The Parliament of Sierra Leone has adopted the investigation report of the Privilege and Ethics Committee, and on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, readmitted three of its members who were suspended a couple of months earlier.
The three members, Hon. Lahai Marrah of constituency 042 in Falaba district, Hon. Aaron Aruna Koroma of constituency 048 in Tonkolili district, and Hon. Abdul Karim Kamara of constituency 059 in Kambia district were found guilty of riotous conduct in the Well, following a physical fight that took place as the Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Umaru Napoleon Koroma, laid the Proportional Representation system amendment regulation on November 23, 2022, on account of an alleged breach of parliamentary procedures.
The actions of these MPs were described by the Speaker Hon. Chernor Abass Bundu as those of “streetfighters” and “vagabonds”, noting that the drafters of Sierra Leone’s constitution did not provide room for disciplinary actions against Members of Parliament because they did not think they could reach that low. The opposition MPs were however slammed with an indefinite suspension, and their salaries and allowances were hanged in addition.
The Deputy Leader of Government Business, Bashiru Silikie, had earlier said the salaries of those found guilty would be paid for what was damaged during the fight. The mace at the centre of parliament was thrown from the opposite end to the government’s end and was thrown back to them, but only members of the opposition were asked to step aside.
As they return, towards the dissolution of parliament, the chairman of the Privilege and Ethics Committee, which was established to ensure discipline and decorum in the legislature, PC Alhaji Alie Badara Sheriff III, said the committee received letters of remorse from the parliamentarians during the committee’s investigation, expressing regrets for their actions.
PC Sheriff said the committee had a discussion with the Clerk of Parliament regarding the issue and can confirm that the parliamentarians have forfeited their salaries and monthly allowances for December 2022 and January 2023. Thus, the committee has recommended that the three months’ salary be forfeited be reduced to two months because they have shown remorse for their actions.
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