hold a Ghanaian passport. It is also equally true that his wife, Fatima Bio, filed for him for British citizenship; a path to make his travels easy. Thus, if all allegations are true about the three main presidential contenders, the question is: which of these three candidates will speak first? Will they all adopt the Obama “birther” strategy i.e. don’t ask don’t tell, then release the facts?
 
For Sierra Leoneans, there is good news in the “Two SIM” or Dual citizenship saga woefully orchestrated by the ruling party. As Sierra Leoneans, this provides an opportunity for us to pursue Ernest Koroma and his cabal through litigation under the serious fraud and anti-corruption legislation in the US, UK and the EU to bring back the looted wealth from Sierra Leone.  These litigations will complement those of human rights abuses during the Ebola epidemic, and many more awaiting him when he leaves office. For example, he will be held to account for looting Port Loko of its minerals through the establishment of SL Mining for the Marampa Iron Ore deposits. We also have information on how the cabal has established a company and now they and their family own the bauxite deposits in Port Loko. All these arrangements were smuggled into parliament on December 7, 2017 its last day of sitting. Does the name Bruski ring a bell?
 
We ask our folks in the diaspora who Koroma has used and now abandoned to wait for the last laugh. Be prepared to welcome him appropriately when he leaves office with determination to get him to account for his legacy of impoverishing our people while he is personally getting richer on inflated contracts and front companies.  Yes, we in the Diaspora will have the last laugh by preparing the case files for the trials of the century. If Hisene Habri was jailed after 25 years for human rights abuses, and Minister Thiam of Guinea was jailed last year in New York for looting his country's iron ore wealth, Ernest Koroma must be rest assured the Diaspora will laugh last.
People in glass houses must not throw stones!

UNQUOTE

SOME COMMENTS:
 John Moses Kamara
A good article spoiled by deviations and conjecture.

Zainu Rahman
Pls JMK educate me. What are the deviations and conjecture? I am sure missing something. Thanks

John Moses Kamara
Are we talking about corruption, alleged financial malpractice or simply about dual citizenship?
John Moses Kamara
Why is the article ending with a human rights trial of the president when it's about apparent constitutional abuse?

Zainu Rahman 
I think it's on the dual nationality which has become an albatross. The constitution unarguably; shld be adhered to.

John Moses Kamara
I agree but so many words are wasted on something else. That's what I am saying not that the writer don't have valid points about the intention of the president to clearly manipulate the rules of the constitution to fit his political objectives but he laboured extensively on issues of financial accountability that merits a separate piece. And by the way I also think some of these are just allegations or suspected wrong doing and in the case of Samura Kamara no proof of second nationality. But that is how most of us write in that country, just like the politicians, complete disregards for due process of finding evidence or cite irrefutable source to make serious assertions.

Hassan Abdoiul Sesay 
I agree Sith the submissions made on this issue but it is not a new clause in the Constitution. If you look at the constitution(76-1), it is very clear on this. It was not meant to disadvantage anybody. If people attack the clause and advocate for an amendment, I will clearly understand and it will be an acceptable suggestion but it was not deliberately meant for specific persons . I also believe that those who intended to contest for parliamentary seats ought to look at the eligibility criteria in the National Constitution and I know ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Jimmy Kandeh 
APC cannot have it both ways and is digging its own grave. Notorious for violating our constitution they now want to hide behind the constitution to prolong their incumbency but KKY is unstoppable

Jimmy Kandeh
It's an irony that APC continues to originate constitutional changes whilst at the same time testing the limit of their provisions to put it mildly. I think it's clear that the spirit of the constitution has been tested in few instances that has left a sour taste for many. What I have always maintained and I have been consistent is constitutions are man made rules are are there to be amended or even challenged as they are are hardly perfect. We should find a way to ensure thus can happened not to suit temporary political expediency but to enhance the governance and effectiveness of our determined political dispensation.

Israel Ojekeh Parper Snr
Hassan Abdoiul Sesay: This Constitutional position is NOT NEW! The prohibitive provisions were in the 1971 Republican Constitution. That was strengthened in 1974 by Section 22 (1) (a). The prohibitions were also included in the 1978 ONE PARTY STATE constitution. When President Momoh of the APC made a change in bringing back democracy after taking over from Pa Siaka STEVENS (1985) he invited all Political Parties: That is why an eminent SLPP former Head Of the Civil Service Dr Sir Peter Tucker was chosen to Head the Constitutional Review Committee so that all Sierra Leone will benefit. The former Attorney General & Minister of Justice/ Finance Minister/Foreign Minister etc.etc Dr Abdulai Conteh (one of our legal luminaries who is still performing his brilliance in the West Indies) was a member of that Momoh’s cum 1991 constitutional Review Committee. They brought in the same Prohibitions in a much modified format to suit the type of multi-party democracy the country was now being transformed into.
This was the ‘junction point’ where Ministers can NO LONGER be chosen from among Parliamentarians. Even that prohibition was violated by SLPP/Tejan Kabba in 1996 when he appointed EKE HOLLOWAY as Attorney General after Eke had won his Parliamentary seat and assumed his place in Parliament. This brought a lot of arguments and resulted in the Late Lawyer, Terrence Terry to take Tejan Kabba and his SLPP to Court for breach of this constitutional prohibition. EKE CONTINUED TO SERVE AS Attorney General after resigning his seat. ABBAS BUNDU I recall had a field day in Parliament in 1991, (whilst he was also Secretary General of ECOWAS) arguing/speaking for a whole day trying the filler buster trick regarding the appointment of Parliamentarians as Ministers. He wanted the old (British) style to continue i.e. choosing  Ministers from among Parliamentarians, whilst Dr Abdulai Conteh and many others preferred the current situation now (the American Style) i.e. President choosing non- Parliamentarians as Ministers. This approach was to emphasise “THE SEPARATION OF POWERS” Legislators to legislate (hence Parliament- the Legislative Assembly, and the Executive to Execute Policies - hence the Preside and his Cabinet). All for the good of the nation.
These prohibitions of 1991, Section 76(1) (a) Of Act No. 6. was reinforced by Section 56 (2) (a), which prohibits anyone from sitting in Cabinet if that person is disqualified to be a Member of Parliament including those with Dual Nationality.
I can  go on  and on; but it may be wise for our ‘educated’ contributors to read, understand,observe and learn what the constitutional implications are before they jump in the band wagon and write with confused ideas  (mix-matching unrelated issues as Franklyn Davies has done above). But I will also direct attention to the following sections of the 1991 constitution:
Section 41 (1) (d)
Section 54 (2) {which has a link with Section 41}
Section 52 (2) and 
Section 108 (8) 
Just Google SIerra Leone Constitution - you do not have to go and buy books except if you will want one like that written by Dr Abdulai  Conteh some time ago where he explained many concepts and implications. 

THIS IS THE EFFECT OF THE SUPREMACY OF THE CONSTITUTION - (not all will by satisfied with all its provisions! The fact that certain sections were ignored by ALL, does not mean that a rectification or implementation  of the law must not take place.) 

Mistakes in the past is effectively being corrected now: IT IS BETTER TO BE LATE, THAN NEVER! {Though I prefer what the Late Ach-Bishop M N C O SCOTT wrote to me in his last correspondence before he departed this wicked world : “BETTER NEVER 
LATE”

Miranda Aishe Davies 
constitutions can be amended with due process. i dont think there is any question with that. the questioning is with the intent behind their proposed changes. Leadership is clearly flawed when it comes ti their decision making and process. we had a process where recommendations from a review process were thrown out the window to install their own formula for remaining in power to name an example. John MosesKamara i like to be fair because there is nothing to gain from escalating grievance. can they not see that it only takes us back...can you explain this to them...

Israel Ojekeh Parper Snr
John Moses Kamara: The trouble  our country is that our laws are always ignored even by the most educated people we have. We do have robust laws in Sierra Leone covering ALL sectors and issues; but who cares? What is happening now is a case in point. Constitutions are always subject to amendments because things change even naturally and No-one can prevent social changes!

John Moses Kamara
Entirely agree with you Miranda, everything has to go through the due process and for constitutional changes like ours the bar is higher than statutes. This is to safeguard the rule of law and fundamental issues of governance. But it can be sticky at times and the inflexibility may not always be convenient for common sense or human rights like the penalty for dual citizenship. The leadership cannot get it right always and hence the courts. The Supreme Court is there for all no matter whether we agree with their rulings or not. I want to be fair too as this is not about politics but development

Israel Ojekeh Parper Snr 
John Moses Kamara: you will have to argue the interpretation aspects with the learned Supreme Court Judges who arrived at their decision after a considerable amount of deliberations. That was their and the have settled that matter once and for all. Even the ECOWAS decision did not trample their interpretation and deception. The ECOEAS Court's decision was on a different footing- 'Human Rights' not Constitutional interpretation!

Farook Abdul-Karim Sesay 
Whoever wrote this piece, should be shred in pieces! We want to hear ascertained facts - not one riddled in conjectures! One needs to write authoritatively from a well researched viewpoint and not be prosaically rambling about opinions laced with irascible conjectures! It really bothers me when intellectuals employ disingenuous logic to piece together a far fetched conspiracy theory! What has PresidentvKoroma and the APC machinery had to do with the 1991 constitution? Did they write it? Have they tinkered  with it in any form or fashion? One needs to glean Section 76 (1) to really appreciate its import and relevance to dual nationality. There are two strands here: obtaining dual citizenry and the conditions attached to having one! Let me spell it out here in black and white: " 
Section 76 (1)  "No person shall be qualified for elections as a member of parliament  -(a) if he is a naturalised citizen of Sierra Leone or he is a citizen of another other than Sierra Leone having become such a citizen voluntarily  or is under declaration of allegiance to such country."
The operative expressed terms here are: ... VOLUNTARILY OR IS UNDER A DECLARATION OF ALLEGIANCE  TO SUCH A COUNTRY! 
Allegiance is what is paramount here. Voluntary is secondary and pales in comparison to the term "allegiance"! How can someone give his/her allegiance to two countries and readily and unequivocally serve both! No one has ever used duality of nationality in the West and ruled! In law school,  I was privileged to do a module called  "Morality and the Law".  Is Being FAIR and being RIGHT flips sides of the same law coin? What takes precedence? Fairness or rightfulness? Expediency or principle? These questions had baffled us until we sunk our teeth in the whole juicy but tantalising literature in this course! So when self entitled critics are flippantly accusing President Koroma and APC as showing a debased  sleight of hand, even as a diaspora, I take umbrage to such disingenuous accusations!  The law has been dormant. But that did not make it redundant or irrelevant. Just an oversight antic on all regimes from the inception of the 1991 constitution  (for whatever reason best known to them! ). And then entered the spitting dragon in the guise of legal Luminary, Erstwhile  Ombudsman Francis Gabbidon - opening up a can of worms. And that was ages ago,  before parliament closed shop! No one raised an eye brow - hopefully thinking that it will be "business as usual " . But they got it all wrong! And the loose canon, who is a wrecking ball,  another legal icon, Charles Francis Margai,  rushed in - even where angels fear to tread! And started throwing tantrums and threatening legal suits over petitions if anyone is found wanton in toting dual nationality!
 Why is the blame now being heaped at the threshold of President Koroma and the APC?  Why can't critics, for once take away the wonky blinkers they have on - and be brave enough to own up and say - "everyone messed up. Even if unwittingly or inadvertently! " I see this as a pyrrhic victory for even the apc!  No one came out of this unscathed!  Let us get off our blame horses and find solutions when parliament reconvene !  We need to assiduously find out solutions to a problem that we overlooked during the 2006 amendment act and when we had the golden opportunity during the CRC (Constitutional Review Committtee) engagements! We embarrassingly did nothing to bringing it to the fore. Now this furore is biting us hard and bad! And we are all using our moral, partisan, insincere and angry ( however genuine) vuvuzelas like we are overdosed on political viagra and cussing one man and one party! Chasing waterfalls or paper kites won't shift the landscape or help here. Let us put on our honesty and non partisan suits and put wind in the flailing  sails of our midguided anger and energy to hange or influence amendmentments! But if we are not game, then Like the old chap John Major would have said: "shut up! Or put up!"

Hamiru Harry Massaquoi
Having deliberately ignored the law for decades. What is or should be the repercussion for President Koroma and all those dual citizens who have either served as Ministers or MP's in the last ten years?

Farook Abdul-Karim Sesay
Nice query Hamiru Harry Massaquoi! Unfortunately,  though we do not have a safety net of "statutory limitation" - the law is mute and moot on most issues that should have a retroactive lash back or ramification in terms of criminal enterprise!  I honestly do not have an answer. But I can put out a guess: their inadvertent "crime" will go unpunished and so they will go scot free or the legally and politically embarrassing situation will be hastily and conveniently swept under the thick,   heavy rugs of power secrecy and silence!  However, what is certain is that a new narrative will pan out. Jitters will set in. Until the laws are amended to suit most people's  comfort,  they will not be recruited! But for now they will be home and dry with getting away with a system that no one thought to fix because they perceived it ain't  broke!  Do not hold your breath for any immediacy in positive affirmative action
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This link below takes you to another set of interesting debate 



Surprised that Julius Spencer of the NGC can go on national TV in Sierra Leone to talk trash like Alpha Saidu Bangura. The 2006 Immigration Act in no way impinged on the provisions of Section 76 of the Constitution. As a party advocating change, one would expect the NGC to embrace compliance with the Constitution rather than see the present situation as political. One therefore questions the judgment of those leading the NGC!

Harold Domingo 

Is Julius Spencer the only person giving their opinions on the matter? Why don’t you shed light on the issue as a legal minded person?

Is section 76(1) in the 1991 Constitution an “entrenched clause” and therefore cannot be ammended? When parliament ammended the act in 2006, did the ammendment supersede the article in 1991? For constitutional and legal “ignoramuses” like some of us are, we would like to see the debate elevated and get different viewpoints on the issue. This is what we used to do at L&DS every Friday at the Prince of Wales School. Remember?

Now let’s turn to your darling party that has violated your sacred 1991 Constitution. What should be done to the executive, judiciary and legislative branches of Government that turned a blind eye on section 76(1). Why do they “cherry pick” on the law of the land? Do the courts rule on merits of cases in front of them? Why is it only now that Francis Gabidon is speaking on the matter? Was he in slumber all these years when the constitution was being violated by the “Supreme Leader” of Sierra Leone? Just some few questions to clarify during this important debate. 

Dr. Julius Spencer is a fine gentleman and is doing what a spokesman of a political campaign should do. Shame on the “Justice System” in Sierra Leone. If not Sam Sumana ousting, it is dual citizenship......all in the name of putting the bull’s eye on a private citizen, who under the law of the land has met and fulfilled the requirements to run for the highest office of the land. SMH

Monday, 15 January 2018

TITBITS OF OUR SIERRA LEONE CONSTITUTION:2



Constitution says to block Dual Citizens from sitting in our Parliament.
🤔Next Step is to immediately remove them from Cabinet.

{Sierra Leone’s 1991 Constitution Bill.  Section 76 (1) Act No. 6 states that: "No person shall be qualified for election as a member of Parliament (a) if he is a naturalised citizen of Sierra Leone or is a citizen of a country other than Sierra Leone having become such a citizen voluntarily or is under a Declaration of Allegiance to such a country.”}





‼‼ *Sylvia Blyden Warns Cabinet May Be Contaminated*

👉Noted Sierra Leonean Constitutional Commentator Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, who has written and published numerous well-respected Opinions on the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone, has in a piece shared widely over the Internet on Sunday January 14th 2018, stated her "100% support" for the recent controversial decision of President Koroma and the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) to refuse to give APC party symbols for Parliamentary tickets to any person who held another citizenship other than Sierra Leone. Blyden has however raised concerns over reports that persons of dual citizenship may be seated in the current Cabinet of President Koroma. She said she had no evidence of that being the case but warned that if indeed that was the case, it was a contamination of the constitutional expectation of what the Cabinet should be composed of. She described such a Cabinet as "dangerously contaminated".

Section 76.1.(a) of Sierra Leone constitution Act No 6, prohibits for anyone to become a parliamentarian if that person holds another citizenship other than Sierra Leonean.

According to Dr. Sylvia Blyden, she said she had conducted diligent research which shows this prohibition of dual nationality citizens, has been the case since the 1971 Constitution as amended in 1974 when Section 22(1)(a) of that Constitution prohibited any person of dual citizenship to be elected as Parliamentarians and consequently become Cabinet Ministers or Vice-President and also same applied for President.

This prohibition, she insisted, continued in the 1978 Constitution and again was included in the 1991 Constitution which is the Constitution still in use. 

She said to show the deliberate intent to protect the Cabinet from being occupied by persons of Dual Nationality, even when the 1991 Constitution stopped Ministers from being chosen amongst Parliamentarians as used to happen before, yet still a special new sub-section was created under Section 56 of that 1991 Constitution which most categorically prohibited from ever sitting in our sacred Cabinet, anyone not qualified to be a parliamentarian (including Dual Nationality persons).

Dr. Blyden therefore revealed that it was nothing new but rather, it has been the case since the seventies that no person of dual nationality can sit in Sierra Leone Parliament or become a Cabinet Minister or Vice-President or President.

However, the provision had been ignored since 1996 when democracy was re-instituted in Sierra Leone’s ongoing second republic. The belated decision in 2018 to therefore deny symbols to such aspirants, has brought much controversy and debates. Some people questioned why it was only being used now for the first time in this Second Republic. 

Many writers viciously condemned the President for refusing to give the APC party symbol to Dual Nationality Citizens when prior to now, that constitutional provision had been openly flounted.

However, Dr. Sylvia Blyden, writing on the Internet stated thus: "I completely support President Koroma on this matter. I 100% support what he did as he had no other option. Section 76.1(a) had become very topical with APC aspirants petitioning their competitors based on the dual citizenship prohibition. I honestly cannot blame the President for acting as he did in his capacity as Chairman and Leader of the APC. If he had not done so, then the matter may have been petitioned at higher levels and no responsible party leader can expose his party to such a threat," Blyden wrote.

In further comments, Dr. Blyden said that not only Parliamentarians but also anyone aspiring to be the President, the Vice-President or who is to sit in the Ministerial Cabinet, should not carry citizenship of another country or any other form of allegiance to any other country other than Sierra Leone.

She wrote that if there was any current Cabinet Minister or Deputy Minister holding a citizenship other than Sierra Leonean, that person was illegally sitting as minister. Going further, Dr. Sylvia Blyden insisted that not only were all acts taken by such a Minister null and void but she said if such a person continued to occupy a seat in Cabinet, then it may be tantamount to such a person committing Treason.

Her opinions, which are usually taken with much seriousness by ordinary citizens, have gone viral and are now being shared all over the world within the last 24 hours.

Contacted by this newspaper to throw light on the matter, Dr. Blyden confirmed that all the above views were indeed written by her. She revealed that she will be issuing out a comprehensive opinion on the matter shortly.

Here follows some of her views written on social media:
"Any Cabinet Minister who carries Dual Citizenship is an ILLEGAL MINISTER. Any Deputy Minister who carries Dual Citizenship is an ILLEGAL DEPUTY MINISTER. All orders, directives and agreements signed by such a Minister or Deputy Minister are completely NULL and VOID and of no legality and of no moment."

"To go further with my views, if it is proven that indeed such foreign-allegiance persons are seated in our sacred Cabinet (as yet, we have no such evidence), then let me go further to state that the Cabinet is dangerously contaminated."

"I am very hopeful that the Honourable Attorney General will advise His Excellency the President who is the Guardian of the Constitution and Fountain of Honour, to apply executive powers under Section 59.(2) of Sierra Leone Constitution and IMMEDIATELY remove such foreign-allegiance persons from the sacred Cabinet."

"If such persons continue to sit in Cabinet, after their foreign allegiance is uncovered, then it can even be deduced further that such Dual Citizens are committing TREASON under Section 108 of our sacred Constitution."

Meanwhile, the Government’s Principal Legal Adviser who is the Attorney General and Justice Minister, Hon. Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, is yet to officially react to the above views as expressed by Dr. Sylvia Blyden. 

*The following are relevant Sections of Sierra Leone Constitution pertinent to the views of Dr. Sylvia Blyden:*
Section 76.(1)(a): No person shall be qualified for election as a Member of Parliament if he is a naturalised citizen of Sierra Leone or is a citizen of a country other than Sierra Leone having become such a citizen voluntarily or is under a declaration of allegiance to such a country.

Section 56.(2)(a): A person shall not be appointed a Minister or Deputy Minister unless he is qualified to be elected as a Member of Parliament.

Section 41.(1)(d): No person shall be qualified for election as President unless he is qualified to be elected as a Member of Parliament.

Section 54.(2): A person shall not be qualified to be a candidate for the office of Vice-President unless he has the qualifications specified in Section 41.

Section 59.(2): A person appointed as a Member of Cabinet shall vacate his seat in the Cabinet is he ceases to be a Minister or if the President so directs.

Section 108.(8): Any suspension, alteration, or repeal of this Constitution other than on the authority of Parliament shall be deemed to be an act of Treason.
/END.
*Awareness Times Newspaper*
Monday January 15th 2018
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Click link:

:-) She said to show the deliberate intent to protect the Cabinet from being occupied by persons of Dual Nationality, even when the 1991 Constitution stopped Ministers from being chosen amongst Parliamentarians as used to happen before, yet still a special new sub-section was created under Section 56 of that 1991 Constitution which most categorically prohibited from ever sitting in our sacred Cabinet, anyone not qualified to be a parliamentarian (including Dual Nationality persons).
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President
Vice-President
Minister/Deputy Minister
Parliamentarian
//
NONE of the above category of sensitive positions should be held by anyone with divided loyalties.
For example, read the Oath of Allegiance sworn by Sierra Leonean citizens when they take up American citizenship.
I have reproduced it. Read my comments posted immediately under the Oath below.
👇👇

https://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/naturalization-test/naturalization-oath-allegiance-united-states-america



*Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America*

_Oath_

"I hereby declare, on oath, *that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen*; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."
/
After reading it, let us ask ourselves:- Can we, in good conscience, allow such a person who is under the obligations of that kind of Sworn Oath, to go on to sit in our Parliament or sit in Cabinet *and take critical decisions on behalf of Sierra Leone and Sierra Leoneans*?
NO WAY!!!!! 😡
Such a person can carry our Sierra Leone passport as a Dual Citizen. Fine.✅ No wahala.
They can apply for other non-sensitive Sierra Leone jobs inside Sierra Leone. Fine.✅ No wahala.
*But on no account*, should they be made Ministers or Parliamentarians or Vice-President or President UNLESS they first denounce and totally renounce their other citizenship and the other Oath they swore to God Almighty that they have an obligation to abide by.

Text

Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America

Oath

"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

Note: In certain circumstances there can be a modification or waiver of the Oath of Allegiance. Read Chapter 5 of A Guide to Naturalization for more information.

The principles embodied in the Oath are codified in Section 337(a) in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which provides that all applicants shall take an oath that incorporates the substance of the following:

  1. Support the Constitution;
  2. Renounce and abjure absolutely and entirely all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which the applicant was before a subject or citizen;
  3. Support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
  4. Bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and
  5. A. Bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; or
    B. Perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; or
    C. Perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law.

The language of the current Oath is found in the Code of Federal Regulations Section 337.1 and is closely based upon the statutory elements in Section 337(a) of the INA.

 


History

Throughout our nation's history, foreign-born men and women have come to the United States, taken the Oath of Allegiance to become naturalized citizens, and contributed greatly to their new communities and country. The Oath of Allegiance has led to American citizenship for more than 220 years.

Since the first naturalization law in 1790, applicants for naturalization have taken an oath to support the Constitution of the United States. Five years later the Naturalization Act of 1795 required an applicant to declare an intention (commitment) to become a U.S. citizen before filing a Petition for Naturalization. In the declaration of intention the applicant would indicate his understanding that upon naturalization he would take an oath of allegiance to the United States and renounce (give up) any allegiance to a foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty. Applicants born with a hereditary title also had to renounce their title or order of nobility.

Prior to 1906, naturalization courts had little or no guidance on how to apply or administer the law. The law did not include an exact text for the oath. It stated only that an applicant:

"...shall...declare, on oath...that he will support the Constitution of the United States, and that he absolutely and entirely renounces and abjures all allegiance and fidelity to every foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty; and, particularly, by name, to the prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of which he was before a citizen or subject; which proceedings shall be recorded by the clerk of the court."

Before 1906, there were as many as 5,000 courts with naturalization jurisdiction. Each court could develop its own procedures for administering the oath. Some courts simply documented that applicants swore an oath. Other courts chose to write and print their own text for the oath, which the applicant would read at the final hearing.

In 1905 a Presidential Commission on Naturalization studied naturalization in the United States. They found that U.S. naturalization courts lacked uniformity. They recommended classifying and summarizing naturalization laws into a code (re-codification), the creation of a federal agency to oversee naturalization procedures, and standard forms for all U.S. naturalizations, including a form for the oath of allegiance.

The Basic Naturalization Act of 1906 implemented many of the Commission's recommendations, but did not mandate a separate form for the oath of allegiance. Instead, the new Declaration of Intention form and Petition for Naturalization form included some of the substance of the oath. At the final hearing the applicant still recited a spoken oath adapted from the law. In 1906 the Basic Naturalization Act also added the section of the oath requiring new citizens to defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; and bear true faith and allegiance to the same.

An official standard text for the oath of allegiance did not appear in the regulations until 1929. The regulation said that before a naturalization certificate could be issued, the applicant should take the following oath in court:

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, State, or sovereignty, and particularly to __________ of who (which) I have heretofore been a subject (or citizen); that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion: So help me God. In acknowledgment whereof I have hereunto affixed my signature.

This regulation introduced a signed oath with standardized language. There was still no separate, federal form for the oath. It was most likely printed on the back of the application form.

The Immigration Act of September 23, 1950, added text to the oath of allegiance about bearing arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; and performing noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law. Prior to 1946, the Supreme Court had ruled that the language in the oath about supporting and defending the Constitution and laws of the United States against all enemies implied a promise to bear arms. This was challenged in the court case of Girouard v. U.S. (328 U.S. 61). The Court ruled that the oath of allegiance did not imply a promise to bear arms. A refusal to bear arms was justified on the basis of religious training and beliefs. Under current law, an applicant opposed to bearing arms or performing noncombatant service because of his or her religious training and beliefs is exempt from taking the full oath of allegiance.

The section of the oath of allegiance about performing work of national importance under civilian direction was added by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 and is the last major addition to the oath of allegiance as it appears today.

 



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The constitution is supreme! This is a BIG LESSON for ALL “to PAY ATTENTION” Note clearly when the ignoring of these laws began - “ 1996”! SLPP began the mess, APC now begin the correction! A bitter pill to swallow.

You will all recall that the late LAWYER, TERRENCE TERRY took Kabba’s appointment of EKE HOLLOWAY to court after Eke had won a Parliamentary seat and later Tejan Kabba then APPOINTED EKE HOLLOWAY ATTORNEY GENERAL, contrary to the 1991 constitution. This was Landmark constitutional case. Our laws are only good in/ for the books, but they are nearly always ignored as if the carry no merit of effect. And this does not only apply to constitutional provisions.

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Debating the political status of Sierra Leone's dual citizens is a sign of our maturing democracy

With less than two months to go before Sierra Leone goes to the polls, the political debate presently dominating the country’s social and traditional media is whether citizens with dual nationality are or should be eligible to run for political office under the law.

 

 

 

It is a question that Francis Gabbidon, a notable Sierra Leonean Barrister at Law and university lecturer, brought to public notice late last year when he published an article on the subject, most likely sparked by the case of Australia’s former deputy prime minster Barnaby Joyce.   

 

In it he wrote: “Dual citizens who take the risk of contesting for membership of parliament and win, can have their victory invalidated by a successful petition by their opponents in the courts.”  This has been followed by a definitive opinion from the country’s Attorney General in recent weeks, stating the same.

 

Gabbidon’s legal opinion was based on a little-noticed Section of Sierra Leone’s 1991 Constitution Bill.  Section 76 (1) Act No. 6 states that: "No person shall be qualified for election as a member of Parliament (a) if he is a naturalised citizen of Sierra Leone or is a citizen of a country other than Sierra Leone having become such a citizen voluntarily or is under a Declaration of Allegiance to such a country.”

 

The issue has become contentious because, although there were several dual citizens in the last parliament, political parties (including the ruling All People Congress and the opposition Sierra Leone People's Party) have opted to disqualify all political candidates who contravene s.76(1) from standing in the forthcoming elections.

 

It is a controversial decision which has divided Sierra Leoneans, in particular the country’s diaspora population.  Estimated at around one million, they are vocal, influential, educated and engaged.  They also contribute substantially to Sierra Leone’s GDP – with Government calculations estimating that they send home between $250 and $400 million annually, or 20-25% of GDP.

 

Impassioned though the debate has been, it has been conducted with noticeable transparency and inclusiveness.  Furthermore, the recent action by political parties to avoid the risk of future challenge in the courts, by opting not to field dual citizens, marks an improvement in our respect for the rule of law.   These are all signs of an evolving political maturity that should increase national and international confidence in the future of our democracy.

 

In the past Sierra Leone has suffered misrule, the advent of a one-party state, several coup d’états and the suspension of the constitution.  All of these undermined the rule of law and affected the overall stability of our nation, culminating in one of Africa’s deadliest and most devastating civil wars.

 

This is not the first election since the assent of the 1991 Constitution. As a child in 1996, I remember joining my parents in prayer.  The pinnacle of our aspirations was for the elections to be held without incident, and for our nation to return to democratic rule. Anything else seemed a luxury. However, as we have enjoyed growing peace and stability, and seen our democracy become even more entrenched, our aspirations have changed and our nation is demanding better governance, and a say in the way it is decided and delivered.

 

Since the ending of the war in 2001/2, we have seen three peaceful presidential and parliamentary elections observed as free and fair internationally, including a change of government; all indicators of a maturing democracy and the rule of law. The bar for #SierraLeoneDecides2018 has been set even higher.  These elections have been marked by the demand for manifestos, presidential debates, increased female representation, and political parties who ensure that their candidates in all elections are eligible in line with the dictates of the constitution.

 

According to Sandra Day O'Connor - the first female to serve on the US’s Supreme Court: “Commitment to the rule of law provides a basic assurance that people can know what to expect whether what they do is popular or unpopular at the time.” The apparent application of the law without favour on such a high-profile issue is good for our democracy.  It furthers the rule of law and strengthens governance.

 

Sierra Leone still has some way to go as it forges the strong institutions and good governance we need to really grow our society and our economy.  In the process, debate such as this, which leads political parties across the spectrum to submit themselves to the laws of the land, can only be a good thing, entrenching the principle that no one is above the law and creating the culture of confidence our society needs to realise its potential.

 

PJ Mandewa-Cole trains and mobilises community leaders in Sierra Leone. He is a winner of the Queens Young Leaders Award and is the Executive Director of Lifeline Nehemiah Projects

 




Friday, 12 January 2018

TITBITS OF OUR SIERRA LEONE CONSTITUTION

DID THE DRAFTMEN OF THE SIERRA LEONE 1991 CONSTITUTION FORESEE THESE DILEMMAS 30 YEARS AHEAD OR WHERE THEY DRAFTING FOR THE MOMENT IN CONTEXT?




DIASPORAS WITH DUAL CITIZENSHIP MAY BE DISQUALIFIED FROM CONTESTING THE 7th March 2018 GENERAL ELECTIONS AS SUCH DUAL CITIZENSHIP CONTRADICTS SECTION 76 (1) OF THE 1991 SIERRA LEONE CONSTITUTION. 

DESPITE THE FACT THAT THERE HAS BEEN FOUR (4) GENERAL ELECTIONS SINCE THE INCEPTION AND OPERATION OF THE 1991 CONSTITUTION  IN WHICH SIERRA LEONEANS FROM THE DIASPORA HAD PARTICIPATED AND HAVE BEEN APPOINTED MINISTERS  BY SLPP AND APC PARTIES RESPECTIVELY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL CAUTIONS AGAINST THIS BREACH FOLLOWING THE INTERVENTION A FEW WEEKS AGO BY MR FRANCIS GABBIDON   - A BARRISTER AND SOLICITOR, FORMER OMBUDSMAN AND LECTURER AT THE SCHOOL OF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF SIERRA LEONE.

Once again, we see an unforeseen mischief within the 1991 constitution drafted by our clever men and women in the Constitutional Review Committee headed by Dr Sir Peter Tucker 30 years hence! This is another omission/gaff in the 1991 constitution as was bitterly exposed in the Ex VP Sam Sumana saga which the Supreme Court gave final judgement sometime ago but still generating argument after the EOWAS debacle. 
Strasser appointed Tejan Kabba to Review the constitution: after a much wasted money the  draft was dumped. One major pin in the saga was the DUAL CITIZENSHIP ISSUE. I recall one Irish lady married to a Sierra Leonean. She was very concerned about her children who are half Irish and half Sierra Leonean. That provision by dint of its non-application has become redundant as MPs and Ministers have been in the system since elections in 1996 and 2002, which the SLPP ’won’! and ruled up to 2007. The place of the diaspora is important for a the country. This provision was an oversight by our clever constitutional drafters again trying to copy cat (falamakata) laws that are not fit for our own country’s purposes. The new Parliament must repeal this confused non-beneficial provision!
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I have always proclaimed that there in nothing like ‘a bad law’! The Law is the Law and it remains so until it is repealed or amended. This provision is another facet of our copy- cat mentality in Sierra Leone. Our constitutional draftsmen sitting in the Constitutional Review Committee headed by Sir zoster Tucker in 1990/1 supported by the likes of other cleaver legally eminent men (and women) who drafted, discussed and pushed the 1991 Constitution to be rubber stamped by Parliament did not foresee this mischief their copying (and pasting) of other jurisdiction’s provisions will result in. New Zealand and Australia have these provisions and being Commonwealth countries, our lawyers most of the time take cognisance of their Case laws, statutes and other legal provisions. The whole thing becomes more confused, in recent times since the late 1960s/early 1970s when our new lawyers do not rely only on British Legal Training. A very well known politician who himself is a constitutional lawyer obtained his Bar in Australia after gaining his first level law degree in Cambridge and has been before selfishly getting himself into Sierra Leone Politics and now messed up, took part in several world wide constitutional issues. The combination of all this learning, and our propensity to COPY-CAT (‘FALAMAKATA’), puts us in all sorts of trouble. The same level of confusion created by this copy-cat mentality brought about the Sam Sumana debacle where the Executive President’s hand was tied behind his back and had to embark on an escapologist gamble to sack his recalsitrant Vice President who can no longer be a ‘Team Player’ but an embarrassment and an albatrust. The Judges Of the Supreme Court had to strain themselves to reach a controversial and difficult decision which has now been muddled up by the Regional ECOWAS COURT who should not have entertain any line of reference to that case at all shot of threading on the toes of our soverignity and a our Supreme Court’s and our Constitution’s superiority and provisions. 
Captain Valentine Strasser tried to interfere with this same case of Dual Nationality when he appointed Tejan Kabba as Chairman Of his Constitutional Review Committee. After having committed treason with MAADA Bio Capt S A J Musa, Nuyma and others, and suspended the President Joseph Saidu Momoh’s 1991 constitution which was already in force ushering new parties to our new democracy and back to multi- partyism, they wasted a lot of money in this futile venture only to DUMP the draft of the New Constitution into the ‘gutter’. One of the bone of contentions , I fully recall, was this DUAL CITIZENSHIP issue. One Irish lady (can’t recall the name now) took them to task as she was  married to a Sierra Leonean. Her arguments were for the sake of her children who had duality Of citizenship - IRISH AND SIERRA LEONE! And much more. But thank God all went ‘hay while’ and after many months of no White Paper coming out the whole thing was DUMPED and Tejan Kabba hang to dry up with the failed process! 
If our learned Cambridge Jurist luminary, Hon Justice Dr Abdul Conteh had had DUAL nationality in 1992 when those little SOJA Boys overthrew the APC Government (being a one time Foreign Minister (and I think Vice President), he would not have suffered the humiliation he did undergo when he escaped by fisherman canoe, through bush road, through to Belgium and finally to England. Trusting that he had a house in London and the then Conservative lady Overseas Minister (who was so, much unhelpful to the Sierra Leone crisis unlike the much more high profile Labour Secretary Of State Clare Short)was his ‘contemporary’ and so called ‘friend’ he will be given asylum  with little difficulty.  BIG NO! Dr Conteh was askad to leave under the threat of deportation! Belgium was  considered his first port of call for asylum basis nevertheless he had a house in England and no house in Belgium. The case took several months in the UK Courts but had to fight hard outside to and from Belgium. The point I am making here is that diasporaians take DUAL Citizenry for future protection in the country in which they live (provided they are qualified) to avoid unforeseen situations like that of Dr Abdulai Conteh who for the past almost 20 years now serve British Carribean Territories as Chief Justice etc. THE LAW IS THE LAW NO MATTER WHAT YOUR STATUS IS! The law must be obeyed and enforced no matter what embarrassment it may bring to the government of the day! Yes, this disqualification May embarrass and inconvenient the APC (and ALL political participants in this election. This sort or quagmire ignites the adage”...THE LAW IS AN ASS”! SO, The NEW PARLIAMENT POST 7th MARCH 2018, MUST QUICKLY PASS AMEMDED LEGISLATION to remove this mischief which our Able Artorney General has now earmarked - (thanks to my very good friend and brother Francis Gabbidon. Mama Oni will be proud of you for bringing out such rectification and hope our cleaver men and women will follow suit in situations where necessary without fear or favour. The only thin line of reprieve for our dual citizenship aspirants (who may be deprived from contesting the elections) is that they could test the varasity of this ‘unfair’ provision through the discrimination vs Equality Rules with a HUMAN RIGHTS’LAW face, and let the judiciary - The SUPREME COURT- have a game of JUDICIAL REVIEW of the Attorney General’s stance being that since the constitution became effective, there has been at least four (4) General elections in which diasporas with DUAL CITIZENSHIPS have participated, Ministers appointed without much ado. Effectively, those provisions are “REDUNDANT” and by action in the electoral processes by ALL political parties, nullified and practically dead. BUT IT MAY BE ARGUED THAT “THE LAW IS THE LAW”! as there is nothing like “A BAD LAW”. Since it is in the Statute Books until repealed or amended it is ‘good law’. YOU EITHER OBEY THE LAW OR BE SANCTIONED BY THE AUTHORITIES (OR EVEN BY YOUR OWN PEERS)! LUNTA!!

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THIS DUAL CITIZENSHIP DISENFRANCHISEMENT DEBACLE  IS A DILEMMA WHICH OUR 1991 CONSTITUTIONAL DRAFTSMEN DID NOT FORESEE OR EXPECT TO CAUSE NATIONAL UNFAIRNESS TO ALL POLITICAL PARTIES AND CITIZENS OF SIERRA LEONE. 

WAS THIS THE REAL INTENTION OF SECTION 76(1) OF THE SIERRA LEONE (1991) CONSTITUTION? I PRAY THE ATTORNEY  GENERAL  TO REFERENCE CASE NOW WITH THE CHIEF JUSTICE AT THE SUPEME COURT TO TEST THE VERACITY AND FAIRNESS OF THIS PROVISION.

Culled from Cocorioko News

Quote:
DIASPORAS WITH DUAL CITIZENSHIP MAY BE DISQUALIFIED FROM CONTESTING THE 7th March 2018 GENERAL ELECTIONS AS SUCH DUAL CITIZENSHIP CONTRADICTS THE 1991 SIERRA LEONE CONSTITUTION. 

DESPITE THE FACT THAT THERE HAS BEEN FOUR (4) GENERAL ELECTIONS SINCE THE INCEPTION AND OPERATION OF THE 1991 CONSTITUTION  IN WHICH SIERRA LEONEANS FROM THE DIASPORA HAD PARTICIPATED AND HAVE BEEN APPOINTED MINISTERS  BY SLPP AND APC PARTIES RESPECTIVELY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL CATIONS AGAINST THIS BREACH FOLLOWING THE INTERVENTION A FEW WEEKS AGO BY MR FRANCIS GARBIDDON   - A BARRISTER AND SOLICITOR, FORMER OMBUDSMAN AND LECTURER AT THE SCHOOL OF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF SIERRA LEONE.

Once again, we see an unforeseen mischief within the 1991 constitution drafted by our clever men and women in the Constitutional Review Committee headed by Dr Sir Peter Tucker 30 years hence! This is another omission/gaff in the 1991 constitution as was bitterly exposed in the Ex VP Sam Sumana saga which the Supreme Court gave final judgement sometime ago but still generating argument after the EOWAS debacle. 
Strasser appointed Tejan Kabba to Review the constitution: after a much wasted money the  draft was dumped. One major pin in the saga was the DUAL CITIZENSHIP ISSUE. I recall one Irish lady married to a Sierra Leonean. She was very concerned about her children who are half Irish and half Sierra Leonean. That provision by dint of its non-application has become redundant as MPs and Ministers have been in the system since elections in 1996 and 2002, which the SLPP ’won’! and ruled up to 2007. The place of the diaspora is important for a the country. This provision was an oversight by our clever constitutional drafters again trying to copy cat (falamakata) laws that are not fit for our own country’s purposes. The new Parliament must repeal this confused non-beneficial provision!
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THIS DUAL CITIZENSHIP DISENFRANCHISEMENT DEBACLE  IS A DILEMMA WHICH OUR 1991 CONSTITUTIONAL DRAFTSMEN DID NOT FORESEE OR EXPECT TO CAUSE NATIONAL UNFAIRNESS TO ALL POLITICAL PARTIES AND CITIZENS OF SIERRA LEONE. 

WAS THIS THE REAL INTENTION OF SECTION 76(1) OF THE SIERRA LEONE (1991) CONSTITUTION? I PRAY THE ATTORNEY  GENERAL  TO REFERENCE CASE NOW WITH THE CHIEF JUSTICE AT THE SUPEME COURT TO TEST THE VERACITY AND FAIRNESS OF THIS PROVISION.
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Culled from Cocorioko News

Quote:
Ambassador to the UN predicts robust action by incoming Parliament to address dual citizenship issue
Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the UN predicts robust action by incoming Parliament to address dual citizenship issue
January 12, 2018 Publisher and Chief Executive Officer KABS KANU

BY KABS KANU

The Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations, Ambassador Adikalie Foday Sumah, has said that it is his belief that the new incoming Parliament will robustly deal with Section 76(1) of the Sierra Leone constitution with a view to resolving the issues  it has created in the national polity.

Ambassador Sumah , who was responding to questions from the COCORIOKO Newspaper, which sought his opinion on the present situation where diasporans with dual citizenship were denied symbols to contest for parliamentary seats, described Section 76(1) as “a hot potato of national constitutional ingredient   that has affected political parties across the broad spectrum of the nation” .

The UN Ambassador, a celebrated legal luminary , reader and commentator on the laws of the constitution,  stated that “the dual citizenship issue should not be viewed with a monofocal bird’s eye view on the narrow perspectives of politics ,  designed to marginalize the diaspora. Rather, it should be seen as a legislative and judicial conundrum to be addressed “.  He is calling on all supporters of the various parties to remain calm and law abiding and seek peaceful means to resolve it . He stressed that : “It is a constitutional and legal matter between the Legislature and the Judiciary. ”

Ambassador Sumah is of the conviction that the Legislative,  as per Section 105 of the Sierra Leone Constitution , that is vested with the unfettered competence to legislate law of and for Sierra Leone , can amend any laws of its legislation; and the judiciary , in the stead of the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone, has exclusive jurisdiction to interpret the constitution of the Republic of Sierra Leone, and any other laws enacted by the Parliament of Sierra Leone , pursuant to Section 124 of the 1991 Constitution.

Ambassador Sumah emphasized the point that everybody is affected, as long as they are connected to the diaspora and it is for this reason that he is calling for Sierra Leoneans to  collectively work together across party lines to circumvent the  apparent  disenfranchisement and marginalization  of the diaspora, which is regarded as the sixth district of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

Ambassador Sumah is therefore calling on all Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora to work together with their respective political parties to ensure that the constitutional and legal issues raised by Section 76 (1)  is addressed during the incumbency of the incoming Parliament to make sure that diasporans are not disenfranchised.

Ambassador Sumah’s advice is designed to calm down rising passions and  help Sierra Leoneans understand that this is not an APC political policy intended to marginalize the diaspora but a constitutional issue which must be addressed  in a concerted manner devoid of passion to bring clarity and possible solutions to the situation.

Ambassador to the UN predicts robust action by incoming Parliament to address dual citizenship issue
Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the UN predicts robust action by incoming Parliament to address dual citizenship issue
January 12, 2018 Publisher and Chief Executive Officer KABS KANU

BY KABS KANU

The Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations, Ambassador Adikalie Foday Sumah, has said that it is his belief that the new incoming Parliament will robustly deal with Section 76(1) of the Sierra Leone constitution with a view to resolving the issues  it has created in the national polity.

Ambassador Sumah , who was responding to questions from the COCORIOKO Newspaper, which sought his opinion on the present situation where diasporans with dual citizenship were denied symbols to contest for parliamentary seats, described Section 76(1) as “a hot potato of national constitutional ingredient   that has affected political parties across the broad spectrum of the nation” .

The UN Ambassador, a celebrated legal luminary , reader and commentator on the laws of the constitution,  stated that “the dual citizenship issue should not be viewed with a monofocal bird’s eye view on the narrow perspectives of politics ,  designed to marginalize the diaspora. Rather, it should be seen as a legislative and judicial conundrum to be addressed “.  He is calling on all supporters of the various parties to remain calm and law abiding and seek peaceful means to resolve it . He stressed that : “It is a constitutional and legal matter between the Legislature and the Judiciary. ”

Ambassador Sumah is of the conviction that the Legislative,  as per Section 105 of the Sierra Leone Constitution , that is vested with the unfettered competence to legislate law of and for Sierra Leone , can amend any laws of its legislation; and the judiciary , in the stead of the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone, has exclusive jurisdiction to interpret the constitution of the Republic of Sierra Leone, and any other laws enacted by the Parliament of Sierra Leone , pursuant to Section 124 of the 1991 Constitution.

Ambassador Sumah emphasized the point that everybody is affected, as long as they are connected to the diaspora and it is for this reason that he is calling for Sierra Leoneans to  collectively work together across party lines to circumvent the  apparent  disenfranchisement and marginalization  of the diaspora, which is regarded as the sixth district of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

Ambassador Sumah is therefore calling on all Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora to work together with their respective political parties to ensure that the constitutional and legal issues raised by Section 76 (1)  is addressed during the incumbency of the incoming Parliament to make sure that diasporans are not disenfranchised.

Ambassador Sumah’s advice is designed to calm down rising passions and  help Sierra Leoneans understand that this is not an APC political policy intended to marginalize the diaspora but a constitutional issue which must be addressed  in a concerted manner devoid of passion to bring clarity and possible solutions to the situation.


IT IS GETTING MORE AND MORE INTERESTING: Click Link.



Courtesy: Abdul Kabba:Facebook post: Cocorioko Forum

🇸🇱 *SIERRA LEONEANS WITH DUAL CITIZENSHIP CAN BE MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT*
A response to the flawed opinion of barrister-at-law Francis Gabbidon 
“SIERRA LEONEANS WITH DUAL CITIZENSHIP CANNOT BE MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT”

By Abdul Kabba, a citizen of Sierra Leone.

In a published and widely circulated article written by the aforesaid Barrister Francis Gabbidon, he opined that “Sierra Leoneans who hold DUAL CITIZENSHIP are not allowed to contest in the elections for MEMBERSHIP of Parliament; either as a candidate for a political party or as an independents candidate.” Citing Section 76(1) of the 1991 Constitution, Act no 6 of 1991 which states.

“no person shall be qualified for election as a member of Parliament (a) if he is a naturalized citizen of Sierra Leone or is a citizen of a country other than Sierra Leone having become such a citizen voluntarily or is under a Declaration of Allegiance to such a country."

Mr. Gabbidon then proceeded to site an example where the Australian High Court invalidated the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Mr. Barnaby George Election after it was discovered that he held dual citizenship as he was also a citizen of New Zealand by virtue of his dad been born in New Zealand.

Mr. Gabbidon further opined that “The High Court of Australia stated in the judgement to the petition.
“at the date of his nomination Mr. Joyce was incapable of being chosen or sitting as a member of the House of Representative because he was a citizen of New Zealand” said the Court.

Australia’s Constitution Bars dual citizens from sitting in Parliament defining them as “any person who is under any Acknowledgement of Allegiance, Obedience or Adherence to another country.”

Therefore

“Consequently, as Sierra Leoneans with dual citizenship cannot be elected members of parliament they cannot also be appointed Ministers of Government by the President.”

I beg to differ with the opinion of Mr. Gabbidon in the instance that the citizenship laws of Australia are fundamentally different that the citizenship laws of Sierra Leone especially in relation to the eligibility of dual citizens being eligible to be elected as members of parliament and to be appointed as ministers of government by the president of Sierra Leone. Furthermore Australia is the exception rather than the norm for nations with advanced democracies as Great Britain, France, Canada and the United States to name a few, do allow citizens with dual nationalities to run for public office with the most recent high profile example being Senator Ted Cruz, a citizen of Canada and of the United States, who is a long serving senator in the United States congress, a senior member of the Republican party and was also a presidential candidate vying for the Republican ticket in the most recent  presidential elections in the United States.

While it is agreed that the 1991 constitution is the supreme law of the land and any law, act or amendment that contradicts the 1991 constitution is null and void it is in my opinion that the 2006 citizenship amendment that allows for dual citizenship does not contradict the 1991 constitution.

*In my estimation, Mr. Gabbidon’s opinion is flawed in two instances:*

1. First he failed to take into consideration that Section 76(1) of the 1991 constitution was looking backwards to the 1973 Citizens act which did not allow for dual citizenship and therefore when the 1973 act was amended it changed the import and relevance of Section 76(1) of the 1991 constitution which, I submit, at the time of it’s construction did not take into consideration the advent of dual citizenship. 

*The relevant portion of Section 76(1) state:*

“76. (1) No person shall be qualified for election as a Member of Parliament—  
a. if he is a naturalised citizen of Sierra Leone or is a citizen of a country other than Sierra Leone having become such a citizen voluntarily or is under a declaration of allegiance to such a country…”

*The relevant portions of the 1973 citizenship acts state:*

*PART II - CITIZENSHIP BY BIRTH*
*2. Citizenship by birth*
Every person who, having been born in Sierra Leone before the nineteenth day of April, 1971, or who was resident in Sierra Leone on the eighteenth day of April, 1971, and not the subject of any other State shall, on the nineteenth day of April, 1971, be deemed to be a citizen of Sierra Leone by birth:
Provided that-
(a)his father or his grandfather was born in Sierra Leone; and
(b)he is a person of negro African descent;

*3. Citizenship by birth in Sierra Leone*
Every person born in Sierra Leone on or after the nineteenth day of April, 1971, in the circumstances set out in section 2, shall be deemed to be a citizen of Sierra Leone by birth.

*PART IV - DUAL CITIZENSHIP*
*10. Dual citizenship*
No person shall have Sierra Leone citizenship and any other citizenship at one and the same time.

*11. Loss of Sierra Leone citizenship by person of dual citizenship*
Any person who, upon attaining the age of twenty-one years, is a citizen of Sierra Leone and also a citizen of another country shall cease to be a citizen of Sierra Leone upon his attaining the age of twenty-two years, (or in the case of a person of unsound mind, at such later date as may be prescribed) unless he has complied with paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of section 9.

*The relevant portions of the Sierra Leone Citizenship (Amendment Act) 2006 state:*

*Being an Act to amend the Sierra Leone Citizenship Act, 1973 so as to grant the right of dual citizenship..*

Section 10 of the principal Act is repealed and replaced by the following section:-
10. A citizen of Sierra Leone may hold a citizenship of another country in addition to his citizenship of Sierra Leone".

It is clear that the authors of the constitution did not take dual citizenship into consideration when inserting section 76(1) into the constitution as the section makes no reference to a situation in which a person can be a citizen of Sierra Leone and of another country as the 1973 citizenship act section 10 did not allow for dual citizenship. 

I submit that Section 76 of the 1991 constitution is predicated on section 10 of the 1973 citizenship act which affirms that by becoming a citizen of another country you have automatically given up your citizenship and allegiance to Sierra Leone, which in a dual citizenship situation does not hold true as the person is still a citizen of Sierra Leone by birth and has only acquired citizenship in another country without given up his or her citizenship or allegiance to Sierra Leone.

2. Mr. Gabbidon also failed to take into consideration section 75 of the constitution which states that.

“75. Subject to the provisions of section 76, any person who—  
a. *is a citizen of Sierra Leone (otherwise than by naturalization);* and 
b. has attained the age of twenty-one years; and 
c. is an elector whose name is on a register of electors under the Franchise and Electoral Registration Act, 1961, or under any Act of Parliament amending or replacing that Act; and 
d. is able to speak and to read the English Language with a degree of proficiency sufficient to enable him to take an active part in the proceedings of Parliament, 
shall be qualified for election as such a Member of Parliament”

I further submit to you that section 75 of the constitution settles the matter on whether or not a dual citizen is qualified for election and can be a member of parliament as it clearly states that if you are a citizen of Sierra Leone subject to the provisions of section 76 then you are qualified to be elected to parliament. 

Section 76 does not nullify or void a Sierra Leonean’s dual citizenship status as guaranteed by the 2006 citizenship amendment act. This fact clearly manifests that section 76 was predicated on section 10 of the 1973 citizenship act that did not allow for dual citizenship and since the 2006 amendment has nullified section 10 and now allows for dual citizenship then a Sierra Leonean citizen by birth who has not given up their citizenship voluntarily is qualified to be elected to parliament.

Therefore, I submit that Mr. Gabbidon’s summation or opinion that a dual citizen cannot be elected to parliament is flawed and incorrect and that Sierra Leone like most of the advanced democracies in the world like Great Britain, the United States of America, Canada and France now allows dual citizens to run for parliament or her equivalent, as provided for in our 1991 constitution and the subsequent 2006 citizenship amendment act. 

© *Abdul Kabba (AK47)*
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See this argument about our constitution below.

{Courtesy: Rosetta B. Zizer-Springer> Post in: Sierra Leone Constitutional Review and Petition Forum}

11 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON THE CURRENT CONSTITUTIONAL MATTER AND BEFITTING ANSWERS

1. Was the former Vice President voted for?

Ans: 
         a) His name and face were not on the ballot paper

         b) Only Ernest Bai Koroma's name, and the name and symbol of his party, the APC, were on the ballot paper, and it was the Name, Ernest Bai Koroma, APC that was announced as having won the elections. The former Vice President was only a beneficiary of that election that even law says is 'only regarded' as vice president because the person whose name was on the ballot had won the elections.

2. Can the President relieve the Vice President of his duty?

Ans:
a) If the VP loses one of the express and continuous requirements of section 41 of the 1991 Constitution the President as custodian of the Constitution can automatically enforce such provisions by relieving him of his duty.
b) If the President finds out that the VP or anybody is endangering the security of the state, he has the Supreme Executive Authority to relieve him of his duty. The Former Vice President sought to abandon his post as Vice President and Chairman of the very important Police Council by seeking asylum. That is what is called constructive resignation and threatens the security of the state by leaving an important security arm, the Police Council, without leadership.

3. Why would the President relieve the Vice President of his duty without going through Parliament? 

Ans:
a) The Vice President lost an express continuous qualification requirement in sec 41 of the Constitution, that is, membership of a political party. The constitution (Section 51) gives parliament power to initiate removal of the Vice President in relation to two clear situations:  gross misconduct of the VP in performance of his duties; and violation of the constitution. The former VP losing his membership of a party does not fall under any of these two ambits, but falls under the fact of the former VP losing his eligibility to hold office because he is no longer a member of a political party. Hence the president cannot go to parliament for this; he had to invoke his Supreme Executive Authority and the fact that he is guardian of the constitution to ensure that a person who has lost one of the continuous requirements for holding the office is removed
b) There is vacancy in the Office of the Vice President already by losing party membership and seeking asylum.
              Routes to vacancy include: 
i. Abandonment of office
ii. Resignation 
iii. Death
iv. Loss of citizenship 
v. Loss of party membership 
vi. Seeking asylum etc. 
vii. Removal by parliament and tribunal

4. Why does the President not wait for the expiration of the 30 days appeal period that the APC constitution provided for before relieving his Vice President of duty? 

Ans: 
a) He stands expelled. Even in a court of law, a ruling could be implemented before or during an appeal process. The former VP never asked for a stay of his expulsion from the party because he was appealing, he never asked for it.  
b) He can still appeal and regain his membership without being VP

5. Does asylum amount to abdication of duty?

Ans:
a) Merely expressing an intention to seek asylum in another country amounts to constructive resignation. The former did not only express an intention, he made moves to do it by calling the American Ambassador and some other officials of foreign missions in the country
b) The President only granted him his wish.

6. Has the President acted unconstitutionally by relieving his Vice President of duty?
Ans:
a) The President merely enforced the provisions of the Constitution as its guardian
b) The VP was expelled from his party which automatically denies him the right to continue as Vice President.
7. Can you be a VP without being a member of a political party?
Ans: 
a) The constitution does not make provision for persons who hold the office of President or Vice President to be without a political party. Even in relation to a member of parliament, the Constitution states that he/she should lose his/her seat in parliament if he/she loses membership of a political party whose symbol he/she used to become an MP

8. What is the meaning of Supreme Executive Authority?
Ans:
a) He is the highest person that can make obvious decisions regarding the constitution and the running of the state. 
b) Absolute power in enforcing the constitution 
c) He is the guardian of the constitution 

9. Can the President appoint a VP
Ans:     
a) Yes whenever the office of the Vice President is vacant  (see sec 54(5) )

10. Can an Ambassador be a VP
Ans: 
a) By statutory rules of interpretation known as the Ejus dem generis rule ambassadors fall within the exceptions in sec 171(4), relating to public servants. Ambassador Foh is therefore eligible for appointment into the office and he has been legally appointed

11. Can the public pass judgment on matters in the Supreme Court?
Ans: 
a) Nobody has the right to weigh in or make conclusive statements on a matter that is before the Supreme Court, not even lawyers.
It can be swing anyway