Food and drinks have become the hot political potato at the House of Parliament in Freetown. Allegations have been levied against some Members of Parliament of the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party SLPP for receiving privileges for the Opening of Parliament on October 7, 2011 but decided to boycott Parliament few minutes later.
When the SLPP Members of Parliament returned to parliament on Tuesday October 25, 2011 they were confronted with an embarrassing situation. The APC Member of Parliament for constituency 68 Honourable David Conteh said senior SLPP parliamentarians took privileges like food and drinks but they did not participate in the process. He noted that this contravenes the Oath of MPs under section 144 of the third schedule of the constitution.
Now, in a dramatic move to lessen the embarrassment, the National Secretary General of the SLPP Mr. Sulaiman Banja Tejan-Sie has called on the Speaker and APC Members of Parliament to produce the names and signatures of the SLPP MPs accused of signing and collecting food and drinks before boycotting parliament.
National Secretary General of the SLPP Banja Tejan-Sie
Speaking to the Awareness Times in an exclusive interview yesterday, Mr. Banja Tejan-Sie said the SLPP is a party that believes in transparency and discipline. He confirmed that it is against the countryís law books for someone to collect something for a purpose and fail to do that purpose.
He said if the allegation made by the APC Members of Parliament turns out to be true then the SLPP MPs should be asked to return the items with immediate effect.
The SLPP scribe said that he has been reliably informed that the Honourable Speaker of the House has ordered the Privilege Committee of Parliament to investigate the allegation and come out with a report.
¬†ďThis move by the Speaker is a step in the right direction,Ē Mr. Banja Tejan-Sie noted.
The SLPP scribe stated that the Sierra Leone Peoples Party will not be a party to anyone collecting ransom to do a job and fail to do it.
He urged the Privilege Committee of Parliament to speedily investigate the allegations and come out with evidence to support the allegation.
It could be recalled that early this month in the Well of Parliament, the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change PMDC and the National Democratic Alliance NDA also joined the SLPP to boycott the Opening of Parliament.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.