The All Peoples Congress (APC) Party wishes to draw the attention of the public to the following:
- That on the 2nd Day of August 2018, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice laid on the table of the House of Parliament Constitutional Instruments Numbers 64 and 65 of 2018 entitled:‘’The Commission of Inquiry (Examination, Inquiry and Investigation) Notice (1)” and “The Commission of Inquiry (Examination, Inquiry and Investigation) Notice (2)” respectively and at which said date Parliament was to adjourn for Recess without adequate notice to members of parliament.
- That on Friday 3rd August 2018, Hon Daniel Brima Koroma, under S.O 18 (8) and Section 170 (7) of the 1991 Constitution (Act No. 6 of 1991) informed the House of his intention to file a Notice of Motion at the office of the clerk for the said Constitutional Instruments to be debated but the speaker wrongly overruled and further denied the opportunity to both the said MP and Majority Leader and Leader of the Opposition (APC) to proffer any further explanation.
- That on the 3rd day of August 2018, Hon. Daniel B. Koroma prepared a Notice of Motion under S.O 18 (8), 25 (2) and Section 170 (7) of the 1991 Constitution which he duly signed and filed at the office of the clerk. The intention of the said Notice of Motion was to enable Parliament to debate the said Constitutional Instruments. Thus the 21 days period required for the Instruments to become law ceases to run on the date the MP filed the Notice of Motion..
- That on the 7th day of August 2018, the said Hon Daniel B. Koroma together with Hon Hassan A. Sesay prepared, signed and filed an Amendment Notice of Motion under S.O. 25 (6), 18 (8), 25(2), 28 (3) and Section 170 (7) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone which enables the speaker to include the said Constitutional Instruments on the Order Paper at the next sitting of Parliament.
- That on the 9th day of August 2018, a Request for Meeting of Parliament within 14 days under S.O. 4 (3) (b) (ii) and Section 86 (2) of the 1991 Constitution was prepared , signed by Members of Parliament and duly filed at the office of the clerk. The said 14 days expires today 23rd August 2018 and the said constitutional provisions are yet to be complied with by the speaker of Parliament.
- To our greatest dismay however, the clerk of Parliament on Radio Democracy 98.1 FM categorically stated that the said instruments were properly laid and that they shall become law today 23rd August 2018. Furthermore, as at yesterday 22nd August 2018, no written correspondence has been received from the speaker in respect of the said Constitutional Instruments and the concerns raised therein by Members of Parliament. The speaker also failed and /or refused to convene a meeting of parliament as provided for by section 86 (2) of the 1991 Constitution.
- The APC Party is therefore of the opinion that the setting up of the proposed Commissions of Inquiry is illegal ab initio. The singular and supreme authority to make laws including delegated legislations rests only with Parliament and which has not been exercised by Parliament in accordance with sections 170 (7) and 86 (2) of the 1991 Constitution which no doubt is a clear violation of the rights of the people whom they represent.
- The APC Party is also of the opinion that the range of public officials of the former government to appear before these commissions is selective and the deliberate omission of certain names in the GTT Report has the potential of creating tension and insecurity within the country.
- The APC Party strongly wishes to bring to the notice of the public that it is in full support of the said Commissions of Inquiry and does not in any way intend to frustrate its operations. The Party however holds the view that, the said instruments, considering their wide ranging implications on society, ought to be debated by the true representatives of the people and that the relevant constitutional provisions to make this possible must be complied with.
- Therefore, the failure and /or refusal of the Speaker to respond to the concerns raised by Members of Parliament and considering the delicate and illegal nature of the said Constitutional Instruments, the APC Party is therefore compelled to proceed to the Supreme Court for interpretation of the relevant constitutional provisions in respect of the said Instruments. The APC Party is of the opinion that if these Instruments are allowed to become operational without being debated, Sierra Leoneans will be deprived of their constitutional rights to participate in the law making process.
Amb. Dr. Alhaji Osman Foday Yansaneh National Secretary General – APC