By JACOB POK
POLICE Commissioner Gari Baki has slapped Anthony Wagambie, the RPNGC’s most senior officer, with seven disciplinary charges, apparently in defiance of a court order to reinstate him as his deputy.
And Mr Wagambie will not take this lying down, and has vowed to press contempt charges against Mr Baki.
Mr Baki has already been warned of contempt in a Dec 11 court decision by Justice Ambeng Kandakasi.
The judge had ordered Mr Baki to uphold the national government’s appointment of Mr Wagambie as acting Deputy Commissioner.
This government decision was gazetted on March 27.
Mr Baki had refused to accept this, and had instead appointed Raphael Huafolo as the Deputy Police Commissioner.
Mr Wagambie challenged this in court, and won.
Since the court decision was handed down and served on Mr Baki and his lawyers, the commissioner has not reinstated Mr Wagambie.
Mr Baki told The National last Friday that he would not reinstate Mr Wagambie as acting Deputy Police Commissioner until some internal disciplinary matters against him within the constabulary were dealt with.
He said while he accepted the court’s decision, he must deal with the disciplinary matters first before Mr Wagambie could resume duties as acting Deputy Police Commissioner.
“I accept the court’s decision but Mr Wagambie will not resume duties as acting Deputy Police Commissioner until and when his disciplinary matters within the department are resolved,” Mr Baki said.
When asked to verify the disciplinary charges against Mr Wagambie, Mr Baki said they were internal matters.
Mr Wagambie was served the charges last Friday afternoon, a week after the court decision.
He said it was not proper for him to disclose the charges.
He said Mr Baki had also written to him to stay out of office while investigations were progressing on the charges.
But he questioned why the charges, which were prepared on Oct 30, were issued to him recently after the court had made a decision.
“I was surprised, and don’t know why the charges were hand-delivered to me by some officers last Friday when it should have been in October when it was prepared,” Mr Wagambie said.
He said such actions taken were highly questionable.
“I deal with internal police matters for the last 39 years and come January, would be my 40th year as a senior member of the police force. I have never experienced such a thing,” Mr Wagambie said.
“I was appointed by the highest authority in the country in a transparent manner and cannot understand why my constitutional right has been interfered with,” he said.
“I am not questioning the office of the commissioner, I respect it has the highest office in the police department but I am concerned about the length of time it took to serve those charges, as those charges should have been served on me in October,” Mr Wagambie said.
He said that he would respond to the charges but would seek legal advice first to pursue contempt charges against the commissioner for disobeying court orders.