Executive Orders vs Rule of Law Bio In Big Dilemma
President Bio exposes himself in his speech to the nation on the State Opening of the First Session of the Fifth Parliament of the Second Republic in paragraph 134 which states:
“Sierra Leone’s Judiciary has come under scrutiny and condemnation under the APC government with perceived unconstitutional instruction from the executive arm of government under what has become popularly known as “orders from above”. Consequently, public confidence in the system of justice delivery at all levels is at its lowest ebb. The justice sector in Sierra Leone is marred by poor service delivery, limited access to justice, limited allocation of resources, and shortage of staffing and limited capacity,”
The election of the Speakership position raised serious constitutional interpretation which largely exposed the executive arm of government influencing the judiciary by slamming an unconstitutional interim injunction on 15 APC elected Members of Parliament for political advantage because the APC has set the record by being the first ever opposition party to have the majority in the Legislative House; this proportionate number leaves the incumbent SLPP very uncomfortable if allowed the APC’s 68 MPs to participate in the election of Speaker the APC will have the third man on the row to become Sierra Leone’s Acting President in the absence of both the President and the Vice President.
That saw the abstention of NGC’s Honourable Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella and other NGC Members of Parliament to abstain from the Speakership election because he considers the processes and procedures not fit for purpose in modern day democracy which he brilliantly described as *“Junta-democracy”.* The action of the SLPP’s orders from above left many Sierra Leoneans from both home and abroad Civil Society Organizations and political analysts to ask what has really happened to the national interest? A question that is still left unanswered which we continuously see the existence of both the Speaker and Deputy Speaker still not corrected which largely makes our Parliament a rubber stamp Parliament.
Where does this leave Mr. President’s statement on the orders from above? The SLPP thinks leaving the Speakership to the APC will make them go into political stupor in the legislative House. Sierra Leone and the international Community saw the first abuse of the Constitution and influence of both the judiciary and the legislature by the executive which largely explains the fact that Mr. President is paying a lip-service to his so-called executive influence of the judiciary.
Who is fooling who here? Whose orders from above influenced the judiciary to slam interim injunction on 15 APC MPs? Whose orders from above threatened to fire the Sergeant at Arms who were on duty in Parliament if not forcefully booted all APC MPs out of the well of Parliament because they look in the eyes of the executive as *“APC Police”? Such action was a stab on the living organism of democracy under former President Koroma whose human rights record never saw any political prisoner nor any deaths throughout his tenure as President.
As if all of this is not enough like the Sierra Leone Export Promotion Agency (SLEPA), State House has now turned to the Sierra Leone Peoples Party Employment Promotion Agency (SLPPEPA) for Party loyalists as we saw executive order requesting all promotions should go through State House; then one wonders the existence of the Public Service Commission (PSC). From the onset of President’s Bio’s Presidency, we have seen institutionalization of party ideology in state institutions in less than a month after assuming office. In the promotion of justice, what is more than the promoting of justice and rule of law by the establishment of the Legal Aid Board by the APC? President Koroma gave a facelift of the Office of the Ombudsman.
To show that President Bio is not committed and sincere to the promotion of political and social justice, we have seen in his first presidential appointments on the 12th April 2018 Lawyer Charles Francis Margai was appointed as his Attorney-General and Minister of Justice. However, contrary to President Bio’s manifesto, he has defiantly eaten his words to separating the role of Minister of Justice from the office of the Attorney-General. A commitment he made in his manifesto *page 65, 4.5 Advancing Rule of Law, Promoting Justice and Human Rights last bullet point bullet 13 which reads “Separate the role of Minister of Justice from the office of Attorney-General”.
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