On Thursday, May 23, 2024, Parliament convened to debate and approve the Fifteenth Report of the Committee on Appointments and Public Service, chaired by Hon. Mathew Sahr Nyuma, the Leader of Government Business. The report included the approval of three presidential nominees:

  1. Mr. Augustine Foday Ngobie – Deputy Commissioner, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC)
  2. Hon. Manso Dumbuya – Chairman, Board of Directors, Sierra Leone Ports and Harbour Authority (SLPHA)
  3. Mr. Edmond Sylvester Alpha – Electoral Commissioner, Southern Region

The approval, however, sparked controversy as the Opposition All People’s Congress (APC) Members of Parliament staged a walkout. Their protest was centered around the appointment of Edmond Alpha, citing a lack of consultation as mandated by Section 32 (3) of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.

During the debate, the nominees’ qualifications, track records, and vision for their designated offices were scrutinized. The Leader of Government Business emphasized the nominees’ roles in advancing the state’s development agenda and urged them to perform effectively to impact positively on the government’s initiatives.

Supporting the motion, Hon. Bashiru Silikie commended the nominees for their positive contributions to the state’s development, highlighting their reappointments as a testament to their past performances.

However, Opposition MPs raised concerns over the lack of consultation, particularly regarding the reappointment of Edmond Alpha. They emphasized the constitutional requirement for consultation and expressed dissatisfaction with the process.

In response, Hon. Mustapha Fayia Sellu defended the government’s actions, stating that the reappointment of Edmond Alpha did not violate the constitution. He referenced past consultations and appointments to support his argument.

Despite the opposition’s objections, several MPs praised the nominees for their integrity and past achievements. They acknowledged their contributions to various sectors and urged their fellow MPs to support their approval.

In his closing remarks, the Acting Leader of the Opposition highlighted compliance issues and alleged inconsistencies in the Electoral Commissioner’s conduct. He reiterated the opposition’s stance against the approval process, leading to a walkout in protest.

The Leader of Government countered the opposition’s claims, accusing them of disrespecting the constitution and engaging in deceitful practices. He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to democracy and thanked all contributors to the debate.