Police to be back to one Assistant Commissioner


BY Tu’u’u Pelepesite

APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 08 DECEMBER 2016: The Ministry of Police is likely to go back to one Assistant Commissioner when the current court cases are resolved.

In his weekly radio programme An Hour with the Prime Minister on SamoaFM Radio last night, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi said this is the current thinking of Cabinet.

Drawing on the adage that too many cooks spoil the soup, Tuilaepa said this could be the root of the many problems surfacing within the Ministry of Police.

The Police Commissioner is being suspended and facing 250 charges brought by other police officers and one of the four Assistant Commissioners who charged the Commissioner is also suspended by Cabinet as he is being investigated along with other senior officers including the officer who charged the commissioner.

The suspended Commissioner, Fuiavailili Egon Keil has only been in office less than a year and these cases highlight a long drawn culture of corruption within the Ministry. A Commission of Inquiry that investigated complaints from other police officers resulted in the termination of the former Commissioner Lilomaiava Fou Taioalo last year. He sued the Commission that sacked him, but died before his case was brought to court.

Tuilaepa told Samoa FM Radio that having four Assistant Police Commissioners could be the root of the differences emerging and Cabinet is considering going back to only one Assistant Commissioner when the court cases are settled.

He said Cabinet could use its power to make the changes but is however giving those whose civil rights could be affected their day in court to seek justice.

The Police Commissioner remains suspended as he faces 250 criminal charges apart from a civil claim against him.

Meanwhile, the two of the four remaining Assistant Commissioners are taking turns on a monthly basis to run the Ministry.

Tuilaepa has taken over the police portfolio after a Cabinet reshuffle last week.

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