Thursday, July 28, 2011

Opposition queries political interference on policing

The Opposition today called on Police Commissioner Anthony Wagambie and acting Prime Minister Sam Abal to come clean and explain why there was an intervention to stop police from laying charges against a national parliamentarian.

The Opposition's call, led by deputy leader and Member for Bulolo Sam Basil, follows information from police insiders that following complaints and investigation, an MP from the Highlands region was on the verge of being charged with carnal knowledge.

"Our informants were very particular and specific that police top brass acting on instructions from the Office of the Prime Minister caused the police who had carriage of the case to stop from bringing the MP in and charging him with carnal knowledge," Basil said.

"This is a very serious matter.

"The Office of the Prime Minister and the Office of the Commissioner of Police are constitutional offices.

"And there is a long standing tradition of separation of powers and functions in our Westminster democracy between various constitutional offices,  especially when it comes to the enforcement of law.

"Acting Prime Minister Sam Abal must explain why such instructions were issued from the Office of the Prime Minister.

"Police Commissioner Anthony Wagambie must equally and more particularly explain why he allowed the constitutional office he heads to succumb to political dictates on this matter.

"They must explain what special circumstances, and under what laws or regulations if any, they saw fit to intervene in what on the surface amounts to normal exercise of police duties to enforce law and order.

"These type of actions fuel public perceptions that in application of law and enforcement of law, there are two sets of laws – one for the ordinary people and another for the 'big man' or elites, privileged and wealthy citizens.

Basil said that the Opposition - as an alternate Government - would be watching this case very closely as it fitted the National Alliance led government's brand of politics and governance where laws enacted by representatives of the people were flaunted, bent and broken at whim and will of a privileged few.

"That is why, as an alternate Government, we are appealing to other MPs,  especially in Government back benches to come out of them before they end up in the same mould," he said.
"We must form an alternative Government that understands, appreciates and allows the exercise of separation of powers, functions and enforcement of laws and regulations.
"This is important if we want to see good governance in the country."

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