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FICAC: Nawaikula’s Permanent Residence Was Always Koronivia

Niko Nawaikula never left Koronivia permanently, Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) lawyer told the Anti-Corruption High Court. The trial for SODELPA Member of Parliament Nawaikula began at the High Court in Suva yesterday.
29 Mar 2022 12:28
FICAC: Nawaikula’s Permanent Residence Was Always Koronivia
Niko Nawaikula outside the High Court in Suva yesterday. Photo: Leon Lord

Niko Nawaikula never left Koronivia permanently, Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) lawyer told the Anti-Corruption High Court.

The trial for SODELPA Member of Parliament Nawaikula began at the High Court in Suva yesterday.

He is charged with obtaining travel and accommodation allowances to a total value of $20,201.35 between August, 2019 and April, 2020.

Nawaikula is alleged to have falsely stated that his permanent place of residence was in Buca Village, Buca Bay.

The allegations were brought by the former Parliament Secretary-General, Viniana Namosimalua.

FICAC senior lawyer and Deputy Commissioner Rashmi Aslam in his opening statement told the court that Nawaikula provided a false declaration.

He further alleged that Nawaikula obtained the money over 13 transactions.

He told the court that after Nawaikula was re-elected, he was asked by Ms Namosimalua to provide a declaration of his residence.

If a person resides 30 kilometres away from Parliament then he can claim an allowance for travel, meal and accommodation.

He also claimed that Nawaikula, after each trip made as an MP, returned to his home in Koronivia which fell within 15 kilometres from the Fijian Parliament.

Mr Aslam said that Nawaikula’s permanent residence was always Koronivia and that he never had two permanent residences.

He told the court that Buca Bay was 224 kilometres away from the Parliament and Nawaikula knowingly provided false information about his residence.

FICAC’s first witness: Monita Devi Ram

Office of the Registrar of Titles Executive Officer, Monita Ram testified that she was advised by the Registrar to carry out a search on a property owned by Nawaikula.

She told the court that records had shown that he acquired the property on April 7, 2003 which was when the first transfer took place.

She said on December 14, 2006, an undivided half share was transferred under Miliakere Nawaikula’s name and that was the last transfer which was done out of love and affection.

She said that the property was currently owned by Nikolau and Miliakere Nawaikula.

Cross-Examination:

Nawaikula’s lawyer Sevuloni Valenitabua asked the witness whether she knew the iTaukei lands were owned by iTaukei Land Owning Units.

Ms Ram said she was not aware of the iTaukei Land Owning Units.

The trial continues today.



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