Commission Of Inquiry Debate Starts Today

 

The House of Parliament consisting of the majority All People’s Congress (APC), Sierra Leone People’s Party, Coalition for Change and the National Grand Alliance (NGC) will today start the debate on the two constitutional instruments that were laid before the House by the Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice that will establish a Commission of Inquiry.

The said Commission of Inquiry seeks from the country’s law makers the mandate to investigate the conduct of former President, Vice President, Ministers and their deputies and heads of all Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDA) dating from November 2007 to April 2018.

The second constitutional instrument that the Members of Parliament will debate is that empowering the Auditor General to conduct a forensic audit of all MDAs dating back to 2015.

Whilst the ruling SLPP wanted to pass the two instruments into law without debate by the entire House, by bringing it to the House just before Parliament went on a month long recess, within which the bill would have automatically become law after lying in Parliament for 21 days without debate, APC demanded that since the instruments were legal in nature, it was proper that they be examined by the House before been passing into law; and that its 21 days maturity period does not happen whilst parliament is in recess.

The Speaker of Parliament turned down the APC motion for the debate by stating that the motion was raised under the wrong Standing Order. APC/opposition leader in Parliament, Hon. Chernoh Bah argued that the motion was raised under the correct Order, whilst the Speaker and the Clerk of Parliament said the matter was closed and that the debate will not take place but APC MPs stood their ground. In the end, the Speaker in the interest of democracy and freedom of expression agreed that the two instruments be debated.

With the House having been in recess for the whole of September, having resumed sittings today, the debate of the two instruments will now take place to the satisfaction of the APC who all along insisted on the fact that they are part of the country’s governance architecture and so cannot be sidelined in the making of laws affecting the country.