By DEMAS TIEN
TWO senior public servants from Enga were jailed for eight years each with hard labour by the Waigani National Court yesterday for misappropriating more than K4 million of public funds.
Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika sentenced Wabag district treasurer Esther Ere and Civil Works co-ordinator Josiah Nathan to eight years imprisonment after the court found them guilty of misappropriating K4,450,705.17 intended for the provision of goods and services in the district.
Sir Gibbs said in the court decision that public servants were employed by the government and appointed to “very senior positions to serve the people and not to steal from them”.
“Public servants must serve with total honesty, commitment and discipline and not steal from the government and its people,” he said.
Sir Gibbs said Ere and Nathan were senior public servants in Enga and had a high degree of trust and responsibility to the people of Enga but they abused both.
The court found that money taken by Ere and Nathan were paid to the supporters of a particular candidate to gain their votes and were not used to provide goods and services.
The court heard that about K18 million was paid by the Government into the Wabag district treasury account under the Wabag district service improvement trust account subsidiary in 2012.
Between March 31, 2012, and Sept 30, 2012, an amount of K4,450, 705.17 was withdrawn from the account on the pretext of building and maintaining roads, bridges and other minor work in the district.
The court found that there were no building and maintenance of roads, bridges and other minor work.
The court ruled that Ere and Nathan with another person known as Emily Abel dishonestly applied the money to their own use and to the use of others.
Ere and Nathan will be serving their eight-year jail term at Bomana prison in the National Capital District.
By DEMAS TIEN