Fiji Election office no longer has confidence in the FICAC Commissioner

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The Fijian Elections Office (FEO) has lodged a complaint to the President against Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC)Commissioner, Rashmi Aslam, for failing to declare a conflict of interest he may have with former Supervisor of Election Mohammed Saneem.

“It is obvious from this conflict of interest that FEO’s complaint against Saneem could be compromised and this is evident when comparing the timeframe of investigations of complaints lodged by Saneem against political parties and its candidates in the previous years to the complaints lodged against Saneem.

“The FEO no longer has confidence in the FICAC Commissioner in carrying out his duties and making decisions impartially which has led to FEO lodging an additional complaint against Saneem and the former Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, with the Fiji Police Force on allegations of bribery, receiving a corrupting benefit and abuse of office,” a statement from FEO said.

FEO said these relate to Saneem’s remuneration being reviewed and approved after one and a half years had lapsed in his new contract.

The amendments to his contract included:

1.Salary increment which included back dating it to preceding one and a half years.
2.Government agreeing to pay his tax due on the back pay.
3.Payment of election readiness and post-election bonus.
4. Saneem’s family relocation overseas and costs associated with travel and accommodation paid by the FEO for three months prior to elections.

“These benefits given to Saneem through remunerations and allowances were paid out to him during the campaign period of the 2022 General Election,” FEO said.

The FEO has referred this matter to the Fiji Police Force for their further investigations.

SOURCE: FEO/PACNEWS