Tuesday, 20 November 2007 2:01 PM

PM Stunned by Abana's Rebuttal

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was stunned at the former Minister for National Development and Aid Coordination's media statement announcing he was the Minister being referred to as recipient of the $7-million payout.

The $7-million was for the provision of building material for the tsunami rehabilitation programme.

Mr Sogavare in his national address to explain issues surrounding the termination of Gizo/Kolombangara MP, Gordon Darcy Lilo outlined the award of the building material contract to another former minister without tender as one of the reasons behind Mr Lilo's sacking.

The Prime Minister did not disclose any names of the former Ministers in the media statement except Mr Darcy Lilo as the government had completed gathering all the material evidence against him.

The Prime Minister said Mr Abana's media rebuttal denying being the recipient of the $7-million payout for building material was rather stunning because he (PM) never named Mr Abana as the recipient.

He said in the circumstances, he would not have singled out any names as the matter was still being investigated and that investigation would establish the facts surrounding the payout.

Mr Sogavare said the government would be publishing the outcome of its investigation for the purpose of transparency and accountability, and Mr Abana should not be worried if he did not receive the payout.

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