By Amin Kef (Ranger)
In an engagement with Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) Parliamentarians during a Private Dinner held on Saturday, January 20, 2024, President Julius Maada Bio addressed ongoing challenges within the party. Despite a busy schedule, the President assured members of his intention to intervene this week, demonstrating his commitment to resolving parliamentary issues.
The primary concern centers around the investigation of the Clerk of Parliament, Hon. Paran Tarawally, and his wife by the Anti-Corruption Commission for alleged corruption. This was more so as the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has clarified that Abibatu Paran Tarawally, the wife of the Clerk of Parliament received a salary for nineteen months between September 2021 and March 2023 when her name was removed from the Parliamentary payroll and not the ten months that they mentioned earlier in their Press Release.
In the same light, the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Dr. Abass Bundu, publicly emphasized evidence of conflict of interest, embezzlement and corruption within the parliamentary administration. He said the allegations of sexual harassment against him are to divert public attention from the grave allegations against the Clerk of Parliament, Hon. Paran Tarawally, and his wife.
“You cannot use the argument of morality to undercut the law when evidence abounds that legal abuse of office, conflict of interest, embezzlement, and corruption is rupturing the administration of Parliament,” he said in a post on social media reacting to allegations of sexual harassment against him.
President Bio’s proactive approach underscores his dedication to transparency and accountability within the SLPP. As the investigations unfold, the nation closely watches the potential impact on Sierra Leone’s political landscape. The private dinner served as a platform for the president to reassure SLPP Parliamentarians of his commitment to resolving internal challenges and upholding good governance principles.
The president said he has been busy with other things but will get involved this week to try to resolve the issue.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Francis Ben Kaifala, will be addressing the media today, 24th January, 2024 and he is expected to announce some indictments on recent high-profile investigations.
As for now, Hon. Paran Tarawally and his wife are on bail for alleged corruption, including abuse of office following the recruitment of his wife as a member of Parliament.
The wife has already returned NLe131,000 as part of the salary she received when working as a Human Resources Officer at Parliament, according to the ACC.