FLP leader calls for investigation against FICAC Commissioner

February 4, 2023 7:30 am

FLP Leader Mahendra Chaudhry.

The Fiji Labour Party has called for an investigation against the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption Commissioner Rashmi Aslam.

FLP Leader Mahendra Chaudhry made these comments in response to a complaint lodged by the Fijian Elections Office for FICAC to investigate the former Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem.

He claims that the complaint was first lodged by his party 13 months ago.

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Chaudhry states that Aslam must be held accountable because he had ruled that the claims made by FLP were baseless and without merit.

The FEO issued a statement saying the matter against Saneem is about the probable abuse of office and for corrupting benefits given to or received by a public office.

Saneem is alleged to have unlawfully authorized payments of sitting allowance to the Electoral Commission on numerous occasions during his tenure with FEO.

Chaudhry claims on December 21st, 2021, a complaint on this issue was lodged with FICAC by three political parties – FLP, Unity Fiji, and Freedom Alliance.

He adds that the parties had asked FICAC to investigate allegations that Saneem as Secretary to the Electoral Commission had facilitated fraudulent claims of payments to the former chairman of the Electoral Commission Suresh Chandra for sitting allowances at the rate of $500 per sitting when the Commission did not have any scheduled meetings.

The FLP Leader also stated that FICAC as an independent autonomous investigative authority is answerable to the taxpayers of Fiji.

Chaudhry says Aslam should be investigated, including other members of the Electoral Commission who accepted the fraudulent payments for attending social functions.

He has also reiterated that the government must move without fear or favor to probe into these scams and ensure that those responsible are held accountable under the law.