The Parliament of Sierra Leone has on Wednesday 29th March, 2017 extensively debated and committed the Bill on The National Security and Central Intelligence Act 2017 to its Legislative Committee for fine tuning and further scrutiny aimed at addressing emerging security threats, cognizant of human and logistical support, through security coordination from chiefdom to national level.
The Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Ishmael Sengu Koroma presented the Bill during its first and second readings, saying that it is divided into ten parts and intends to provide for the continuation of the Office of National Security (ONS), including the powers of arrest, oath taking, confidentiality, and the disclosure of relevant information.
Members on both sides of the aisle who spoke to the debate welcomed the Bill because it aims at addressing emerging security threats through the establishment of new units, through security sector coordination that is all inclusive of civilians, military, and police personnel. MPs also noted that security is the “sine qua non” for national development. However, they raised some concerns that military and police personnel are not present in certain chiefdoms, and cautioned that the execution of arrest warrants should be done within the due process of the law, and that the seizure of computers or laptops should be carried out cognizant of the human rights of the persons involved.
The motion on committal was moved and seconded by Hon. Ansumana J. Kaikai and Hon. Leonard Fofanah respectively.
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