ACC to investigate Parliament fraud

The Director General of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Paulus Noa, has confirmed that the state agency will initiate an investigation into allegations that more than N$1.2 million was stolen from the National Assembly.

“Taking into consideration the magnitude of the allegations as circulating on the social media and also in the print media, ACC will initiate preliminary investigation into the allegations,” Noa said.

According to a media statement issued by the National Assembly (NA) on Saturday, two National Assembly officials have resigned and one discharged from their jobs after they allegedly stole more than N$1.2 million.

The National Assembly admission of the fraud came after activist Job Amupanda took to social media to accuse the legislative body of covering up corruption. He gave the legislaturefive days to clarify the charges that corrupt officials were allowed to avoid justice without the ACC’s involvement. ACC’s mandated is to combat and prevent corruption through law enforcement.

NA’s statement said the cases were dealt with in accordance with the set regulations governing institutions of government. ‘’One of the implicated staff members has been discharged, and money has been recovered from the member’s pension. Another staff member has resigned, and money has been recovered from his pension and leave gratuity. The third staff member has resigned, and the recovery process of state monies involved is underway,’’ the National Assembly statement reads. ‘’The allegations levelled against the institution are devoid of any truth, and only seek to mislead the public. No multimillion-dollar corruption has taken place at the National Assembly, as alleged by Job

Amupanda on his social media platforms, nor has the institution covered up corruption.’’

Despite Noa’s praise for the accounting officer’s efforts to recover the funds, he maintains the accounting officer should have reported the matter to criminal law enforcement. “The accounting officer ought to have reported the allegations against the suspected officials to the criminal law enforcement agencies, while at the same time taking internal measures to recover the money misappropriated. It should not be up to her, in a case of this nature, to decide that launching criminal investigation would be a waste of money. “I commend the accounting officer for the action taken to recover the money from the pensions and leave gratuities of the suspected officials. However, such good action does not absolve her from an obligation to launch a criminal case,“ Noa says. In addition, he says, a summon will be sent to the Secretary of the National Assembly, requesting that she produces the full information of the claims against each suspected official, as well as documentary verification of the entire amount of mone
y recovered from each suspect’s pension or leave gratuity.

The ACC will next assess whether or not a full corruption investigation is required based on the factual evidence provided.

 

 

 

By Observer