By Landing Ceesay
The National Assembly Member (NAM) for Busumbala Constituency, Hon. Muhammed Kanteh clashed with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Fabakary Tombong Jatta in the chambers during the consideration stage of the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Bill 2022.
The National Assembly Members were debating over a clause in the Bill relating to the number of years or amount of money a person found guilty of torture should be subjected to.
The Speaker of the Assembly Hon. Jatta was chairing the consideration of the Bill and was therefore responsible for calling on and assigning time to NAMs to give their input on the Bill.
The Speaker called on several NAMs to give their input on the Bill and was getting ready to seek a voice vote for those in favor or not against the clause when Hon. Kanteh interrupted the Speaker shouting “Mr. Chair, I have been raising my tag and you are ignoring me.”
“I have raised my tag for so long and you are not considering me. I am here to represent my people to add my input to the discussions,” Hon. Kanteh told the Speaker.
“You should raise your tag and I will give you permission to talk,” The Speaker responded.
“But I have been raising my tag and you are not considering me,” Hon. Kanteh told the Speaker.
The Speaker asked Hon. Kanteh to keep quiet when he is speaking.
“I will not keep quiet because I have been raising my tag for so long and you refused to give me permission,” Hon. Kanteh responded to the Speaker.
“If you don’t keep quiet then I will send you out,” the Speaker told Hon. Kanteh.
“You can send me out but I will talk if you don’t allow me to put my input on the Bill,” Hon. Kanteh responded.
“If you are representing your people you should do it based on law,” the Speaker told Hon. Kanteh.
“I am representing my people based on law but you did not give me an opportunity and I have been raising my tag since,” a furious Hon. Kanteh responded to the speaker.
It was at this juncture, Hon. Abdoulie Ceesay, NAM for Old Yundum, and Hon. Madi NK Ceesay, NAM for Serekunda West approached Hon. Kanteh and consult with him.
Hon. Kanteh was calmed after this intervention of his colleagues and the Speaker allowed him to give his input on the Bill.