By Lansana Fofanah………………………….
The Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Sheku Bashiru Badara Dumbuya on Tuesday lashed out at Members of Parliament who have been absenting from Parliamentary sittings without following due procedures.
This came as a result of some Parliamentarians who only make telephone calls when they are on the verge of travelling without following laid down principles in the House. “Telephone call is untenable …the Standing Orders are very clear…If anyone wants to travel, they should write formally to the Speaker and wait until the letter is approved before leaving. The House has a Majority Leader and a Whip who can be contacted for any permission”, he said.
The Speaker said that so far, it has only been the Majority Leader, Ibrahim Bundu and the Deputy Speaker Chernor. M. Bah who have been notifying him two weeks earlier when they want to travel out of the country.
Hon. Binneh Bangura of the Ruling All Peoples Congress questioned what happens in a situation where there is an emergency case.
The Hon. Speaker said that all channels must be exhausted because every sitting is filed for record purposes, and if any Member of Parliament is absent without any justifiable reasons, it will not tell well for record purposes.
The Speaker ordered all those absent at Tuesday’s sitting including the Minority Leader Bernadette Lahai who left for the Pan African Parliament without his notice to be marked absent.