The National – Monday, February 14, 2011
By BOSORINA ROBBY
THE Ombudsman Commission has referred Joesph Lelang, secretary for Department of National Planning and Monitoring, to the public prosecutor for alleged misconduct in office.
Chief Ombudsman Chronox Manek said last Friday that the alleged misconduct in office by Lelang was due to his failure to submit annual statements to the commission when they were due.
Lelang was issued his right to be heard notice last Oct 12 and he responded to the allegations by Nov 3.
Ombudsman John Nero clarified that Lelang’s referral was an independent issue since last year and has nothing to do with the current controversies surrounding Lelang, deeming it “pure coincidence”.
The commission deliberated on the matter and is satisfied, for the purposes of section 29(1) of the consitution and sections 17(d), 20(4) and 27(1) of the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership, that there was a prima facie case that Lelang was been guilty of misconduct in office.
The commission accordingly referred Lelang to the public prosecutor on Feb 9 after informing him of their decision.
Manek said it was now up to the public prosecutor to decide what would be done under the Leadership Code for alleged misconduct in office in accordance with section 177(1)(b) of the constitution.
Nero explained that it was a leader’s constitutional obligation to promptly submit all annual statements covering their time in office and the management of their assets, to the commission on time, whenever they were due.
Failure to submit will cause the commission to investigate the leader, leading to the subsequent referral to the public prosecutor.