Ombudsman Commission

Namah calls on OC to revive charges

Namah said this following the recommendation by the Leadership Tribunal on Monday for his dismissal.

The outspoken leader said he has been singled out following the events of the political impasse and will challenge the tribunal’s decision.

In a media conference this afternoon, Namah said from the outset that as a leader he is bound by the laws of the land and accepts any error of judgement on his part.

However he said the tribunal’s ruling on a single count was harsh and oppressive and he will challenge it.

OC’s report on Tjandra applauded

It has been alleged that Tjandra, an Indonesian businessman, is a fugitive from his country and its justice system.

"Ombudsman Commission's report on Tjandra is important and TIPNG has highlighted the apparent abuse of power by government officials in awarding citizenship to this allegedly unqualified applicant since it became public knowledge in 2009," said Chairman of TIPNG Lawrence Stephens.

EC powers questioned

The reference looks at what kind of powers the Electoral Commissioner has.

Filed by the Ombudsman Commission in July last year, the Supreme Court wants the reference to be heard quickly and has issued directions to the commission to comply with before February 14.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia today endorsed draft index to the reference books and proposed answers to the reference questions that were drafted by the Ombudsman Commission. This including the statement of facts from the Commission.

About 15 questions were proposed to the Supreme Court to interpret.

OC welcomes court ruling

Chief Ombudsman Michael Dick said the decision reiterates its position as an institution that will protect the constitution and promote good governance.

The reference was purposely to look at the constitutionality of the 2006 amendments to section 27(4) of the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership, relating to changes in the rules of evidence in a leadership tribunal.  

Leader’s suspension effective on charge presentation

A five-man Supreme Court bench by majority clarified this through a special reference that was filed by the Ombudsman Commission.

The reference sought interpretation over the issue of leaders’ suspension from office once a leader’s conduct becomes subject to a Leadership Tribunal proceeding.

The commission sought clarification from the Supreme Court based from three conflicting Supreme Court decisions on the issue.

ICAC Bill covers all public servants, not OC

Secretary of the Constitutional Law Reform Commission, Dr Eric Kwa, says under the ICAC Bill, any corrupt activity at the National to Local Government Level will be dealt with, unlike the OC.

He said when the ICAC Bill was first proposed, there were questions raised about the duplicated roles it would serve in parallel with the Ombudsman Commission.

However, Dr Kwa clarified that both institutions play very different roles, with the OC only dealing with specific leaders in the country while the ICAC has a much wider reach.

PM seeks joinder in OC reference

This special reference first went before court on July 28, where the Ombudsman Commission obtained an extension on the return of writs to ensure the remaining electorates’ writs can be returned, and elected MPs can have a say in the election of the Speaker of Parliament and Prime Minister.

PM’s lawyer Desmond Kipa, of Twivey Lawyers, told the Supreme Court that application to intervene was filed on September 14.

VIDEO: Suspicious Spending

This comes after huge sums of money were withdrawn from project accounts just before the Ombudsman Commission issued a directive in April to have the accounts frozen in preparation for the 20-17 national Elections.

 

Meredith Kuusa with more 

More questions to be added for court interpretation

Lawyer for the commission, Dr Vergil Narokobi today indicated in court they will amend and refile the special reference they filed earlier and include additional questions for the Supreme Court’s interpretation.

This is the special reference that went before court on July 28, under section 19(2) of the constitution, which they successfully took out orders, on Friday 4; 30pm of July 28, extending the return of writs from July 28 to July 31, at 2pm.

OC refers Sir Bernard to Public Prosecutor

In a statement released today, the OC said it decided to refer Sir Bernard to the Public Prosecutor for an independent deliberation following its investigation of alleged misconduct in office.

Chief Ombudsman Michael Dick said in the statement that the referral is now in the hands of the Public Prosecutor, who has the discretion either to bring, or decline to bring, the proceeding, under the Leadership Code, for alleged misconduct in office in accordance to section 177(1)(b) of the Constitution.