Kandeh Yumkella May be Removed From Sierra Leone Parliament as Supreme Court Fixes Judgement Date For His Dual Citizenship Case

The Supreme Court of Sierra Leone has fixed Wednesday, September 1, 2021  to give judgment in the dual citizenship case of Honourable Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, Member of Parliament representing Constituency 062 in Samu Chiefdom, Kambia District.

In the wake of the Sierra Leone 2018 elections, the previous All People’s Congress (APC) announced that individuals who hold dual citizenship are not qualified to contest political positions to the annoyance of many.

David Fornah, an activist of the All People’s Congress Party (APC) then challenged the eligibility of Dr. Yumkella to vie as both parliamentary candidate in Constituency 062 in Kambia and presidential aspirant of NGC.

He had filed a petition in the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone on February 5th 2018 against Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella as 1st defendant, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice as 2nd defendant, Commissioner of the National Electoral Commission, Mohamed N’fa Alie Conteh as 3rd defendant and NEC as 4th defendant.

According to Fornah, Yumkella failed to follow the requirement contained in Act 13 of 1976 to resume his citizenship by writing officially to the Minister of Internal Affairs.

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The central point of law in which Fornah have taken to the Supreme Court for legal interpretation of the constitution and ruling , is that: “Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella with voter identification card number 2282101 is a dual citizen of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the United States of America in violation of section 76(1a) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act No 6 of 1991 and the Public Elections (Act No 4) of 2012……….and that Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella with voter identification card number 2282101 said openly on the 18th Day of January 2018 in a Press Conference that he holds a dual citizenship and that he has renounced same.”

With a Judgment date now in sight, there are indications that Yumkella may be declared unqualified to contest the Parliamentary seat. This means that the person who had taken 2nd position in that Kambia Constituency 062 will take up his seat in Parliament.

Meanwhile, Yumkella has continued to call for changes to the Constitution that will allow Sierra Leoneans with dual citizenship to have the right to elect and be elected, without losing their dual citizenship status, except for certain roles such as Speaker of Parliament, President or Vice president.

During a recent Town Hall meeting with the Sierra Leonean diaspora community in the UK, President Julius Maada Bio also reiterated his commitment to get this law reviewed assuring its tabling in the Fifth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone.

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