PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare did not seek any legal opinion from any lawyer before directing Fisheries officials to issue export permit to Ontong Java Development Company (OJDC).
His press secretary, Deli Oso defended her boss after the Solomon Star reported yesterday, that Mr Sogavare sought advice from private lawyer Wilson Rano of Rano and Company before making the decision.
This was after the Ministry of Fisheries officials declined to issue an export permit to owner of OJDC, Dr Reginald Aipia because his case was pending before High Court.
A lawyer, who did not want to be named, questioned whether Rano is the Attorney General.
“Why is the PM listening to a private lawyer and why did he not refer the matter to Attorney General’s Chambers for advice and for them to deal with.
“Or is it because Rano was a junior of Moti in Pacific Lawyers?” the lawyer asked.
However, Mrs Oso said Mr Sogavare made the decision on his own after reviewing all the documents relating to Dr Apia.
She said Mr Sogavare did not want to seek advice from former Attorney General as well because he is implicated in the case.
As such, she said Mr Sogavare made the decision on his own seeing that Dr Aipia is an indigenous Solomon Islander.
By EDDIE OSIFELO