Senate President Pro-Tempore, Armah Jallah, has described as misrepresentation of the truth, accusations reportedly coming from Senators Daniel Naatehn of Gbarpolu County and Thomas Grupee of Nimba County.
The two senators have accused Pro Temp Jallah of refusing to place on the Senate agenda several legislative instruments including findings of confirmation hearings, and two letters for the establishment of magistrate courts in Belle Baloma in Belle District and another in Gungbeta in Bokomu, and the elevation of a public school, all in Gbarpolu County.
The accusations contained in the March 10 edition of the Focus Newspaper quoted Senator Naatehn, who co-chairs the committee on Executive as further stating that his kinsman and Catholic brother Jallah needs to prioritize the interest of Gbarpolu citizens who brought him to prominence.
Senator Grupee declared that some Senators are noted for expressing serious opposition to presidential nominees who are not in their political interest.
But Pro Temp Jallah in his response denied ever granting an interview to the newspaper, adding “I will never make such derogatory and inflammatory statement about people I love and care for.”
He said there have been no consensus confirmation reports that he has not approved for the Senate Plenary action.
Jallah pointed out that citizens of Gbarpolu very well know “who I am and what my contributions have been over the years to the county. I am in good relationship with my kinsmen.” This he said was interpreted by their votes he received when he overwhelmingly emerged victorious in the 2011 Senatorial election.
On the issue of Magisterial Courts, the Pro-temp, who chairs the Gbarpolu County Legislative Caucus, pointed out that he has already submitted for enactment into law, three Bills to establish the Henry Town Magisterial Court to cover areas commencing at Henry Town bordering Bopolu City, Gbeleta and Borlorta.
Other areas include the Bills to establish the Moilarquelleh Magisterial Court to cover areas commencing at Bellekpamu and Gungbaeta and comprising Moilarquelleh bordering Salayah, Balley and Dorkorta; and Belle Fassama Magisterial Court to cover all towns in Belle Fassama and those surrounding villages as well as concurrent jurisdiction with Bopolu Magisterial Court.
On the question of the Multilateral School in Gbarma, Senator Jallah clarified that the government already has a technical and vocational education and training (TVET) program in Gbarpolu, for which he and the former Senator, Theodore Momo, secured some funding.
He said the TVET program as it is, needs the Legislature to allocate additional funds to support it, adding, “Senator Naatehn is aware of my efforts concerning all the magisterial courts and the TVET program and all he needs to do is to support my effort for the good of the county.”
In another development, Pro-Temp Jallah has asked the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) to conduct the relevant research that will catalogue all presidential nominees under the MIA and halt payroll entitlement to those pending Senate confirmation.
Senator Jallah observed that presidential nominees under the MIA, who have not been confirmed by the Senate, are executing the duties and responsibilities of the respective positions they have been nominated to and are on government payroll and receiving monthly salaries; a practice that is against government regulations for presidential nominees that are subject to Senate confirmation.
Pro-tem Jallah has also requested the MIA to probe the issue of some local chiefs, who were redundant and their salaries placed in escrow and submit a comprehensive report on that account.