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Mohamed Bangura battles APC in Parliament

August 4, 2020

By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

Over receiving $44,000, $50,306 and $100,000 respectively ...
Hon. Mohamed Bangura

The main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) Member of Parliament, Hon. Mohamed Bangura, representing Constituency 66 in the Karene District is currently battling with his party in parliament after he was yesterday, Monday, August 3rd, served a query letter giving him 48-hour to explain as to why disciplinary action should not be taken against him for unfoundedly militating against the party’s position.

The leadership of the APC in Parliament had noted with dismay the conspicuous absence of Hon.Bangura from the Tuesday, 28th July, 2020 sittings, for which notice was published on the MPs Parliamentary forum as crucial, thus making the attendance of APC MPs a must.

But Hon.Mohamed Bangura stated in his reply that he was not fully aware of the crucial nature of the vote on the confirmation of the NEC Boss, because he was never briefed on the said issue by the party’s leadership nor had a clear idea on the stance of the APC Parliamentary leadership.

“Please pardon me to be a little bit deviant in my position to state that, it is my view that the said matter on the NEC Chairman’s eligibility was and still remains one that only the Supreme Court can interpret based on the confusion in the nexus of the provisions of Section No. 32.1.4(a) and (b) 75, 76 of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone as was eloquently put by our crudité caucus leader. Let me restate that it is my reserved opinion that the matter of the NEC Chairman’s eligibility is one that has varying explanations for which it only the Supreme Court that can interpret and, I wholeheartedly look forward to my party doing the needful as pinpointed by our revered Deputy Leader, Hon. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo,” he stated.

The APC Parliamentary caucus leadership had stated in the querry letter that they were fully aware of the presence of Bangura at the beginning of the parliamentary proceedings, but that without obtaining permission he deliberately left the well of Parliament, knowing fully well that a crucial vote for the chairman of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) was pending.

From the outset, the APC party had taken position on the appointment of the NEC chairperson, stating that enough consultation was not exhausted and that he was occupying a public office during his appointment hence not qualified for the position.

Meanwhile, Bangura acknowledges the fact that he was partly absent from the Tuesday 28th July, 2020, plenary sittings of parliament, but stated that  he  received no ‘purported’ notice published on the MPs parliamentary forum instructing that the audience of APC MPs was a must.

He charged that he was befuddled at the notion that he deliberately left the Well of Parliament without obtaining permission, noting that it was an overstatement because they know that obtaining permission to leave the Well is not part of their usual practice.

He said in light of that constitutional quagmire, he deemed it inappropriate to vote for or against his party’s position, which was never communicated to him on time or deliberated on internally.

He said the party’s parliamentary leadership did little on its internal engagements with caucus members and on the other hand, did not canvassed the much needed cross-party support to have electorally upset the NEC Boss’ confirmation.

‘‘It is my candid opinion that the APC Parliamentary caucus leadership can do better in mustering cross-party support since it is now clear that the APC caucus alone cannot make any meaningful difference when it comes to voting in times of division if the trend is not reversed.

He said they have lost almost all divisional votes because the APC parliamentary caucus leadership owns its membership and the party an explanation.

“In light of the above stated, I find it very unfair to have been given a 48-hour query to explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against me for unfoundedly militating the party’s position, a thing I will never do in violation of Section No.77.1 of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone,” he said.

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