From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Sierra Leone: The abject FALLACY in qualifier of "...Other than by the procedure set out in Sections 50 and 51 of the said Constitution".
By Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, OOR
Aug 3, 2015, 12:09

One of my biggest sadness in Sierra Leone today is to see seemingly well educated persons display the most apparent ignorance of simple English. One of the most brilliant Sierra Leone lawyers, Ajibola Manly-spain Esq. has submitted a demolition of the case for Sam Sumana as posed to Supreme Court in form of two questions. Sadly, the submission of Manly Spaine has been misunderstood by those who cannot grasp basic understanding of English.


The truth is that the questions by lawyers on behalf of Sam Sumana, were posed on a FALLACY and so Manly-Spaine Esq. submits to the learned Supreme Court that since they presuppose a fallacy, they are non-questions and should simply be discarded - as one cannot be expected to answer a non-question.


Those who say the brilliant Manly-Spaine went against the interest of President Koroma in this matter are displaying very poor understanding of simple English as stated. Lawyer Manly Spaine was making a mockery of the 'tautological' question posed to the Supreme Court for an answer.


The submission of Manly-Spaine has strengthened respect I developed for him during his performance against Aljazeera timber non-case.


Sierra Leone has a brilliant son in Lawyer Manly-Spaine who cleverly picked up his colleagues' erroneously drafted posing of those questions.


I have high respect for Sam-Sumana's lawyer who drafted those two questions but on the questions as drafted, I agree with Manly Spaine that Sam-Sumana's lawyer blundered in his written English- BIG TIME! By the way, this is not a matter of the Law; just a matter of English language. You see, the Sam-Sumana questions are based on a fallacious supposition that the President can be involved in the removal proceedings highlighted in Sections 50 and 51. Totally wrong!


The truth is that the ONLY entities involved in those Sections 50 and 51 removals are Chief Medical Officer and/or Chief Justice and/or Judicial Tribunal and/or Speaker and/or Parliamentarians. Therefore, posing questions on supposition that the President can be involved in such Sections 50 and 51 removals is erroneous, fallacious and renders the questions unanswerable.


Basically, what Lawyer Manly-Spaine has brilliantly submitted to the Supreme Court is that they should ignore the case in totality as, the questions as posed, make the case to automatically be a non-case. Lawyer Manly-Spaine is saying that Sam-Sumana's lawyers should have posed the questions without adding the following qualifying words: "...Other than by the procedure set out in Sections 50 and 51 of the said constitution". Clearly, the questions are based on the expressed perceived ability of the PRESIDENT as it is the PRESIDENT who is the subject matter in the two sentences.


Lawyer Manly-Spaine rightfully informs that, by adding that qualifying phrase of "...Other than by the procedure set out in Sections 50 and 51 of the said constitution", the lawyers for Sam Sumana have rendered the question to be a nullity as the PRESIDENT (who is the subject matter in the question) can not remove himself nor his Vice-President under those specific Sections 50 & 51.


As I have kept on saying since Day 1, His Excellency the President has never countenanced nor referenced Section 50 and 51 in relieving Sam Sumana of duties Sumana purported to continue to do after Sam Sumana lost the continuous requirement of Section 41.(b)


The matter is now in hands of our capable Supreme Court. We can only now await their interpretations of various legal submissions. I will not comment on the legal submissions but I salute brilliance of Hon. Manly-Spaine in his grasp of English language. I agree with Manly-Spiane that in English interpretation, the questions as drafted by Sam-Sumana's lawyers are NON-QUESTIONS, totally fallacious and with erroneous pre-suppositions! However, the Judges have the last say as this is a matter on the Law and not Written English.

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