The suspended Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure (M.W.T.I.), Afamasaga Su’a Pou Onesemo, has been charged by the Public Service Commission.
This was confirmed by the P.S.C. Chairman Aiono Mose Su’a but he did not reveal details of the charges when contacted by Samoa Observer.
When asked if charges were filed against the top bureaucrat, he said: “The answer is yes and I am afraid that is all I am able to tell you.”
It is understood the charges are connected to allegations of corruption levelled against the suspended C.E.O. by a former Member of Parliament of the Government of India, Sh.P.K. Bansal.
Afamasaga has strongly denied the allegations and when asked to comment said: “I would like to (comment) but legal has advised against it and so will wait for a hearing.”
This week the P.S.C. terminated the services of Fepulea’i Mark Assistant Chief Executive Officer for the Maritime Division of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure (M.W.T.I.), after he tried to hand in his resignation letter and response to allegations of corruption. The Minister of M.W.T.I. Papali’i Niko Lee Hang confirmed his termination. Repeated attempts to get comments from Fepulea’i were unsuccessful.
In his capacity as the executive director of a company called Ascent Navals, Mr. Bansal had written to the chairman of the Public Service Commission on 28 May 2018, alleging “corrupt and illegal practices” by the Chief Executive Officer.
“For transparency, we the board of directors of the Ascent Navals Company, through our Director General Capt Suniel K. Sharma, applied to become a recognised organisation (RO) when M.W.T.I. advertised last year,” Mr. Bansal wrote.
“Up until now, all I am receiving from this C.E.O. is lies and excuses without a proper update of my application. I know we have been betrayed by Mr. Onesemo and more (sic) worse, he has been asking favour and use us in many ways on pretext of authorising us as R.O.”
But the Chief Executive Officer says his decision to remove Ascent Navals from the recruitment process to be engaged as a ‘recognised organisation’ led to them making false allegations against him.