Yakasa defends police actions

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday, May 24, 2011

ACTING Deputy Police Commissioner (operations) Fred Yakasa said the police service is impartial and that its presence and involvement in the recent saga at the offices of the Department of National Planning and Monitoring was to maintain peace and good order and protect state property.
Yakasa was referring to recent allegations made by Joseph Lelang about police involvement and alleged bias following his attempt to move into the office of the secretary of National Planning and Monitoring at the Vulupindi Haus.
Lelang has a court order which he claimed, among others, allowed him to resume duties forthwith as secretary for National Planning and Monitoring.
“We were not a party to the case, nor were we made aware of the court order until Lelang tried to take office,” Yakasa said.
“Locks were changed overnight and the move created panic and anxiety.
“The situation was tense and we had to intervene to preserve peace and good order and protect state property,” he added.
Yakasa had since sought advice from police lawyers, as well as government lawyers including the solicitor-general and attorney-general, on the interpretation of the court order.
He said he had been advised that NEC was directed by the court to deliberate on the allegations made against Lelang within 14 days from May 14 this year.
“Should NEC fail to meet within 14 days and make a decision to the contrary, Lelang is to resume duties forthwith as National Planning and Monitoring secretary to serve the balance of the term of his office as per the terms of his contract of employment,” Yakasa said.
“Until the NEC meets and decide on Lelang’s future, police would maintain a daily and visible presence at the Vulupindi Haus,” he added.
Yakasa appealed to all parties involved in the case to respect the process and rule of law.
“Let us do things properly.
“There is no need for anyone to muscle their way into any office,” Yakasa said.