Manus man acquitted by court of misappropriation charges

A man from Rei village, in the Manus Province has been acquitted by the National Court after he was charged with one count of false pretence, misappropriation and money laundering.

John Morgan Selan, an engineer, is the Managing Director of Manus Earthmoving Ltd. His company was awarded a contract to do maintenance work on two feeder roads at the Wosera/Gawi District valued at K1 million in 2013.

Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika conducted a trial in his case and after examining evidence before the court, he found Selan not guilty to all three charges.

He found that proper processes were followed to obtain the two contracts, work was carried out and completed despite the funds not released on time to Manus Earthmoving Ltd and its sub-contractor Crystal Engineering Ltd.

The court acquitted Selan of the three charges and dismissed his case. An order was also issued for his bail monies to be refunded.

At the begining of 2013 he put in a bid with the Wosera/Gawi District Treasury for maintenance work on two feeder roads  valued at K1 million.

The feeder roads were from Seragwandu to Pukako at K500,000 and Dumuni to Konombandu for another K500,000.

The contract was awarded to Manus Earth Moving Ltd on March 6, 2013. Soon after the contract was awarded, he engaged a sub-contractor, Crystal Engineering Ltd to carry out the project as they were already in the area.

Road work commenced and between April 30 and May 9, 2013.  Two cheques raise by the Wosera/Gawi JDP&BPC to Manus Earthmoving Ltd were dishonoured. 

Despite the cheques being raised were dishonoured, the sub-contractor still carried out works and completed the project at its own cost.

The State alleged that between April 30, 2013 and March 1,2014 at Pagwi station, Wosera/Gawi district in the East Sepik Province, he falsely pretended to the JDP&BPC to obtain K1 million from the Wosera/Gawi District Treasury.

It is also alleged that between April 20 and Nov 30,2013, Selan dishonestly applied to his own use and the use of others K1 million the property belonging to the Wosera/Gawi District Treasury and the state.

It was further alleged he between the same periods in NCD engaged in transactions involving K1 million knowing that the monies were proceeds of crime.

“All the evidence shows that the company put in a bid for the work through the tendering process, after the company was awarded the contract, the Wosera-Gawi district then processed the cheque through the normal procurement process under the Public Finance Management Act. There is no evidence of fraud there,” Sir Gibbs said.

Court also found no evidence of false pretence on Selan’s part.

“I find that there is no evidence that and no evidence of any money laundering. I acquit of all three charges and bail monies refunded.

Sally Pokiton