FREETOWN, Sierra Leone – Sierra Leone's ruling party denied that the vice president's life was in danger after he sought asylum from the United States citing concerns for his personal safety.
Samuel Sam-Sumana was expelled on March 6 from the ruling All People's Congress party which accused him of "orchestrating political violence" and trying to form a new party in his home district.
On Saturday, Sam-Sumana asked the United States ambassador for asylum after soldiers came to his residence and disarmed his security team. He told The Associated Press he no longer felt safe in the country, saying he had been informed by top officials in the presidential guard that the soldiers were acting on orders from President Ernest Bai Koroma.
The government has not commented on the incident. Koroma was out of Freetown on Saturday, attending a meeting about Ebola in the northern district of Port Loko.
On Saturday night, however, the All People's Congress broadcast a statement on state media saying it had been informed of Sam-Sumana's asylum request.
"The APC Secretariat wishes it to be known that since the expulsion of Vice President Sam-Sumana from the APC party, the party has at no point in time threatened the life of the vice president," the statement read.
The party also denied reports that Sam-Sumana's residence had been vandalized.
Sam-Sumana, who is under voluntary Ebola quarantine after one of his security personnel died of the disease last month, is in hiding, his whereabouts unknown. The U.S. Embassy in Freetown has not responded to his asylum request.