Saneem referred to FICAC

February 3, 2023 9:26 am

The Fijian Elections Office has referred former Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem to the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC).

The FEO issued a statement saying the matter is in relation to 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.

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The Constitutional Offices Commission had clarified to Saneem that the allowance for the Electoral Commission chair and members remained at the same rate of $500 per person, per meeting.

It is alleged Saneem continued to give instructions for sitting allowances to be paid to the EC chair 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 such times as determined by the Electoral Commission Chair or a majority of the Commission.

The EC can also hold meetings virtually.

The FEO says even with a clear definition of meetings in the Electoral Act and clarification from the COC on payment of allowances, Saneem continued to deviate from this and constantly gave instructions for payment of $500 allowance to the EC Chair and members.

The matter has been referred to FICAC for further investigations.

Meanwhile, it is also understood that Saneem was stopped from leaving the country last night due to the FICAC investigation.