Kologeto retains seat  - Solomon Star News

Kologeto retains seat 

27 February 2020
Frederick Kologeto.

South Vella La Vella Member of Parliament (MP) Frederick Kologeto has retained his seat after the court on Wednesday dismissed all bribery allegations laid against him.

Judge John Keniapisia on Wednesday dismissed the 11 bribery allegations against Kologeto and declared that Kologeto was the duly elected MP for South Vella La Vella.

“In view of the foregoing findings and conclusions, the petition is dismissed with cost on a standard basis,” Justice Keniapisia said.

Justice Keniapisia added that the bulk of the allegations against Kologeto relates to giving.

“Whether or not the giving will be held as bribery will depend very much on the facts and evidence surrounding the giving.

“And as I have already found on the evidence that surrounds the giving, I am not entirely satisfied the Respondent (Kologeto) gave in situations that could be safely described as unlawful or bribery, in the majority of allegations.

“The majority of allegations have not met the standard of proof and were dismissed instantly, without application of the law of bribery, either under the Repealed Act or the New Act,” Justice Keniapisia added.

He further added that in the remaining allegations, after careful considerations of the allegations, facts, evidence and the applicable law, he is not entirely satisfied that the remaining allegations could be concluded on as bribery.

Kologeto who is now the Minister for Public Service unseated former MP Lionel Alex Qora with 2,932 to 2351 votes in last year’s National General Election.

Following his loss, Qora filed the petition against Kologeto alleging him of bribing people in the South Vella La Vella constituency.

With Kologeto’s judgment, only 16 petitions cases are still before the High Court.

The following cases are either awaiting judgments, trials while some are currently on trial.

  1. MP for West Guadalcanal, Anthony Veke,
  2. MP for West Areare, John Maneniaru,
  3. MP for East Honiara, Douglas Ete,
  4. MP for West Honiara, Namson Tran,
  5. MP for Gizo/Kolombangara, Lanelle Tanangada,
  6. MP for West Kwara’ae, Sam Iduri,
  7. MP for Central Kwara’ae, Jackson Fiulaua,
  8. MP for East Areare, Peter Kenilorea Jnr,
  9. MP for East Malaita, Manasseh Maelanga,
  10. MP for Central Guadalcanal, Peter Shanel Agovaka,
  11. MP for South New Georgia, Danny Philip,
  12. MP for South Choiseul Robertson Galokale
  13. MP for Savo/ Russell, Dickson Mua
  14. MP for West New Georgia, Silas Vangara Tausinga
  15. MP for Temotu/Vatud, Freda Tuki
  16. MP for North Malaita Senley Filualea.

A total of 28 election petitions were filed after the National General Elections on 3 April last year.

Two cases were withdrawn along the way while two were summarily dismissed last year.

Six MPs have retained their seats after the High Court dismissed their petitions.

They are MP for Central Guadalcanal Bradley Tovosia, MP for Fataleka Rex Annex Ramofafia MP for Lau/Mbaelelea Augustine Auga and MP for Ngella, Bartholomew Parapolo, MP for East Kwaio Stanley Sofu and MP for South Vella LaVella Frederick Kologeto.

The only two MPs who have lost their seats so far are Northeast Guadalcanal MP Jamie Vokia and Central Honiara MP, Moffat Fugui after the High Court found them guilty of bribery.

They are all members of the current ruling government.