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Constitutional Officers will be investigated: PM

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says the Constitutional Offices Commission will be investigating complaints lodged against Constitutional Office Holders.

While delivering his ministerial statement in Parliament today, Rabuka who is also COC Chair said that all complaints will undergo thorough investigation, with the accused officers allowed to respond before any further decisions are made.

The Prime Minister said an update on this matter is expected at the upcoming COC meeting in late April, with subsequent updates provided to Parliament.

At the meeting scheduled for April 29, the COC will also deliberate on appointments to key positions currently held in acting capacity by Ana Mataiciwa, Sairusi Dukuno, and Salote Panapasa as Supervisor of Elections, Auditor-General, and Commissioner of Fiji Corrections Service (Commissioner Corrections) respectively.

Rabuka said the recruitment process for these substantive offices is underway and the COC intends to deliberate on the suitable candidates for appointment in its next meeting later this month.

During its meetings in January 2023, the COC deliberated on serious complaints against the former Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem, former Commissioner of Corrections Francis Kean, and now-suspended Commissioner of Police Sitiveni Qiliho.

Rabuka said allegations ranged from abuse of office to misbehaviour, prompting the COC to consider appointing tribunals to investigate the claims.

However, before the tribunals could begin their inquiries, Saneem and Kean tendered their resignation, effectively stopping the investigative process.

In the case of Qiliho, three complaints of misbehaviour were lodged against him.

Rabuka said the COC decided to refer these complaints to a tribunal for investigation and to recommend Qiliho’s suspension to the President, a decision that remains in effect.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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