The Fijian Elections Office has referred former Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem to FICAC for probable alleged abuse of office and for corrupting benefits given to, or received by, a public official.
A FEO statement says it is alleged that Saneem has been on numerous occasions during his tenure with FEO unlawfully authorizing payments of sitting allowances to the Electoral Commission.
The Constitutional Offices Commission had clarified to Saneem that the allowance for the Chairperson and members of the Electoral Commission remained at the same rate of $500 per person, per meeting.
However, Saneem allegedly continued to give instructions for sitting allowances to be paid to the Chairperson and the members for attending events other than meetings, including social functions.
According to Section 5 of the Electoral Act 2014, it specifies that meetings must be held at such place and at such times as determined by the Chairperson or a majority of the members of the Electoral Commission.
The Electoral Commission could also hold meetings virtually.
The FEO says even with a clear definition of meeting in the Electoral Act 2014 and clarification from the Constitutional Office Commission on payment of allowance, Saneem allegedly continued to deviate from this and constantly gave instructions for payment of $500 allowance to the Chairperson and members of Electoral Commission.
Saneem could not be reached for comments.
He was stopped from leaving the country this morning.
We have sent questions to FICAC.
Former Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem was stopped from leaving the country this morning as he is now under investigation by FICAC.
When contacted by fijivillage News, Attorney General, Siromi Turaga confirmed that Saneem was trying to go to Australia at 8.30am this morning however border officials stopped him at Nadi International Airport in the last hour.
We have also received information that Saneem did not come out of the house in Suva to be served with some documents earlier this week.
Saneem resigned from his position earlier this week.
He has not made any comments publicly on why he has resigned.
We are currently trying to speak to FICAC.
Saneem was suspended by President, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere on the 19th of last month on the advice of the Constitutional Offices Commission in accordance with section 137(4) of the Constitution of the Republic of Fiji.
The Attorney General had said the Commission received a complaint of misbehaviour warranting the removal from office of Saneem.
Siromi Turaga confirmed that the Commission resolved at its meeting, that the complaint needs to be investigated by a Tribunal pursuant to section 137(3)(a)(i) of the Constitution.
Turaga said Saneem is suspended pending the appointment of a Tribunal and subsequent investigation into the complaint made. Saneem’s suspension was with full pay.
Stay with us for developments.
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