Tribunal suspends Sir Puka from official duties

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ABAU MP Sir Puka Temu has been suspended from official duties pending a tribunal hearing into two allegations of misconduct in office against him.
Public prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin presented a reference to a tribunal chaired by Justice Panuel Mogish at the National Court in Bomana yesterday.
In suspending Sir Puka, Justice Mogish said the case should not be prolonged as it had stopped the MP from performing his official duties.
“The outcome of this matter must be addressed responsibly,” he said.
Justice Mogish said Sir Puka was suspended according to Section 28 of the organic law on the duties and responsibilities of leadership.
It states that “where a matter has been referred to a tribunal, the person alleged to have committed misconduct in office is suspended from duty”.
Other members of the tribunal are magistrates Josephine Nidue and Wialo Sakato.
According to the reference submitted by Kaluwin, the allegation that between Sept 2012 and March 2014, Sir Puka failed to carry out the obligations set out in Section 27 of the Constitution (responsibilities of office).
He is alleged to have “demeaned his office or position as an MP and that he allowed his public or official integrity, or his personal integrity, to be called into question”.
The State alleges that Sir Puka submitted a policy submission paper in 2013 dated to the National Executive Council (NEC) that was contrary to legal advice provide by the State Solicitor in respect to the awarding of a contract for refurbishment and construction of the Central Government office complex to a Naime Investment Ltd.
Furthermore, he submitted three policy submission papers to the NEC contrary to legal advice provided by the State Solicitor in respect to the awarding of a contract for refurbishment and construction of the Central Government office complex to Central Lands Ltd.
The next hearing is on Monday.

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