Former Fiji’s Supervisor of Election Mohammed Saneem referred to FICAC

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The Fijian Elections Office (FEO)has referred Mohammed Saneem to the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) for probable abuse of office and for corrupting benefits given to, or received by, a public official.

It is alleged that Saneem has been on numerous occasions during his tenure with FEO unlawfully authorised payments of sitting allowances to the Electoral Commission (EC).

The Constitutional Offices Commission (COC)] had clarified to Saneem that the allowance for the Chairperson and members of the EC remained at the same rate of $500 (US$250) per person, per meeting. However, Saneem continued to give instructions for sitting allowances to be paid to the Chairperson 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 at such times as determined by the Chairperson or a majority of the members of EC. The EC could also hold meetings virtually.

Even with a clear definition of meeting in the Electoral Act 2014 and clarification from COC on payment of allowance, Saneem continued to deviate from this and constantly gave instructions for payment of $500 (US$250) allowance to the Chairperson and members of EC.

The FEO has referred this matter to FICAC for their further investigations.

He was stopped from departing Fiji at Nadi International Airport Friday before leaving for Australia.

SOURCE: FEO/PACNEWS