October 2, 2022

By Ragan M. Conteh

Sources, from the House of lawmakers, have informed this medium that, four Members of Parliament, including Hon. Ibrahim Tawa Conteh, representing Constituency 132, Hon. Hindolo Miowo Ngevao, Hon. Billo Shaw and Hon. Momoh Bockarie, have been relocated to the back seat in the Chamber of Parliament.

The sources also stated that the relocation of the four MPs is to further instill discipline and to prevent them from mingling with their colleagues in their original seats, until after the investigations of the Committee on Privileges and Ethics submitted its report.

The transfer of the four MPs’ seats, with all their computers, to the back of the Chamber, according to sources, is as a result of the ongoing investigations mounted against them, a stance that many say is geared towards reducing the morale of the MPs who are representing constituents.

It could be recalled that, just recently, the Parliament of Sierra Leone instituted disciplinary action against Hon. Ibrahim Tawa Conteh and Hon. Hindolo Miowo Ngevao for what they referred to as trumpeting unverified corruption allegations against Parliament and the Leadership in Parliament.

Hon. Ibrahim Tawa Conteh, representing Constituency 132, and Hon. Hindolo Moiwo Ngevao were both suspended until after the Committee on Privileges and Ethics has thoroughly investigated all the allegations levied by them against Parliament and its Leadership.

Hon. Momoh Bockarie, representing Constituency 012, and Hon. Billo Shaw have also been subjected to the Committee on Ethics and Privileges as a result of the complaint being reported to the Leadership of Parliament for assault and using derogatory languages against the President of the Female Caucus in Parliament, Hon. Veronica Sesay and Hon. Lollo Tongi, representing Constituency 001.

Making his submissions, the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Dr. Chernoh Abass Bundu, stated that, due to the three retreats held, in Kenema, Makeni and Port Loko during the recess period, Parliament have resolved that it is no more business as usual in terms of discipline, procedures and practices for Members of Parliament.

According to the Speaker, the two MPs have been suspended from all Parliamentary Committee sittings until the House sees the Committee on Privileges and Ethics’ report on the investigation of the unverified alleged corruption referred to members of Parliament by Hon. Ngevao and the alleged interference allegation of the Leadership of Parliament on the Transparency and Accountability Committee in Parliament recently.

It could be recalled that the Chairman of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Transparency and Accountability, who also doubles as the Member of Parliament representing Constituency 132, Hon. Ibrahim Tawa Conteh, resigned his position as Chairman of the Transparency and Accountability Committee as a result of the interference of the Leadership of Parliament in his Committee’s activities.

The resignation took place on Thursday 10th September 2020 in Committee Room1, Parliament Building, Tower Hill in Freetown.

Hon. Tawa said his Committee’s sitting was interrupted during the probing of the Information Minister’s conflicting status report submitted to the Committee, especially on the unbundling of the Sierra Leone Cable Limited (SALCAB).

Hon. Hindolo Ngevao was also suspended based on what he said at a BBC popular program that the Sierra Leone Parliament is corrupt. This accusation, according to the Leadership of Parliament, will apparently lead to the discrediting of the hard earned reputation of not only Parliament but also the New Direction government.

An allegation, of the relocation of the seats of the four Members of Parliament, has been condemned by many observers as they perceived this as a move to unnecessarily punish the four MPs.