By Joseph Johnson
The Sierra Leone House of Parliament has suspended four Members of Parliament from taking part in all parliamentary committee activities until a report from the Committee on Privilege is tabled and considered by the House.
These Members of Parliament include: Hon. Hindolo Moiwo Gevao for confirming to BBC that Parliament is corrupt after a corruption perception survey report was released by the Institute for Governance Reform which indicted the house on corruption allegations. Hon. Ibrahim Tawa Conteh who is the erstwhile Chairman of the Transparency and Accountability Committee was also suspended based on claims he made that the Leadership tried to arm-twist him while he was presiding over a committee sitting involving the Sierra Leone Cable Limited and the Ministry of Information and Communications on the unbundling saga which led to his open resignation from the position while the two other MPs Hon. Momoh Bockarie of constituency 012 in Kenema District was suspended for verbally abusing of Hon. Emilia Lolloh Tongi of constituency 001 Kailahun District and Hon. Billoh Shaw from constituency 039 in Falaba district for indecent and derogatory text messages directed at Hon. Veronica Kadie Sesay of constituency 094 in Moyamba District.
While reading the report on committal of the four Members of Parliament to the Committee on Privileges and Ethics, the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Mathew Nyuma said the actions and utterances of the MPs on different occasions breach parliamentary ethics and privileges contrary to section 95 and 97 of the constitution of Sierra Leone. The motion was seconded by the Leader of Opposition, Hon. Chernor Bah giving exceptional case to Hon. Billoh Shaw and Hon. Momoh Bockarie stating that their issue does not involve committee sittings and must therefore not affect committee sittings.
In his judgment, the Speaker of Parliament added that the two MPs namely Hon. Momoh Bockarie of constituency 012 and Hon. Billoh Shaw of constituency 039 will have their honorable titles withdrawn until the report of the Committee on Privileges is tabled and considered by the house; a decision that saw MPs pleading on behalf of the said members but the Speaker upheld his decision until further notice.