The Parliament of Sierra Leone has on Tuesday 12/04/2022 approved the Eighth Report of the Committee on Appointment and Public Service, chaired by the Leader of Government Business, Hon Mathew Sahr Nyuma.
The Parliament of Sierra Leone approved the following Presidential Nominee:
Mr Abubakarr Mahmoud Koroma – Electoral Commissioner, Northern Region.
Presenting the Eighth Report, the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Mathew Shar Nyuma said the nominee went through parliamentary vetting and interview on set criteria including education, experience, track record, declared asset, tax obligation, and vision for a nationally productive tenure. The Leader also informed that the Report reflects the majority view of the Committee Members that were present.
Seconding the motion, the Chief Whip of Parliament, Hon. Dickson Momoh Rogers expressed admiration over the educational qualifications and work experience of the nominee. He emphasized the nominee’s work experience and recalled the neutrality he had demonstrated in the election process. He also spoke about Mr Koroma’s display of integrity and encouraged his colleague MPs to speedily approve him.
Hon. Sahr Charles said the appointment of the Electoral Commissioner is very crucial. He referenced the 1991 Constitution, in lieu of such appointments in connection to political parties and the election process. He said they as C4C were not consulted on the appointment of the Commissioner, but went on to heaped praises on the nominee for his curriculum vitae. He raised concerns over the appointment, relating to the constitutional mandate on notifications as a member of his political party. He emphasized that there was no doubt about the nominee”s qualification.
Hon. Josephine Makieu commended President Bio for appointing such a nominee. She expressed happiness over the experience of the nominee. “Mr Speaker, with all that he has, our nominee is the best” she maintained and went on to advise him to continue to demonstrate integrity.
Hon. Francis Amara Kai-Samba said the report on the appointment is not controversial. He threw light on the definition of consultation. He appealed to colleague MPs to see reason and ignored the aspect of consultation to approve the Nominee.
Deputy Whip, Hon. Alusine Kanneh said the nominee is very receptive and nationalistic. He informed that President Bio did not make any mistake on this appointment. “I want this House to approve the nominee”, he stated.
Rounding up the debate, Opposition Leader, Hon. Chernor R.M. Bah said they did not participate in the interview process regarding the Presidential Nominee and categorically stated that they would not be a party to the bastardization of the Constitution. He expressed serious concern over consultation and went on to recall-related incidences on Edmond Alpha’s appointment and others. He assured me that, they would always support the process when due diligence is followed. “It was late yesterday, the Political Party Registration Commission (PPRC) called on the APC Secretary-General, after the interview had been conducted”, he informed and went on to say, the letter on such appointment dated 10/03/2022 was also delivered yesterday to their Secretary-General.
He also acknowledged that the Nominee had good qualifications.
He pleaded to the Leader of Government Business to take the matter to the President to consider a consultation as was done for previous nominees, who encountered similar situations.
Concluding the debate, Leader of Government Business Hon. Mathew Sahr Nyuma said his government predicated on the existence of democracy and went on to refer to the constitution, in light of consultation. He emphasized that consultation was prudent and they did it before the process regarding the Nominee.
The Leader said they as a government would not bastardize the constitution and have respect for it. According to him, Secretary to President wrote a letter dated 10/03/2022 to PPRC regarding the appointment of the Commissioner, in light of consultation.
“A letter dated 10th March 2022 was sent to registered political parties” he clarified.
According to the Leader, on 14/03/2022, the letter of appointment was delivered to the Nominee.
He recalled several instances surrounding appointed Electoral Commissioners including Dr Christiana Thorpe and assured us that they would continue to abide by the law as a government.
The Acting Speaker of the Parliament, Hon. Segepoh Solomon Thomas said issues surrounding consultation had been a debate over time, but it is very easy for citizens to approach the Supreme Court to ask for the interpretation.
Speaking to the Nominee, the Acting Speaker said many people had served as Commissioner and there had been several complaints about their work. He encouraged the commissioner to do the needful, in light of the service delivered to the people of Sierra Leone.