APC Not Against Inquiry But The Rules & Procedures
Members of Parliament from the main opposition All Peoples Congress Party (APC) have maintained that their party was never against the institution of Commissions of Inquiry but that the processes and procedures contained in the terms of the commissions violates some sections of the country’s constitution. They stated that the terms of the commissions of Inquiry were carefully manipulated by the current SLPP Government to target only opposition members who had served the country diligently for the past decade noting that the exclusion of rules of evidence during the inquiry might deny justice to those who names are listed in the report.
Many other flaws in the instruments were highlighted by members of the opposition including what they say was a selective justice nature of the commission among others.
During the Parliamentary debate pertinent to the Commissions of Inquiry which profoundly gained national interest right across the country that took place at the well of Parliament on Monday, 22nd October, 2018, quite a good number of other opposition Members of Parliament including members from the National Grand Coalition(NGC), some members from the Coalition for Change (C4C), Independent Members of Parliament and all the Members of Parliament representing the main opposition All Peoples Congress (APC), made it crystal clear that they are not averting the aforementioned Commission, but that they have issues with the procedures and anomalies set there in.
However, the general view gathered by this Medium was that whether one would like or hate them, the discussions by and large were interesting. Sierra Leoneans right across the country are saying that the APC MPs have been far more effective and efficient in opposition than the SLPP were in that role for at least five years. Most of them registered their admirations that they were particularly impressed by the opposition Party’s leader, Honourable Chernor Maju Bah. According to those who were present, he was called by the Speaker for his bite of the cherry. But he kindly declined saying he would rather his party members and those in the C4C and NGC exhausted their contributions before he talked. They said, that was a characteristic which the SLPP House Minority Leader for five years, Dr. Bernadette Lahai grossly lacked. The convention is that once the party leader has spoken no one else in the party does.
By and large, there were 141 Honourable Members of parliament present, out of which 72 voted in favour of the APC, 60 for the Ruling SLPP and 2 voids. Five members of Parliament did not vote as they are on official duty. With this, the Commission of Inquiry will be established as the main opposition APC party needed two third (2/3) of voting which is ninety –four (94%) of the votes to stop the Commissions of Inquiry not to take place, though it was alleged that the Speaker of Parliament had said the Commissions of Inquiry will hold devoid of what happens. In a nut shell, some Legal luminaries are pin pointing on the fact that Sierra Leone Parliamentarians voted to REJECT President Bio’s proposed Commissions of Inquiry because the terms of the proposed Commissions , contravene Sections of our Constitution including Sections 150,147 and 135. More updates on that seemingly interesting debate will be published in our succeeding editions.
By: Allieu Lamin Kamara
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