SIERRA LEONE DEMOCRACY ON A MESSY PATH BY THE NEW SLPP ADMINISTRATION
New ACC appointee fraudulently approved by SLPP MPs; APC and NGC walked out*
Francis Ben Kelfala, who was recently controversially appointed to lead the country’s Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) is reported to have been corruptly approved by Parliament whose Speaker and deputy Speaker were themselves controversially installed in their respective positions.
Following the murky beginnings of the young ACC boss, whose appointment is widely regarded as a breach of the Act that establishes the very institution he was appointed to lead, unconstitutionality and procedural breaches have reportedly continued to characterise the tenure of the ACC boss.
A questionable public notice that hurriedly reconvened Parliament after it had recessed only the day before, paved the way for Francis Ben Kelfala to be presented to the Committee of Appointments for interview. According to the opposition APC Whip, Kelfala’s appointment was defeated by a vote of 7-6 at the Committee level, yet the ruling SLPP forced him on the MP by presenting him for approval at the Plenary Session where the opposition MPs including the APC Whip were not allowed to say anything. It was the same for the APC leader in Parliament and the NGC’s Dr. Kandeh Yumkella.
Even when it was clear that the voices against were louder in the well, the Deputy Speaker overruled in favour of the yea votes. The APC Whip, Hon Hassan (Priest) Sesay stood up on SO46 which states that in a situation where it’s not clear as to which side carry’s the vote, individual MPs should vote/sign their names against their vote but the Deputy Speaker, Sengehpoh Thomas, refused to grant him. He even threatened to have the sergeant at arms get the APC Whip out of Parliament and shouted on the APC leader to sit down!
When Hon. Hassan Sesay insisted the Deputy Speaker simply addressed the Nominee and so the opposition MPs walked out.
The APC leader Parliament Hon Chernor Maju Bah said the whole process was fraudulent. ‘In the first place, they doctored the report by the Appointment’s Committee and presented something completely different from what transpired at the Committee yesterday, said Hon Chernor Bah.
Many observers believe that the checkered manner of appointment and parliamentary approval of this young man to such a high office of national trust has obviously undermined the integrity, independence, and the public respect of both the ACC and the new political stooge appointed to lead it.