Raymond A Atuguba, Ghanaian Lawyer and Harvard Visiting Professor of Law has exposed the recent actions of President Julius Maada Bio.
His exposition came when he delivered the keynote statement at the just concluded Annual General Meeting of the Sierra Leone Bar Association.
He stated that over the last few years in Sierra Leone, many persons who occupied constitutionally protected positions have been sacked or otherwise removed by government.
That the recent removal of Members of Parliament and their illegitimate replacement are clearly contrary to the election laws that allow for those seats to remain vacant when an appeal is imminent.
“Those laws also require another election to be held. This was not done. The fact that these actions were taken pursuant to judgments of the courts of law is very worrying indeed. This is the Sierra Leone we live in today,” Professor Raymond Atuguba lamented.
That Salone has experienced many democratic reversals in the last decade and that in 2015, the then President sacked his Vice President, unconstitutionally, which was strangely endorsed by the Supreme Court.
“ After the then Vice President won against the government at the ECOWAS court of justice, the previous government and this government have both failed to abide by the judgment. I know this because I was the lawyer for the dismissed Vice President,” he maintained.
He revealed that shinning stars like Ghana are slowly experiencing democratic reversals, and that Sierra Leone is learning all the bad things from Ghana.
“When a country starts to illegitimately remove constitutionally protected officers from their posts, including sitting Supreme Court judges, represses journalists, and interferes in court processes for really micro and meso level political agendas, the destructive seeds of authoritarianism and the annihilation of the freedoms of the people are sown,” he warned.
Adding that: “It is no wonder that Liberia experienced a massive citizens demonstration last month, Sierra Leone experienced similar skirmishes in the same month, and just at the beginning of this month, the courts were used by the government of Ghana to temporarily subvert a demonstration.”