Samuel Sam-Sumana

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The Honourable Vice President
Alhaji Samuel Sam-Sumana
Vice President of Sierra Leone
Incumbent
Assumed office
September 17, 2007
President Ernest Bai Koroma
Preceded by Solomon Berewa
Personal details
Born (1962-04-07) April 7, 1962 (age 52)
Koidu Town, Kono District, Sierra Leone
Nationality Sierra Leonean
Political party All People's Congress (APC)
Spouse(s) 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 Sahr Samuel Abubacar Sidique Tamba Sam-Sumana (born April 7, 1962) is a Sierra Leonean politician who has been the Vice President of Sierra Leone since 2007. 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.

A native of Koidu Town, Kono District, Sam-Sumana has a Bachelor of Science (BSC) in management information systems from the Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis – Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States.[1]

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[1][2].

Sam-Sumana is a devout muslim and a member of the Kono ethnic group.[2] 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 to his father, the late prominent Kono Chief Sahr Samuel Sam-Sumana, who was also a member of the All People's Congress party and a close friend of former Sierra Leone's president Siaka Stevens[3]. Sam-Sumana's mother is Haja Sia Hawa Sam-Sumana. At the time of Sam Sumana's birth, his father Chief Sahr Samuel Sam Sumana was detained at the Pademba Road Prison in Freetown on political charges as a member of the opposition APC[4]. The charges were later dropped and his father was subsequently released from prison[5]. 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) degree in management information systems from the Metropolitan State University in Minnesota, United States. 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[6][7].

Political career[edit]

Sam-Sumana was surprisingly by then Sierra Leone's main opposition leader Ernest Bai Koroma as his running-mate in the 2007 Sierra Leone Presidential Election. Sam-Sumana stood as the vice-presidential candidate of the All People's Congress (APC) in the 2007 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 [8].

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.

References[edit]

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