Administrator in court for abuse of office

National

By CHRISTOPHER YOWAT
CENTRAL government administrator Gei Guni Raga appeared before the Waigani Committal Court in Port Moresby last Thursday charged with abuse of office by a civil servant.
However, Magistrate Cosmos Bidar said the charge was not appropriate because he had not gained from the “abuse” and only refused to pay a company for a contract.
Bidar asked prosecution to fix the charge against Raga.
It was alleged that Raga, from Rigo village in Central, committed the offence while working as administrator at the provincial headquarters at Konedobu in Port Moresby.
The court heard that between Feb 15 and Sept 12, 2016, Raga allegedly abused the authority of the office when he refused to pay a claim of K4.7 million to an engineering company for roadworks that were undertaken along the villages of Papa, Lealea, Boera and Porebada in the province.
Bidar told Raga that the allegations levelled against him was pursuant to section 92 (1) of the criminal code, which basically referred to the abuse of office by public servants for their personal gain.
However, Bidar told the court that the allegation against Raga was not appropriate pursuant to section 92 (1) of the criminal code.
He said that there were no allegation that Raga had gained any advantages, he only refused to make payments.
Bidar told the prosecution to revisit the charge.
Bidar adjourned the case to Sept 19.
Lawyer Englebert Hambalekie, representing Raga, told The National that his client never abused the office. He only refused to make payments.

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