Jan 31, 2014, 9:41 AM
National Assembly Members yesterday moved a motion without notice to solicit
the approval of the National Assembly to expel Hon. Demba B.T. Sambou, National
Assembly Member for Niani Constituency.
Moving the motion before lawmakers was Hon. Abdoulie Jawla, National Assembly Member for Sandu Constituency, who said Hon. Sambou as a member of the National Assembly of the Republic of The Gambia participated along with another member of the National Assembly at an International Legislative Conference in the United States of America from 7 to 11 August 2016.
The duo participated at this programme as voluntary members of the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) and their travel expenses, participation fees and accommodation were borne by themselves.
“They were issued US entry visas from Banjul for one month and at the end of the conference he (Hon. Sambou) failed to return as scheduled, whilst his colleague has since returned and resumed duty,” he stated.
The clerk of the National Assembly took precautionary administrative measures to safeguard and protect the interest, dignity and integrity of the House in a letter to the Ag. Hon. Speaker on this matter dated 29 August 2016.
Hon. Jawla further said the person in question was copied with the said letter, which he received but still failed to heed the warning.
The said letter read as follows: “The Hon. Member has recklessly abandoned his duty and office. He has breached his rights and privileges as prescribed in section (112) (a) and (b) of the 1997 Constitution of the Republic.
“His actions are tantamount to contempt of the National Assembly, an affront to the dignity, integrity, honour and privileges accorded to Members of the National Assembly.
“This is also an affront and disgrace to the sovereign people of the Republic; in particular, the Constituency of Niani; who trusted and voted him on an independent ticket to the National Assembly.
“He unceremoniously and without regard to conscience and dignity, abandoned the sovereign people of his constituency by falling to return.”
Hon. Jawla said that misdemeanor or wrongdoings are always a phenomenon in society; but society should also be able to put in place measures and mechanisms that would appropriately sanction and punish such misdemeanors.
“If we cannot regulate our own affairs; if we cannot discipline our members and if we cannot frown on the misconduct of any of our membership; then let us not expect anybody to respect us, nor to take us for our words.”
Accordingly and in pursuance of the provisions of the Standing Orders 26 “a motion may be made without notice”.
Section 110 of the 1997 Constitution defined contempt of the National Assembly as: “Any Act or omission which obstructs or impedes the National Assembly in performance of its functions or which obstructs or impedes any member or officer of the National Assembly in the discharge of his or her duties or affronts the dignity of the National Assembly shall be a contempt of the National Assembly and, in addition to any liability in respect thereof under the criminal law, the offender shall be liable to reprimand or admonition by the National Assembly, suspension or expulsion from the National Assembly.”
The National Assembly Members finally expelled Hon. Demba B.T. Sambou from being a Member of the National Assembly with immediate effect.