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Dr. Peter L Tucker Reacts To Supreme Court Judgment


Dr. Peter L Tucker Reacts To Supreme Court Judgment

I got the note below from Dr. Tucker two days ago. He had just read my article on the Supreme Court’s decision in the VP Sam Sumana’s case. Dr. Tucker does not object to my sharing his letter to me: I think he is on Leonenet. I will not share his email coordinates.

Btw, Dr. Tucker is an Oxford-educated legal luminary and was chair of the review committee that produced the 1991 – he was, in other words, a prime architect or framer of the constitution under discussion:

Dear Dr. Gberie,

Congratulations on your excellent review of the Supreme court Judgment in the Sam Sumana case. As you know I was the Chairman of the Commission that produced the 1991 Constitution. Our draft was referred to the Law Officers Department and the Government made some amendments. When the Government draft went to Parliament, it was hotly contested and some amendments were made on the floor of Parliament. The final product which passed the House had some provisions which were difficult to interpret; but the provision for the removal of a president or vice-president is simple and un ambiguous.

Instead of blaming the Constitution, we should be carefully pondering over the implications of the main reasons advanced by the Judges. For example, are the Judges seriously convinced or confused about the exercise of the President’s executive powers? Are they really seriously saying that the president can use his executive power to override an express provision of the constitution? In other words, can the President use his executive power to keep himself in office for a third term? Can the right to life and property enshrined in the constitution be set aside by executive order?

No; the absurdity of the Judgment in this case can be demonstrated in many ways.

I think that those who are putting so much emphasis on the executive powers of the President should turn to section 53 of the constitution which begins with the phrase: “Subject to the provisions of the constitution, the executive power in Sierra Leone shall vest in the President.” This is simple and clear. Any exercise of his executive power by the President which is in conflict with any provision of the constitution is null and void. There is a clear provision of the constitution for the removal of a president or vice president.

I hold my peace for now to give the politicians time to think about these things.

Dr. Peter L Tucker

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