Ensuring they create a level playing field for the government and those accused of inappropriately disbursing and expending billions of Leones, the Opposition Leaders in Parliament, Honourable Chernor Maju Bah (APC) and Hon Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella (NGC) have called on the Speaker to schedule a debate for parliament to discuss the issues properly.
They made this call through a letter dated 18th February 2021 and signed by both of them based on the series of allegations against the Office of the President and Government Institutions as reported by the BBC, print and electronic media followed by series of negative findings in MDAs in the 2018 and 2019 Auditor General’s Reports.
The letter recalled that, the leader of the National Grand Coalition in Parliament, Hon Yumkella three months ago moved a motion that was seconded by the Opposition Whip, Hon Hassan Abdoul Sesay calling for a debate on the Auditor General’s report and all other reports laid in Parliament as required by subsection 5 of section 119 of the 1991 Constitution.
They maintained that despite repeated reminders Parliament is yet to schedule a date for the debate on the reports. They explained that with reference to the ongoing serious allegations in the Office of the President and others they said Parliament should provide an opportunity for the government to respond with documentary evidence, specific facts and figures.
“Parliament should demonstrate to the citizens that as the arm of government responsible for both appropriation and oversight, we have the right to hold government accountable for taxpayers’ money as and when the need arise,” they maintained.
Citing section 93 subsection 6 and section 111 subsection 3 and 4 of the 1991 Constitution, they said that Parliament should request for all relevant information from the Ministry of Finance and that the Select Committee on Finance and Transparency must hold public hearings to address these serious allegations.
According to them, the sections cited give Parliament the responsibility to investigate serious allegations by interviewing all those accused as well as examining all relevant documents as a way of ensuring confidence to the people who according to them are seriously disturbed with this disclosure.