CORRUPTION CHARGES AGAINST NYDA BOSS DROPPED
It is business as usual at National Youth Development Authority following the Waigani Committal Court dismissed three corruption charges against its director-general, Joe Itaki.
A relieved Itaki said the matter had been distracting his focus.
Now that the court has dropped the purported charges against him, he said, he continues catch-up jobs for lost time.
His arrest, he said, was a work of disgruntled NYDA employees who conspired with ‘wantoks’ within the police ranks to have him arrested and charged desperately to discredit him.
Police arrested and charged 46-year-old Itaki with misappropriation, conspiracy to defraud and official corruption relating to K9.7 million PIP funds.
He hails from Wapenamanda’s Waeres Village.
His lawyer Gibson Bon made an application before Magistrate Garry Unjo to have the police information dismissed.
The application justified that it was defective because police did not follow proper vetting processes before arresting him.
“The alleged funds are all bogus and fabricated figures. There was no funding allocation of such amount since I was duly appointed in 2020. The annual NYDA appropriation for last year does not even reflect such amount. As such, it was the work of some unsuccessful director-general position applicants. They went through wantok policemen and fabricated the charges,” Mr Itaki said.
Magistrate Unjo said police should properly vet such charges against Departmental Heads in consistent with the Police Act.
The Act gives that power to the Commissioner, hence agreed with the defence application, he said.