Samuel Sam-Sumana

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The Honourable Vice President
Alhaji Samuel Sam-Sumana
Vice President of Sierra Leone
In office
September 17, 2007 – March 17, 2015
President Ernest Bai Koroma
Preceded by Solomon Berewa
Personal details
Born (1962-04-07) April 7, 1962 (age 53)
Koidu Town, Kono District, Sierra Leone
Nationality Sierra Leonean
Political party Previously member of the All People's Congress[1]
Spouse(s) Haja Khadija Sam-Sumana
Children three children
Residence Freetown, Sierra Leone
Alma mater Metropolitan State University, Minneapolis – Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
Profession Businessman, Information systems technician
Religion Islam

Alhaji Samuel Sidique Sam-Sumana (born April 7, 1962) is a Sierra Leonean politician who was the Vice President of Sierra Leone from September 17, 2007 to March 17, 2015. Sam-Sumana stood as the vice-presidential candidate of the All People's Congress (APC) in the 2007 Sierra Leonean Presidential election, alongside presidential candidate Ernest Bai Koroma. The APC ticket defeated the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) presidential candidate Solomon Berewa and vice presidential candidate Momodou Koroma. Sam-Sumana took office as Vice President on September 17, 2007.

On March 17, 2015, President Koroma sacked Sam-Sumana as Vice President on the grounds that he had abandoned his position and sought asylum in the United States Embassy in Freetown, and for not belonging to a political party [2][3][4][5] although it was reported by several local and international media that Sam-Sumana fled his residence fearing for his life, before soldiers had surrounded his house and disarmed his security team. The Sierra Leone government said Sam-Sumana was not in any danger and that soldiers only came to Sam-Sumana's house to rotate his security team [6]. President Ernest Bai Koroma sacked Sam-Sumana for also not belonging to a political party, though he was expelled from the APC party by the National Advisory Council of the All People's Congress on March 6, 2015.[1][2][3] Sam-Sumana said his sacking by president Ernest Bai Koroma was unconstitutional and has appealed to the Sierra Leone Supreme Court.

The sacking of Sam-Sumana was describe as unconstitutional by the main opposition Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), the Sierra Leone Labour Congress, which represent the country's trade union, and by the Sierra Leone Bar Association, which is made up of many of the country's lawyers[7][8].

The APC National Advisory Council expelled Sam-Sumana on accusations of Sam-Sumana allegedly giving false information about his Master's degree certificate; he was accused of allegedly instigating political violence in Kono District; was accused of allegedly trying to form a breakaway faction of a new political party; and was also accused of allegedly giving false information about his religion. Sam-Sumana denied all the allegations against him and has appealed his sacking as vice [9][10].[4] Sam-Sumana denied all the allegations against him; and described them as completely wrong and baseless [11].

Sam-Sumana had served as the managing director of the United Diamond Mining Company based in Koidu Town, Kono District, Sierra Leone. He also served as the regional manager for C-12 International, a Texas based mining company engaged in diamond production in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.[5][6]

Sam-Sumana is a devout Muslim and a member of the Kono ethnic group.[6] Sam-Sumana is married to Khadija Sam-Sumana. The couple were residing in Minnesota in the U.S., but returned to Freetown in 2007 when Sam-Sumana was named as running mate by opposition leader Ernest Bai Koroma on the ticket of the All People's Congress (APC).

Early life[edit]

Sahr Samuel Tamba Sidique Sam-Sumana was born on April 17, 1962 at the Koidu Government Hospital in Koidu Town, Kono District in the Eastern Province of Sierra Leone. Sam-Sumana is the fourth son of his father, Sahr Samuel Sam-Sumana, a prominent Kono Chief who was a member of the All People's Congress party and a close friend of President Siaka Stevens.[7] Sam-Sumana's mother is Haja Sia Hawa Sam-Sumana. Sam-Sumana is a devout Muslim and a member of the Kono ethnic group.

Sam-Sumana attended the Koidu Primary school in Koidu Town and then proceeded to the Jaiama Muslim Secondary School in the town of Jaiama, just outside of Koidu Town in Kono District. He also attended the Ahmadiyya Muslim secondary school in Freetown.

Career and education[edit]

Sam-Sumana has a Bachelor of Science (BSC) in management information systems from the Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis – Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States.[5] He also has a diploma in diamond rough grading, sorting and polishing from the America Institution of Diamond Cutting and Polishing, in Deerfield Beach, Florida, United States, and a diploma in computer network support from Knollwood Computer and Business School in St Louis Park, Minnesota. While in the United States, Sam-Sumana had worked as a systems officer for the Prudential Financial Group. He was employed as a network support specialist for Allina Health in the United States.

Sam-Sumana had served as the managing director of the United Diamond Mining Company based in Koidu Town, Kono District, Sierra Leone. He also served as the regional manager for C-12 International, a Texas based mining company engaged in diamond production in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.[5][6]

Political career[edit]

Sam-Sumana was surprisingly selected by Sierra Leone's main opposition leader Ernest Bai Koroma as his running-mate for the 2007 presidential election. Sam-Sumana stood as the vice-presidential candidate of the All People's Congress (APC) in the 2007 election, alongside Koroma; the APC ticket defeated the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) presidential candidate Solomon Berewa and vice presidential candidate Momodou Koroma. Sam-Sumana took office as Vice President on September 17, 2007.[6]

Bribery scandal[edit]

On November 23, 2011, Al Jazeera ran a detailed report produced by the noted Sierra Leonean journalist Sorious Samura, unproven allegation directly implicating Vice President Sumana and business associates Alex Mansaray and Momoh Konte in the illicit sale of timber export licences. The report contained undercover video footage of Sumana speaking with licence applicants in his office, his associates openly discussing the payment of bribes to Sumana to facilitate rapid processing of licences, and then receiving cash from the Al Jazeera team for the purpose. The report highlighted the fact that the illicit arrangements were being concluded on the very day when a ban on hardwood timber exports from Sierra Leone was to take effect, and Vice President Sumana is seen, in the video footage, assuring the journalists that implementation of the ban was being "delayed". Sumana later reportedly admitted to Al Jazeera that Mansaray and Konte were well known to him, but that he knew nothing about their collection of cash on his behalf. Sierra Leone's cabinet was reported to be meeting in special session about the Al Jazeera sting operation.

Expulsion from APC[edit]

On March 17, 2015, Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma sacked Sam-Sumana as Vice President on the ground that he had abandoned his position to seek an asylum in the United States Embassy in Freetown, and for not belonging to a political party as stated in the constitution [12][13][14][15]. Though it was reported that Sam-Sumana fled his residence fearing for his life, before soldiers had surrounded his house and disarmed his security team. The Sierra Leon government said Sam-Sumana was not in any danger and that soldiers only came to Sam-Sumana's house to rotate his security team. President Ernest Bai Koroma sacked Sam-Sumana for also not belonging to a political party, as stated in the constitution, though he was expelled from the APC party by the National Advisory Council of the All People's Congress.[1][2][3]

On March 6, 2015, Sam-Sumana was expelled from the ruling All People's Congress party by the APC's National Advisory Council on the basis of several charges against him. The National Advisory Council accused Sam-Sumana of giving false information about his Master's degree certificate; he was accused of instigating political violence in Kono District; he was accused of trying to form a breakaway faction of a new political party; and was also accused of giving false information about his religious background. [16][17][18] The charges were announced by APC Secretary-General Osman Foday Yansaneh at the party's headquarters in Freetown. [19] After the expulsion, Sam-Sumana fled his home on 14 March 2015 and went to the American embassy in Freetown, where he asked for asylum.[8]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Solomon Berewa
Vice President of Sierra Leone
2007-
Succeeded by
Incumbent