|A MOMENT IN TIME: Ioane Naivalurua and his Acting Deputy Orisi Katonibau in October 2010. pic Fiji Correction Service website|
In a week where an unnamed officer has implicated police commissioner Ioane Naivalurua and his top two deputies (Henry Brown and Isikeli Ligairi) in an international drug racket, the former acting deputy commissioner of the Fiji Corrections Service has agreed to go on record about what he says is Naivalurua's corrupt and opportunistic behaviour.
Orisi Vuki Katonibau says he does not want to hide behind a mask. He told Coupfourpointfive Naivalurua is an 'opportunist who has left a legacy of corruption, manipulation and hypocrisy unparalleled in the history of leadership of the Fiji Corrections Service.'
Katonibau's on the record criticism comes as police insiders insist the police commissioner is linked to the Toorak CID break in, claiming he left last Monday on an unexplained unofficial trip to Hong Kong.
Naivalurua's critics want him investigated but say Pio Tikoduadua, the permanent secretary for the PM's office, tipped Naivalurua off to the anonymous letter spilling the dirt on the January 12 shipment of cocaine, leading to the drugs unit being threatened and Naivalurua trying to cover his tracks.
In a letter titled Naivalurua's Legacy in the Fiji Corrections Service, Orisi Kantonibau confirms earlier revelations about Naivalurua's unpopularity over senior officers being sidelined in favour of young, inexperienced officers, forced departures, alleged backhanders and nepotism with wife Kesia Naivalurua having her finger in the Correction Service's pie.
In his letter to Coupfourpointfive, Katonibau says: "Naivalurua’s wife Kesaia behaved like an officer of the FCS, ordering senior officers and their wives to do extra curriculum activities such as decorating venues for Yellow Ribbon programmes, visits by dignitaries and church programmes week in and week out.
"Consequently, officers’ children were left unsupervised at their homes late into the nights.
"Department funding for such programmes was handled by her in some cases without any proper accounting procedure. She even had her pot plants leased to the department which were located at the National Corrections Service Headquarters without any proper tendering process.
"She also benefited from the Yellow Ribbon Tents at Albert Park during the Hibiscus Festival in 2009 and 2010 where she used the occasions to sell her pot plants, cakes and other refreshments that were delivered to the venue by prison vehicles.
"Wreaths for the departments in any official death were purchased from her as she directed at exorbitant prices ranging from $80 to more than $100 dollars each. She was allowed to sell chocolate cakes with prices ranging from $40 and above to officers that were delivered by the Commissioner’s official vehicle to their homes.
"Officers concerned were reluctant to purchase the cakes but only did so in order to gain favour with Naivalurua. Kesaia normally accompanied Naivalurua on his official visits to the prisons at the expense of the department which was not a normal practice for a Commissioner’s wife.
"Naivalurua had three prison vehicles specifically reserved for his use while senior officers at times have to arrange alternative transports at their own expense. Naivalurua used his official vehicle with his official driver to look for an apartment in Nadi for his son who was employed there in the tourism industry."
Bloggers will know Naivalurua has been accused of taking backhanders. Katonibau says in his letter: "On one occasion in 2010 he and a number of senior officers at the Prisons Headquarters were invited to lunch at one of the Chinese restaurants in Suva by the Chinese Ambassador. According to a senior officer present they were given an envelope each containing notes of $50 by the Chinese while Naivalurua’s envelope appeared much thicker.
"Later, two Chinese national who were imprisoned at Suva prison for corrupt related offences for trying to bribe the Permanent Secretary of Finance were released under the extramural punishment by Naivalurua. The two prisoners served their extramural punishment at the China Club in Suva under the supervision of the Chinese Embassy. The release was very unusual as foreign prisoners are considered high flight risk and were not eligible for such release."
Katonibau says two senior officers, two junior officers and three subordinate officers resigned from FCS because of Naivalurua's concerted campaign to eliminate 'long serving senior officers from the department as he considers them obstacles to his leadership.'
"He preferred young and inexperienced officers whom he can easily indoctrinate and manipulate with his ideology in line with the objective of the illegal regime.'
"In 2008, immediately after the decision of the High Court which favoured the military takeover, Naivalurua summoned his senior officers to FCS Headquarters and informed them of the decision and also mentioned that they (Illegal Regime) were ready to standby whatever the decision of the court was. When such decision was overturned by the Fiji Court of Appeal in 2009, he did not summon his senior officers to brief them of the court’s decision.
"Over the years, the annual recidivism rates for the Fiji Corrections Service had fluctuated between 40 and 50% and under the regime’s strategic development plan this trend was required to be reduced by 50% by 2014. The traditional formula for calculating the recidivism rate was replaced by the Hong Kong formula in calculating the 2010 recidivism rate as instructed by Naivalurua.
"This was reflected in the year’s annual report which showed a significant decline in the recidivism rate. It was basically done to show that the department was on track in achieving its target as mandated under the regime’s strategic development plan. However, in reality such decline was only a paper exercise without supporting evidences, a typical case of where the means did not justify the end."
Katonibau says there was particular bitterness over the termination of the 13 officers in 2009 who were implicated in the assault on some inmates at Suva Prison.
"Originally, the officers were found guilty and given various fines as a punishment by the Tribunal which were endorsed by the Commissioner. However, about a month later Commissioner Naivalurua summoned the officers into his office and told them why he would not terminate their service given the seriousness of their offences, and gave them seven days to respond in writing. The officers were finally terminated.
"This is considered a case of double jeopardy where the officers were punished twice for the same offence. While we do not condone assault on prisoners, natural justice needs to be exercised by those in authority."
Katonibau says under Naivalurua's reign there has been an increase in escapes and other security breaches.
"Worst amongst these incidents was the tampering of warrants at the Minimum Security Prison by a known fraudster (Etuate Suguturuga) who was implicated in the stealing of a laptop at the illegal Prime Minister’s Office. Release dates of prisoners were altered without the knowledge of officers where a number of prisoners were illegally released as a result.
"The officers implicated in the incident were not disciplined and the officer in charge of the prison was merely reverted to his substantive rank and re-posted to Prison Headquarters despite the seriousness of the incident. It was only a white wash by the Commissioner to save face for one of the worst incident in the history of the Fiji Corrections Service occurring under his leadership."
Katonibau says "Naivalurua may be an efficient military officer given his training background in the FMF as some people consider him to be, but since taking up the post of the Commissioner of the Fiji Corrections Service in December 2006 his leadership style has revealed the darker side of him.
"He introduced and exhibited a leadership culture of suspicion and fear among his officers, where officers were required to work 24/7 and do things without considering the lack of resources and forced to find alternative solutions even if they have exhausted all means available to them.'
|Tikoduadua gets Yellow Ribbon gift pack from FCS. file pic|