A dramatic scene outplayed itself yesterday at the well of parliament which saw the walk out of the Sierra Leone People’s Party members of parliament.
They left the well of parliament before session ended because, according to the SLPP minority leader, they had been slighted by the Speaker of Parliament Justice Abel Stronge.
The whole drama started after Hon B. M Kamanda raised a private member motion raising concerns over the Boundary Delimitation report for the Local Council elections tabled by NEC since 11th March.
The motions hold that they do not accept the ward boundary delimitation prepared by NEC.
The Honourable Ibrahim Bundu representing the All People’s Congress stood up and stated that the motions raised by Mr Kamanda were in contravention with the standing orders of parliament specifically section 25 which outlined how motions should be served in parliament.
Honourable Bundu pointed out that the Standing Orders held that, “whenever notice of a motion is required such notice shall be given in writing, signed by the member and addressed to the clerk. Such notice may be handed.”
He said for the fact that the private member motion was not addressed to the clerk in compliance with the order then the motion was out of order and parliament could not discuss it.
The Speaker of Parliament upheld the arguments of Honourable Bundu and ruled against the motion being considered.
Honourable Pujeh accepted that indeed the notice should have been given in writing to the clerk of parliament, but he argued that the speaker had ruled against them on a very trivial issue “of not addressing the motion to the clerk.”
He pointed out that the notice of motion was handed to the clerk and that the clerk had acted upon it which was what the Standing Order wanted.
Mr Pujeh said the Speaker of Parliament had seen the notice and if he had considered that it was improper, he should not have accepted it or better still made alterations to correct it because he had the power to do so.
He also argued that the committee responsible for the business of the House looked at the motion and slated it on the order paper for parliament to deliberate on.
The minority leader however stated that they had now regularized the motion and had submitted it to the clerk at 11:03 am.
He pointed out that they still would challenge the boundary delimitation report because NEC did not consult stakeholders.
The minority leader warned that the NEC boundary delimitation report for the ward remained illegal.
The NEC report continues to sit on the table of parliament waiting for 21 days after which it would become law. By Mohamed Fofanah