NHC erred in cheque payment

National, Normal


THE National Housing Corporation (NHC) was wrong to raise a cheque for K50,000 payable to a Madang MP in 2007, two State witnesses in the matter of the State versus former NHC managing director Paul Asukusa, said.
The two witnesses told the National Court that the matter relating to allegations of conspiring to defraud the State of K50,000 by Mr Asukusa, that the NHC was wrong to have paid the funds to a private account, rather than have it paid back to the State, as the cheque was initially a Government property.
Before the court, that was presided by Justice John Kawi, were NHC senior managers, acting general manager for finance Ovoa Rova and general manager properties management Koilani Toea.
Both witnesses said they were instructed by their “over-all boss” to raise the cheque for K50,000 and pay it to Mr Kinsley.
The State is alleging that Mr Asukusa, as the managing director then, had in 2007 conspired with Mr Kinsley – then the Madang MP – to defraud the State.
In September 2007, a cheque raised by the NHC on alleged “instructions” from Mr Asukusa was paid to Mr Kinsley.
According to documents before the courts, Mr Kinsley had legally acquired the K50,000 as a government bank cheque payable to the NHC from the  Finance and Treasury Department.
It was in payment for a property (a house) in Madang, to be used by an employee of the Education Department.
However, the State prosecutor told the court that the property in Madang described as section 36, allotment 75, did not exist.
The State presented Mrs Rova as its first witness and Mr Toea as its second witnesses before the court yesterday.