Ex-FNPF staff refused bail
The former customer service officer of the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) was refused bail by the Magistrates Court in Suva yesterday Rachael Likutabua Matakibau is charged in relation to the alleged use of FNPF members’ disaster assistance. She is charged with four counts of obtaining property by deception. She appeared before Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage.
The alleged offence took place between March 1 and April 30 this year. Matakibau is alleged to have dishonestly obtained $15,600 through the FNPF belonging to four different recipients with intent to permanently deprive them. Police prosecutor Sergeant Luke Qerawaqa objected to bail saying Matakibau had been evading Police arrest since last Saturday. He said Matakibau should be remanded in Police custody because she was still being investigated for other similar allegations. However, defence lawyer Mehboob Raza, argued that his client had the right to be bailed unless and until it was proved to the contrary.
He also argued that the allegations were speculations and nothing short of punishing the accused early rather than completing all investigations and then laying charges. Magistrate Liyanage ordered that Matakibau be further remanded in Police custody before the matter would be called again next Tuesday. He then told the defence they could then make a formal bail application.
Raijeli Matakibau outside court yesterday.