The Senate yesterday went into Executive session without open deliberations on four agenda items approved to be used for that body’s 44th day sitting.
The items included a briefing from the Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and the National Budgets, which is always done in executive session.
The Senate Standing Committee on Social Security, Pension and Insurance was expected to brief plenary on the issue of the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP), while Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif wrote plenary reminding her colleagues about the constant flood and erosion in the Township of West Point and other areas.
Lofa County Senator George Tengbeh, who chairs the Statutory Committee on Rules, Order and Administration, was expected to brief plenary on the proposed annex to be constructed by the Chinese Government.
However, while the day’s agenda was opened for discussion, Senator Tengbeh requested that the issue concerning the construction of the Capitol Building annex be deliberated in executive.
For his part, Maryland County Senator J. Bleh-bo Brown informed plenary about a very serious issue that needed to be discussed during executive and demanded that because of its importance, it must be the first item for discussion.
Senator Brown’s request was buttressed by Grand Cape Mount County Senator Varney Sherman, whose concern, he said, related to what his Maryland County counterpart spoke about.
“We have 30 members of the Senate. 15 are on Ways, Means and Finance. Those 15 are presumably engaged with the budget. What are we able to accomplish with 15 of us sitting? Would it not be wiser if we give them time to complete this job on the budget quickly, instead of just coming here and doing nothing?”
The two Senators’ concerns were prompted after it was observed that only 13 Senators were in Chamber for yesterday’s sitting.
But after over an hour of apparent last week consultations witnessed by Pro Tempore Armah Jallah and President of Senate, Vice President Joseph Boakai, presiding at different intervals, most of the 15-member Ways,
Means and Finance Committee started to trickle in for the needed quorum.
It was at this juncture that Senator Thomas Grupee of Nimba County proffered a motion that yesterday’s sitting be conducted in executive session.
Within the corridors of the Senate, about a dozen Chinese were seen within the proximity of the Senate Chambers, indicating that there would be a power-point presentation showing an artist’s impression of what the annex would look like when the project is completed.
As per their Rules, Senators emerging from the executive session could not divulge information as to what was discussed.