Mar 15, 2015

Vice President Sumana Seeks Political Asylum

Reports emerged yesterday to the effect that the Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Alhaji Sam Sumana, is seeking asylum at the US Embassy in Freetown. There have been reports for some years of tension between the Vice President and his boss, the President of Sierra Leone, and just last week the ruling All Peoples Congress party decided to expel the Vice President from the party (see Sierra_Leone_APC_Sacks_Vice_President), leading to speculation that he might be impeached by the Sierra Leone Parliament. Things apparently have taken a different turn, and the matter reportedly came to a head when security forces moved to the Vice President's residence yesterday, Saturday, and ordered the withdrawal of his security guards. It was apparently after this that Vice President Sumana took the decision to go into hiding and seek asylum at the US Embassy. There has been no comment thus far either from the office of the President or the US Embassy.

Two starkly different pictures have emerged of the weekend drama. One is of a paranoid politician bolting into hiding during a routine change of the guard, without the slightest danger to his person. The other is of a determined plan by the security forces to, at the very least, render the Vice President defenseless.