Allowance Probe: Three More SODELPA MPs Investigated

Nawaikula, Bulanauca and Ro Filipe bring the number of SODELPA MPs investigated to 11
23 Jul 2020 16:01
Allowance Probe: Three More SODELPA MPs Investigated
Niko Nawaikula (left) and Ro Filipe Tuisawau.

Three more SODELPA MPs are being investigated for alleged breach in connection with claims of parliamentary allowances.

They are Niko Nawaikula, Mitieli Bulanauca and Ro Filipe Tuisawau. This brings the number of SODELPA MPs under investigation to 11, after Parliament Secretary General Viniana Namosimalua lodged the original complaint to the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC).

FijiFirst MP Vijendra Prakash is the only one from the Government side.

SODELPA general secretary Emele Duituturaga confirmed yesterday that FICAC officers with search warrants obtained documents from the party headquarters office in Suva on Tuesday afternoon.

She said the Leader of Opposition Sitiveni Rabuka was advised and the party was in no position to comment on FICAC’s ongoing investigations.

“In the interest of justice, the investigations must be allowed to proceed without compromise,” Ms Duituturaga said.

“It would be prudent that the media not engage in a character assassination of those allegedly under investigations.”

When approached for a comment yesterday, Mr Rabuka said Ms Duituturaga facilitated the search and released certain documents to FICAC.

He said after the search he was then tasked with informing the three members of the investigations yesterday morning.

In fairness to the party members, Mr Rabuka said he would not release their names nor confirm nor deny them.

MP Niko Nawaikula confirmed that he was being investigated by FICAC.

“Me being investigated is politically motivated meaning it is aimed at intimidating and threatening members of the opposition just like what the Government has done on many people; opposing them,” Mr Nawaikula said.

“It is an indication also that this Government is not democratic, but an atheist.

“These allegations against me are wild allegations which the court in good time will dispose of. Whoever made the complaint against me, I want to tell that I am not afraid to tell the truth.”

MP Ro Filipe Tuisawau said he had not received any official communication about the investigation, but was verbally advised by Mr Rabuka that FICAC had requested further information regarding matters such as his residence.

“I was surprised as I live at my declared residence in Rewa and there is no ambiguity about that,” Ro Filipe said.

“In addition I have never been queried by the secretariat or finance so it’s a surprise. I of course await any further queries.”

Attempts to get comments from MP Mitieli Bulanauca yesterday were unsuccessful.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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