NEWLY appointed Chairman of the Leadership Code Commission (LCC) Solomon Kalu says his office will probe into allegations of $15,000 bribery payment to Naha Police officers by the Member of Parliament for Lau Baelelea, Augustine Auga.
He said if the allegations were true, it would amount to a breach of code of conduct by both the Police and Mr Auga.
Speaking to the Solomon Star, the LCC Chairman said the allegation is of serious nature and calls for an investigation.
Mr Kalu said the investigation is necessary to establish evidence to verify the serious allegations by Mr Auga.
He said if the evidence holds proof, then the prosecution sword could be used on both sides to penalise leaders who tactic fully buy their way out and the law enforcement officers who compromised their mandated duty by accepting bribes.
The LCC Chairman said this in reference to a recent media report in which Mr Auga accused Naha Police officers of tactic fully fusing $15,000 from him in a case involving payment of compensation as settlement for an earlier confrontation case between him and community leaders of Burns Creek area, east Honiara.
Mr Auga alleged paying police officers who handled the case about $15,000 as compromise to settle the row outside of court although he had already paid an earlier compensation settlement of the same case with the community leaders of Burns Creek settlement.
The Lau Mbaelelea MP accused the responsible police officers of demanding payment from him so they could dismiss the charges made against him without resorting to prosecute him in a court of law.
Mr Auga alleged he paid about $15,000 to the officers who then agreed to see him paid a second round of compensation settlement payment to two chiefs representing Burns Creek community, of whom he had made similar compensation payment for the same issue last year.
Naha police officer in charge however had earlier denied demanding or receiving bribery payments by his officers from Mr Auga.
But the LCC Chairman pointed out that by nature of the alleged crime, the Parliamentary representative as a national leader and the concerned police officers could all be held accountable for breaches of leadership code of conduct.
He said if the allegation were found to be true, they could all be prosecuted in the courts for misconduct.
Mr Kalu said while the media report is just information for public consumption, the liability falls squarely on the responsible authorities to do their part in deliberating on cases amounting abuse of the law.
Therefore it is important to carry out investigations to substantiate allegations of bribery and possibly intimidation against the MP and the concerned Naha Police officers.
The LCC Chairman concluded since the issue involving a national leader like Mr Auga falls within his offices jurisdiction, he will certainly pursue investigation of the matter.
By AATAI JOHN