PNG deputy PM Sam Basil suspended over alleged misappropriation of K150,000

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Papua New Guinea deputy Prime Minister and Bulolo MP Sam Basil has been suspended from official duties pending a leadership tribunal inquiring into allegations of misconduct in office against him.

This comes after public prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin on Friday presented the reference and statement on the allegations, thus officially starting the inquiry.

Basil, as chairman of Bulolo district development authority, allegedly failed to declare to the Ombudsman Commission the use of K150,000(US$42,750) from the Bulolo district operating account in 2015.

He is accused of interfering with the decision of the Central Supply and Tenders Board (now National Procurement Commission) regarding the awarding of a contract to build the Wau commercial and district headquarters.

Tribunal chairman Justice Alan Kingsley David said in accordance with section 28 of the organic law on duties and responsibilities of leadership, Basil was officially suspended from performing his duties and functions required of him as Bulolo MP and deputy prime minister, pending the determination of the tribunal’s investigation.

According to a copy of the reference by the public prosecutor, Basil, leader of the United Labour Party, is facing five charges.

They are:

* between March 2013 and 24 September, 2018, Basil as Bulolo district development authority chairman allegedly interfered with the decision of the central supply and tenders board by failing to implement that decision, awarding a contract to Jaybis construction and management to construct the Wau commercial and district headquarters;

*On 15 December, 2014, without lawful authority, Basil allegedly received a sum of K50,000(US$14,250) drawn from the Bulolo district treasury operating account and made payable to one Tae Guambelek. The money was for the construction of the Wau commercial and district headquarters;

*On 18 December, 2014, without lawful authority, Basil allegedly indirectly asked for and accepted K50,000, drawn from the Bulolo district treasury operating account and made payable to one Christopher Sumae. The money was for the construction of the Wau commercial and district headquarters;

On December 21, 2014, Basil indirectly asked for and accepted K50,000(US$14,250) , drawn from Bulolo district treasury operating account and made payable to one Christopher Sumae. The money was for the construction of the Wau commercial and district headquarters; and,

On 09 November, 2015, Basil knowingly and recklessly or negligently provided information in the annual returns for the period of 06 August, 2014, to 05 August, 2015 that were false, misleading or incomplete by not declaring receipt of K150,000 (US$42,750)from the Bulolo district treasury operating account. The tribunal adjourned to 01 October for Basil to give his plea on the allegations.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS