There was no 10th day sitting of the Senate yesterday as Senators headed to the Supreme Court to witness Conference hearings on a prohibition filed against that body by lawyers representing the interest of Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara Konneh.
The prohibition is a result of a recent decision by the Senate to jail Minister Konneh for 48 hours after they held him in ‘contempt’ for attempting to usurp their legislative function by making appropriations, which they considered a violation of the Constitution.
Konneh’s journey to the Monrovia Central Prison at South Beach was, however, aborted after Grand Gedeh County Senator G. Alphonso Gaye filed a privileged motion for reconsideration, which was immediately followed by the Supreme Court’s prohibition.
Up to 2 p.m. yesterday, journalists waited for the lawmakers to return for session. However, many of them obeyed a text message from Senate Pro Tempore Armah Jallah, relayed by Secretary of the Senate, J. Nanborlor F. Sengbeh, calling on Senators who wished to attend the hearing to do so.
Secretary Sengbeh confirmed the hearing took place, but was noncommittal when asked about the outcome. “The Court will communicate the result of the hearing through me with a letter which is the normal procedure; I am waiting for that letter,” he told reporters.
The current bad blood between Minister Konneh and the Senate stemmed from a letter sent to that body, signed by Deputy Minister for Fiscal Affairs at the Finance Ministry James Kollie, which the lawmakers found insulting and as usurping their function, and a violation of the Constitution.
Although Konneh appeared before the Senate and apologized for the tone of the letter, that, however, did not go well with the lawmakers.
Some Senators are taking Minister Konneh’s decision to go to the Supreme Court so seriously that they have convinced their colleagues to table all proceedings at the Senate until the matter is resolved.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Senate Committee on Sports and a member of the ECOWAS Parliament, Senator George Manneh Weah, together with Senator Prince Yormie Johnson, are back into the country after attending proceedings at the ECOWAS Parliament.