14th December 2018
Parliament Approves the Fearful SLPP Commission of Inquiry after 21-Day Deadline!
By a press release (07/09/18)
The expiry of the customary 21 days Statutory Instrument has allowed Parliament to approving the dreaded SLPP Commission of Inquiry.
Reports say there was no opposition to the institution of the SLPP Commission of Inquiry which automatically becomes law, thereby legitimising the Statutory Instrument Law on the dreaded GTT Commission of Inquiry. (Photo: House Clerk Paran reading as parliamentarians listening).
Statutory Instruments 64 and 65 establishing the Commission of Inquiry laid before the House on August 2nd, 2018 by the Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice automatically became law after midnight, following the 21 days expiration deadline.
The Instrument stated that, by the power conferred on President Julius Maada Bio pursuant to Section 147 subsection (1), the President has appointed a Commission that will be chaired by a Nigerian Judge, Justice Biobele Georgewill and its Secretary, Mr. Digger Macfoy.
The Commission is appointed to examine the assets and other related matters in respect of persons who were President, Vice President, Ministers, Ministers of State and Deputies, Heads and Chairmen of Boards of Parastatals, Departments and Agencies within the period from November 2007 to April 2018.
Though the main opposition APC party, as matter of procedure, was clamouring for both documents to be debated since it borders on the establishment of a Commission that will look into the activities of some former APC government officials, it proved futile.
APC's efforts were frustrated by their colleague Member of Parliament, Daniel Koroma who tabled the motion doing so, according to the Speaker of the House Dr. Abass Bundu, under the wrong Standing Order.
According to the Speaker, the APC lawmaker should have tabled his motion for the debate using Standing Order 25 instead of 18 and so ruled out any debate on the two instruments.
APC Parliamentarian Daniel Koroma joined by 29 other petitioners in the House and wrote to the Clerk of the House Paran Tarawally to get the Speaker to consent to their request for the Commission of Inquiry instruments to be debated but to no avail. The Clerk ruled that the decision of the Speaker who is the supreme authority in parliament is final.
President Maada Bio's cabinet on 6 July approved a wide-ranging probe focusing on 'unexplained wealth' allegedly accumulated by officials of the former President Ernest Bai Koroma led APC government. It came two days after the release of a damning Government Team Transition (GTT) Report that accused the APC officials of plundering the state.
The GTT report, headed by Chief Minister Dr. David Francis, was ordered by President Bio to investigate the state of the country when he assumed office. The report revealed massive corruption under the Ernest Koroma-led administration and recommended the formation of a judge-led commission and the prosecution of any official found wanting.