Fatai pleads guilty to attempted bribery
EMBATTLED city mayor Alfrence Fatai has admitted attempting to bribe a police officer who arrested him over traffic offences.
He pleaded guilty to the attempted bribery charge – just weeks after he admitted driving without a valid driver’s licence and drunk driving, for which he was fined $2,000.
Private law firm, L & L Lawyers, which represented Fatai yesterday made sentencing submissions in the Magistrate’s Court.
The prosecution will make its submission in court today.
This latest development came as the Attorney General gave Honiara city councillors the green light to table a no-confidence vote against the disgraced mayor.
The decision came after the council sought legal advice on the intended vote.
City clerk Charles Kelly confirmed that advice received from the Attorney General gave the all clear for the no-confidence motion to be tabled.
“I’ve communicated this to the mayor and notified him to prepare to defend himself,” Mr Kelly said.
He said the motion will be tabled likely next week when the council convenes its meeting.
Mr Kelly said under the City Council Act, the mayor has the power to call the Full Assembly meeting to discuss the motion of no confidence.
“The mayor will meet with his executive on Wednesday this week.
“And they are likely to set a date to debate the motion of no confidence,” Mr Kelly said.
Mayor Fatai assumed power in February 2015.
But he was continually accused of demonstrating poor leadership abilities since he came into power.
The final straw to his poor leadership came early this month when he pleaded guilty to traffic offences and fined $2,000.
This was after he was caught driving his official vehicle without a driver’s licence, driving when under the influence of liquor, and consuming liquor in a moving vehicle.
His female companion and co-accused was fined $1,000.
Police noticed the pair speeding along the road heading down northwest Guadalcanal last month and stopped them.
Police said the mayor tried to bribe an officer when he was taken to the Henderson Police Station following his arrest.
He was subsequently charged with attempted bribery, which he now admitted.
The motion against the mayor will be tabled by a member of the non-executive bench.
The council has 12 elected councilors, plus ex-officio members that include the Minister of Home Affairs, Manasseh Maelanga, Guadalcanal Premier, Anthony Veke, MP for East Honiara Douglas Ete, MP for Central Honiara Moffat Fugui, and MP for West Honiara Namson Tran.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN
and EDDIE OSIFELO