Lae council engineer freed of misuse charges

National, Normal


A LAE city council engineer charged with misappropriating K900,000 last year has been discharged after the police failed to produce their investigation files.
The State applied to withdraw the case until sufficient evidence could be gathered but the Committal Court rejected it and ordered Alex Gawi to be discharged.
Magistrate Posain Poloh also ordered that the accused be refunded his K1,000 bail money.
Outside the court, Mr Gawi said he would sue those responsible for defaming him.
“I had always maintained my innocence from the beginning, but had kept silent, respecting the court process,” the 55-year-old told The National.
Mr Gawi, from Korogo village, Ambunti in East Sepik, was alleged to have misappropriated the money between last September and December.
He was suspended and charged three
months ago.
He said he would return to work today to implement “two matters of urgency”.
The first was to restore the building capacity of the engineering and technical service department of city council and the second was to continue with the Lae roads project – a function now taken over by the Department of Works.
Mr Gawi also said the council’s joint district budget priorities committee had bought heavy equipment from his submission to Lae MP Bart Philemon.
“We have a lot of work to do in the Lae city council in preparation for next year and beyond,” he said.